Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

RS061

Incident date

October 20, 2015

Location

سرمين, Sarmin, Idlib, Syria

Geolocation

35.904042, 36.726111 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

Russian airstrikes killed at least 14 non-combatants according to multiple accounts.

The first strike at 1pm hit near a school and a field hospital in the town of Sarmin run by the Syrian-American Medical Society (SAMS.) A secondary strike or ‘double tap – captured on camera – shows an apparently deliberate attack on rescue workers clearing the streets.

Among the dead were a physiotherapist, a nurse and a ‘White Helmet’ civil defence worker Abdul Razak al-Aboud (see below.)

A witness named as ‘S M’ told the Syrian Network: “The first missile fell on a school and a hospital. The civil defense teams some paramedics and media activists rushed to the shelling site. The shelling caused material damages and some injures. However, 15 minutes later, another rocket was shelled in the exact same location. During the second shelling, I noticed a gleam like the camera’s flash and did not hear the plane’s sound. After that I felt that I was picked pushed upwards from the blasts’ power. Everything around me was white and dusty and I smell blood and gun powder. I thought that I had died. The attack resulted in the death of 17 individuals including civil defense members, paramedics and media activists.

Speaking to the Guardian, Dr Mohamed Tennari, the director of Sarmin hospital, “said his facility appeared to have been directly targeted and could no longer serve patients on one of the fiercest frontlines in the war.”

A Russian Defence Ministry spokesman brushed aside the allegations, claiming the Syrian-American Medical Society “has the same relation to medicine and doctors as the ISIL to the international Scouting movement.” However, an investigation by Amnesty International challenged satellite images which Russia said proved it had not targeted the field hospital: “Infrastructure that appears damaged or destroyed in footage immediately after the attack is seen intact in the satellite image presented by Russian authorities, indicating the satellite image is from before the attack.”

Four months after the event a man named by the VDC as Hsain Diab also died of injuries sustained in the attack.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Hsain Diab Adult male killed
  • Abdul Rahman Maari Adult male killed
  • Abdul Razak al-Aboud Adult male White Helmets rescuer killed
  • Musbah Qassas Adult male killed
  • Mazen Ismael Aaref Haj Ali Adult male killed
  • Mustafa Mohammad Burghosh Adult male killed
  • Dr Hasan Ahmad Taj Eddin Adult male psychotherapist killed
  • Abdul Kader Ebbo Adult male killed
  • Ziad Meteib Adult male killed
  • Khaldoun Mohammad Sawas Adult male hospital guard killed
  • Mohammad Mustafa Sawas Adult male killed
  • Mohammad Abdul Kader Sallura Adult male killed
  • Abdul Razak Abo Tair Adult male killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    14 – 17
  • (13 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    28–30
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Armed Forces

Sources (24) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (9) [ collapse]

  • A White Helmet camera captures moment of 'double tap' strike on Sarmeen, Oct 20th 2015 via White Helmets
  • An image that depicts the shelling aftermath on one of the targeted schools (via SN4HR)
  • an image that depicts the shelling aftermath on Sermeen makeshift hospital (via SN4HR)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    an image that depicts the injured members from the civil defense after they were targeted by alleged Russian warplanes. (via SN4HR)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    "The signs of destruction following the targeting of Russian planes of one of the schools in Sarmeen, Idlib. 20/10/2015” (via Step News)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    "The place of the massacre carried out by the Russian warplanes in Sarmeen, Idlib. 20-10-2015" (via Step News)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    "A video that depicts the moment of the second attack on the gathering of the civil defence members." ( (via civil defence in Idlib)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    An image of the civil defense member who was killed due to the alleged Russian shelling. (via SN4HR)

Russian Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

Russian Armed Forces

The Kremlin confirmed carrying out strikes at Sarmin for October 20th-21st 2015, noting: “On October 19, the means of radio interception received information concerning the meeting of commanders of illegal armed groups operating near Sarmin (Idlib province). After additional check of the information through other channels concerning the time and place of the meeting, there was made a decision to make a strike on the meeting place of the militants’ commanders.“

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    14 – 17
  • (13 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    28–30
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Armed Forces

Sources (24) [ collapse]