Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

R4386

Incident date

September 7, 2021

Location

مدينة ادلب, حي الضبيط, Al-Dabit neighbourhood, Idlib city, Idlib, Syria

Airwars assessment

Between four and five civilians, including a child, were reported killed and up to 15 other civilians injured in alleged Syrian regime or Russian artillery attacks in Idlib city, on September 7 2021. Andalou Agency was alone in reporting that the attack was also carried out by Iranian backed militias.

This attack was widely noted as being the first escalation of violence since a ceasefire deal between Russia and Turkey signed in March 2020.

The area of the city, reported as the neighbourhood Al-Dabit, was described by one Twitter user as being “crowded with civilians” (@Muslim98F16). The buildings most affected by the shelling were reported to include a family swimming pool (thought to be “Al Husari pool”), with one source claiming that a wedding party was also present (@sarkiss18).

Syrian Civil Defense posted on Facebook: “A dangerous escalation of the regime and Russia forces on the city of #Idlib, the largest population center in northwestern #Syria, indicates a new catastrophe… Who will stop these deadly attacks on civilians?”

One of the victims was reported by multiple sources to be Dr Noureddin Ghafir, who was killed alongside his 12 year old son, Majed Al-Din Ghafir. Dr Ghafir was reported to be a professor at the Faculty of Administration and Economics and Al-Nahda University. Some sources mentioned that he was also the Vice President of Idlib University for Administrative Affairs. An adult man Abu Ahmad Sabbagh was also named on Facebook by Abdallah Amiri to have died as a result of injuries sustained in the incident.

Multiple sources mentioned that a young woman, Jude Yasser Shara, was also killed as a result of the artillery shelling. Shara was reported to have recently graduated from an undergraduate degree, and was working in a kindergarten in Idlib City:

“A 21-year-old woman, named as Joud Yaser Shreit, who was a BA graduate in Psychology and the head of al Seraj al Munir Kindergarten for Memorizing the Holy Quran, was one of the victims who were killed in Syrian regime’s heavy artillery bombardment of al Dbeit neighborhood in the west of Idlib city on the evening of September 7” (Syria Network for Human Rights).

Her last Facebook post, uploaded minutes before she died, was circulated by the Idlib Media Center. She had written: “Oh God, good in every choice, and light in every darkness, and ease in every difficulty, the reality of all that we wish. Oh God, by the size of the beauty of your paradise, show me the beauty of the next in my life and fulfil for me what I wish, and comfort my heart. Oh God, the satisfaction that makes our hearts calm, our worries fleeting, and our misfortunes easy”.

Laser-guided missiles were widely reported to have been used in the attack, with Syria Press alleging that it was the Russian ‘Krasnapol’ missile. Other sources referred to the artillery as rocket-propelled grenades or surface-to-surface missiles.

The incident occured during the night.

The victims were named as:

Family members (2)

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4 – 5
  • (1 child1 woman2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    3–15
  • 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 (43) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (27) [ collapse]

  • Video published by Idlib Media Center (EMC) reporting to show the initial artillery strikes on the city of Idlib, September 7 2021 (via Facebook)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Second video published by Idlib Media Center (EMC) showing bodies being lifted from alleged artillery bombardment on a residential neighbourhood in Idlib city, September 7 2021 (via Facebook).
  • Doctors tend to a child harmed in alleged Russian or Syrian regime artillery attacks on Idlib City, September 7 2021 (image published by MMC via Facebook)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    The face of a child reported to have been killed by alleged Russian or Syrian regime artillery attacks on Idlib City, September 7 2021 (Image published by MMC via Facebook).
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Doctors attempt to treat a child with head injuries resulting from alleged Russian or Syrian regime artillery shelling on Idlib City, September 7 2021 (Image published by MMC via Facebook)
  • A building turned to rubble with fire burning in the wreckage, a result of alleged Syrian regime or Russian artillery shelling on Idlib City September 7 2021 (image published by MMC via Facebook)
  • Smoke rises over Idlib City, as reported by Idlib Media Center (MMC) to indicate artillery shelling on September 7 2021.
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    "More than 5 martyrs and dozens wounded in the bombing of the Syrian regime forces targeting a wedding party in a popular swimming pool in the vicinity of the city of #Idlib" via @sarkiss18 on Twitter
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    The dismembered body of what appears to be a child, reportedly killed by Russian or Syrian regime artillery strikes in Idlib City on September 7 2021 (Image posted by @sarkiss18 via Twitter)
  • A building on fire in Idlib City on September 7 2021, reported to have resulted from Russian or Syrian regime artillery attacks (Image posted by @sarkiss18 on Twitter)
  • "The rise of Dr. "Nour El-Din Ghafir", a teacher at the Faculty of Administration and Economics at Al-Nahda University, and his child, "Majd El-Din Ghafir", following the bombing of the city of #Idlib" - @SRoudinah2 via Twitter
  • Video posted by Al Jazeera showing the aftermath of reported shelling on Idlib City, September 7 2021.
  • White Helmets volunteers search through the rubble in Idlib City resulting from Russian or Syria regime artillery attacks, as reported by Syria Network for Human Rights.
  • White Helmets volunteers use torches to search through the rubble of a collapsed building, posted by Idlib Plus. Reports allege the building was hit by Russian or Syrian Regime "laser guided shells" (Idlib Plus).
  • The aftermath of reported shelling by Syrian Regime or Russian forces in Idlib City September 7 2021. White Helmets search through the rubble at night and appear to carry a body found in the wreckage. Video via @IdlibPlus on Twitter
  • Image taken by White Helmets Volunteers after the reported shelling of Idlib City September 7 2021, allegedly carried out by Syrian Regime or Russian forces (Image posted by Syrian Civil Defense via Facebook)
  • White Helmets volunteers look over a body in an ambulance, related to the reported artillery shelling on Idlib City September 7 2021 (Image posted by Syrian Civil Defense via Facebook)
  • Dr Noureddin Ghafir was reportedly killed alongside his son on September 7 2021 when Russian or Syrian artillery shelling hit Idlib City (Image posted by Syrian Civil Defense via Facebook)
  • An image of a child's toy in rubble posted by Syrian Civil Defense reported to have been taken in the debris caused by Russian or Syrian Regime artillery shelling on Idlib City September 7 2021. Multiple reports mentioned that a family swimming pool had been affected by the shelling.
  • A man stands in front of a building reported to have been hit the previous night by Russian or Syrian artillery shelling in Idlib City September 7 2021 (Image posted by Syrian Civil Defense via Facebook)
  • An image posted by Syrian Civil Defense after Russian and Syrian regime forces allegedly hit Idlib City with artillery strikes.
  • Hadaf Kindergarten post a tribute to Majed Al-Din Ghafir, reportedly killed in Russian or Syrian regime artillery shelling on Idlib City September 7 2021. Image posted via Facebook. Image reads: And give good tidings to the patient We belong to Allah and to Him we shall return Administering and teachers of #Model _ Goal _ Kindergarten 😔 We extend our deepest condolences and condolences to the family of Al Ghafir for the death of Dr. (Nouruddin Ghafir) And the distinguished and decent child (Majd Al-Din Ghafir) May Allah accept them from the martyrs, raise their position, and empty their family and family patience and solace, O Most Merciful of those who show mercy.
  • "Oh God, good in every choice, and light in every darkness, and ease in every difficulty, the reality of all that we wish. Oh God, by the size of the beauty of your paradise, show me the beauty of the next in my life and fulfil for me what I wish, and comfort my heart. Oh God, the satisfaction that makes our hearts calm, our worries fleeting, and our misfortunes easy".

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
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4 – 5
  • (1 child1 woman2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    3–15
  • 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 (43) [ collapse]