In a reported mass casualty incident, at least 15 and as many as 57 civilians were killed in a Russian airstrike on the town of Bisharfeh in the Jabal al-Akrad area. Many of the victims were reported to be women and children.
Al Khaleej cited a local civil defence official: “The shelling came from a Russian aircraft on villages under the control of the opposition in the eastern countryside of the province of Latakia, killing 42 people and wounding dozens. The wounded were taken to the field hospital in the region.” The BBC placed the death toll slightly higher, at 45. However, rebel group the First Coastal Division later told Reuters that 15 non-combatants had died. Others insisted that as many as 57 civilians died.
A senior commander named as Captain Basil Zimmu was also killed along with four other fighters in the attack. The Syrian Observatory also later noted that the dead included “fighters from the rebel and Islamist factions with their families, one of them a chief of staff in a rebel division. The death toll is expected to rise because there are some people in critical situation.”
The local time of the incident is unknown.
Sources (9) [ collapse]
Russian Armed Forces Assessment:
Original strike reports
Russia confirms carrying out strikes in Lattakia governorate on October 19th-20th 2015: “The Russian pilots carried out 55 combat sorties from the Hmeymim airbase engaging 60 targets in the Hama, Idlib, Lattakia, Damascus, Aleppo and Deir ez-Zor provinces.” No further details were given.