Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

R4366

Incident date

August 7–8, 2021

Location

قسطون, Qastoun, Hama, Syria

Airwars assessment

Between two and five civilians, including two to five children that were all siblings, were killed and five to six others, including a child, were injured by Russian and/or regime shelling in the village of Qastoun on the night of August 7th, 2021, multiple sources reported.

In a tweet, the Syrian Civil Defence named the children killed as Ibrahim, Fatima, Youssef and Omar. SN4HR reported their family name as al Na’san. Multiple other sources listed the same names, while images circulating on social media showed the bodies of four young children. The alleged shelling reportedly hit their house.

There were however some differences in the reporting over who was killed. Baladi put the death toll at four, but said only two of those were children; 11-year-old Ibrahim Abdul-Basit Rifaat Al-Na’san and 8-year-old Yousef Abdul-Basit Rifaat Al-Na’asan. One source, Jesr Press, listed different names for the victims; Madiha Al-Jablawi, Hassan Al-Naasan, Muhammad Hamid Al-Naasan, Ibrahim Al-Naasan, Refaat Al-Naasan, and Father Hussein Al-Nasser. It was however not clear whether these were injuries or deaths, and it cited the Syrian Civil Defence as the source which did not provide these names in its tweet on the incident. Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported five children’s deaths.

The Syrian Civil Defence said five others were injured, some of which were critical. Facebook user Loa’i Al noted that four members of the family had suffered injuries (although listed six names) with two people, named as Aziza and Abdul Karim, both having a foot amputated. @ameerbaak shared an image of Aziza, who appeared to be a child, in the hospital.

Syrian Civil Defence Ali Al-Omar was quoted talking about his experience responding to the incident. He said: “The pain of the child’s uncle when he grabbed me by the shoulder in the ambulance and called out in his grieving voice, ‘For God’s sake, Ibrahim died. Do something for God’s sake.’ In these moments I felt the blood freeze in my body and the voices overlapped, the moaning of pain, the screams of separation, the sound of the ambulance, and thoughts running fast.”

The vast majority of sources implicated regime forces, however the Syrian Civil Defence said the casualties were caused by regime and Russian artillery shelling. SN4HR noted the use of a missile launcher by regime forces.

The incident occured during the night.

The victims were named as:

Family members (5)

  • Ibrahim al Na’san Child male killed
  • Fatima al Na’san Child female killed
  • Omar al Na’san Child male killed
  • Yousef al Na’san Child male killed
  • Aziza Child female Aziza reportedly had a foot amputated injured

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2 – 5
  • (2–5 children)
  • Civilians reported injured
    5–6
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attacker
    Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (28) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (12) [ collapse]

  • The body of a child is carried by a Syrian Civil Defence volunteer. Four children were reportedly killed in shelling on August 7th, 2021. (Image posted by @ibnqasuoon)
  • Translated image caption: The four brothers, Ibrahim, Fatima, Youssef and Omar. The Assad regime and Russia killed them with artillery shelling last night, targeting the town of Qastoun, west of Hama. In short, this is the story of a grieving homeland that Syrians have been living with for ten years. (Image posted by the Syrian Civil Defence)
  • The children reportedly killed in shelling in the village of Qastoun on the night of August 7th, 2021. (Image posted by @OrientNews)
  • Translated image caption: Last night, the bombing of the Assad regime forces killed the four brothers, Ibrahim, Fatima, Youssef and Omar, in their home in the town of Qastoun in the Al-Ghab Plain, northwest of Hama. (Image posted by @khaleedalkhteb)
  • Three of the children reportedly killed by shelling on August 7th, 2021. (Image posted by @khaleedalkhteb)
  • Aziza reportedly had a foot/feet amputated following shelling in her village. (Image posted by @ameerbaak)
  • Image from an ambulance after shelling reportedly killed four children, all siblings. (Image posted by the Syrian Civil Defence)
  • Image from an ambulance after shelling reportedly killed four children, all siblings. (Image posted by the Syrian Civil Defence)
  • Image from an ambulance after shelling reportedly killed four children, all siblings. (Image posted by the Syrian Civil Defence)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Video showing ambulance with victims inside. (Video shared by @Jamil_Alhasaan)
  • Journalist reporting from the scene of the alleged shelling. (Image posted by @syr_television)
  • Secene from the ambulance after reported shelling on August 7th, 2021. (Video posted by the Syrian Civil Defence)

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
    2 – 5
  • (2–5 children)
  • Civilians reported injured
    5–6
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attacker
    Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (28) [ collapse]