Between six and eight civilians including a child and two women died and as many as dozens more were wounded in multiple airstrikes on Khan Sheikhoun, according to local media. Sources were conflicted as to whether Russia or the Syrian regime were to blame.
The lowest death count was given as one by Halab Today TV – though most other sources said that at least six people died. It blamed Russia.
RFS Media Office reported that “according to sources, the Russian air force fired several rockets on the city of Khan Sheikhoun in the southern countryside of Idlib, causing the deaths of six civilians and wounding a number more”.
However, a number of other sources attributed the event to the regime.
Alsouria, for example, said that “Assad military aircraft targeted the residential neighborhoods of Khan Sheikhoun in the Idlib countryside with nine air raids this afternoon [Oct 24th], including five raids with high-impact space parachutes, causing extensive damage and a large number of casualties.”
JBC news also blamed the regime, referring to a “massacre” caused by six raids, while the Syrian Network for Human Rights also reported a “government bombardment”.
According to @ZedHmod, the regime conducted “more than 12 air strikes, including three raids on a popular market”.
A number of reports didn’t apportion blame. Among these were the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights – who said that the seven killed included a child and two women – and Shahba Press, who put the death toll as eight with dozens more injured.
The local time of the incident is unknown.
Sources (21) [ collapse]
Geolocation notes (2) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention strikes on Khan Shaykhun (خان شيخون). Analysing audio-visual material from sources, we have narrowed down the location to these exact coordinates: 35.439198, 36.644478.
Russian Military Assessment:
Original strike reports
On 20th October 2016, the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation reported on the decisions made aimed towards stabilising the situation in Aleppo.
""Today, strikes by the Russian Aerospace Forces and the Syrian Air Force are finished at 10:00 (MSK) in the area of Aleppo. Early termination of the airstrikes is essential for holding a “humanitarian pause” on October 20, 2016”, said General of the Army Sergei Shoigu. According to him, it will allow to guarantee security of civilians leaving the city through 6 humanitarian corridors and to prepare casualty and medical evacuation from the eastern part of Aleppo.
“We apply to the leadership of countries influencing on armed formations active in the eastern part of Aleppo with a proposal to convince their leaders to stop warfare and leave the city,” stated the Minister of Defence.
According to General of the Army Sergei Shoigu, by the start of the “humanitarian pause” the Syrian troops will have been withdrawn to the distance safe for insurgents to leave the city with weapons through two special corridors: one – along the Kastello road, second – in the area of Suk al-Hai market."