Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

R4335

Incident date

July 3, 2021

Location

بلشون, Balshoun, Idlib, Syria

Geolocation

35.728056, 36.535556 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

At least one child was killed and five other civilians, including a pregnant woman, another woman, and two children, were injured, in addition to the killing of the pregnant woman’s fetus, from alleged Russian or regime strikes on the town of Balshon on the morning of July 3, 2021.

According to Syrian Civil Defense, “a child and a fetus were killed after his pregnant mother was injured in the village of Balshon” and the sibling of the fetus that was killed was named Hassan [Hael Ajaj]. In addition, “4 civilians (a man, a woman and two children), all from the same family, were wounded in artillery shelling by the regime forces and Russia that targeted their house this morning.”

Syrian Network for Human Rights identified the name of the pregnant woman who was injured as Nouriyah Hatem Harmoush.

@zelal_abo_adnan tweeted about “the death of the child, Rital Hael Ajaj, after being injured this morning in the town of Balshon in Jabal Al-Zawiya. Note that her brother was also killed hours ago.” This indicates that the named child was actually the fetus that was killed in the pregnant woman’s womb – @anasanas84 specifically reports that “Assad and Russia’s missiles killed her before her mother gave birth to her. A girl was killed in her mother’s womb”. However, @Gurbtwatan tweeted that “this baby was in her mother’s womb and died two hours after her birth”.

Sources were conflicted as to who was responsible for the strikes, with @IbnAlarabi15 referring to “#Putin’s laser-guided missiles” as killing the civilians in Balshon while @HalabTodayTV blamed the regime.

The incident occured in the morning.

The victims were named as:

Family members (2)

  • Nouriyah Hatem Harmoush Adult female pregnant Mother of the fetus Rital Hael Ajaj that was killed in her womb injured
  • Hassan Hael Ajaj Child male killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 2
  • (1–2 children)
  • Civilians reported injured
    5
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Armed Forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (17) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (4) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Image of the fetus Rital Hayel Ajaj, killed in her mothers womb during strikes on Balshon on July 3, 2021. (Image posted by @anasanas84)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

  • Image of Hassan [Hael Ajaj], killed in strikes on the town of Balshon on July 3, 2021. (Image posted by Syrian Civil Defense)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    "A child, named as Hasan Hayel Ajaj, and Nouriyah Hatem Harmoush’s unborn baby were killed while other civilians were injured on July 3, 2021, when a home in the east of Balshoun village in Jabal al Zaweya in the southern suburbs of Idlib governorate was hit by a missile." (Image provided by Syrian Network for Human Rights)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the village of Balshoun (بلشون), for which the generic coordinates are: 35.728056, 36.535556. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Russian Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Armed Forces
  • Russian Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Syrian Regime Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Syrian Regime Armed Forces
  • Syrian Regime Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 2
  • (1–2 children)
  • Civilians reported injured
    5
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Armed Forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (17) [ collapse]