Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

RS1544

Incident date

November 8, 2016

Location

خان شيخون, Khan Shaykhun, Idlib, Syria

Geolocation

35.44208, 36.65095 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

Between nine and 11 civilians were killed, including between six to eight children and two pregnant women, and seven other civilians were injured, including three children and a woman, in airstrikes launched against the residential neighbourhood Khan Sheikhoun.

Three of the named children were brothers from one family that, according to sources, had come to visit their grandparents. Two of the other children were also brothers from another family.

@SPRINGNOWTIME posted very graphic images of the victims, some of whom had organs exposed. Civilians continued to be dug up from the rubble, according to local sources long into the aftermath, due to the huge material damage and fires.

Sln reported that there were large numbers of wounded – no specific numbers were published – however it added that many people were taken to hospital due to the severity of their injuries.

At the time of the attack, northern Idlib was under the control of of opposition factions called the Fatah Army, which includes groups linked to Al-Qaeda.

This incident was part of an escalation by Russian and Syrian regime planes against the towns and villages of Idlib. Shaam News Network pointed out that “in the past few months, Khan Sheikkhoun has witnessed several massacres against unarmed civilians, which killed and wounded dozens, with constant air and artillery shelling of the city, which is home to tens of thousands of families from the city and displaced families.”

Local sources gave conflicting reports of who was responsible for the airstrikes. Shaam News Network and Zamanalwsl attributed the attack to Syrian regime warplanes while Alsouria and Al-Madina blamed Russian planes for the airstrikes. Shahed-ayan News reported that rockets were used in the raid.

The BBC reported that the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights used information about the type of aircraft, its location, its airways, and its equipment to guess the responsible belligerent – in this case Russia.

However, the Russian Defence Ministry released a statement to TASS News Agency that stated “the information published by some foreign media about the implementation of the Russian air force aircraft strikes in the countryside of the city of Idlib in Khan Sheikkhoun is incorrect.” This statement arose following ongoing threats by European countries and the US to impose sanctions against Russia because of its actions in Syria.

The incident occured around midday.

The victims were named as:

Family members (4)

  • Abdul Rahman Maarati Child male named by SPC killed
  • Louay Maarati Child male named by SPC killed
  • Ghalia Maarati Child female named by SPC killed
  • Rahad Maarati Child female named by SPC killed

Family members (3)

  • Mahasin Kenisawi Child male named by SPC killed
  • Sakr Kenisawi Child male named by SPC killed
  • Samar Qatini Child named by SPC killed
  • Nasreen Abu Amsha Adult female named by SPC killed
  • Son of Nasreen Abu Amsha Child male killed
  • Jenin Nesrin Age unknown named by SPC killed
  • Derrar Parodi Child male named by SPC killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    9 – 11
  • (6–9 children2–3 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    7
  • 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 (28) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (8) [ collapse]

  • News bulletin showing the aftermath of an alleged Russian and Syrian regime raid which struck the residential neighbourhood of Khan Shaykhun, 8th November 2016. (via Orient News)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Image of a civilian with their organs exposed following an alleged Russian and Syrian regime raid on Khan Shaykhun, 8th November 2016. (via @SPRINGNOWTIME)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Image of a civilian with their organs exposed following an alleged Russian and Syrian regime raid on Khan Shaykhun, 8th November 2016. (via @SPRINGNOWTIME)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Image of a man killed in an alleged Russian and Syrian regime raid on Khan Shaykhun, 8th November 2016. (via @SPRINGNOWTIME)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Image of a child, killed in an alleged Russian and Syrian regime raid on Khan Shaykhun, 8th November 2016. (via @SPRINGNOWTIME)
  • A young girl being rescued by a member of the White Helmets in the aftermath of an alleged Russian and Syrian regime raid on Khan Shaykhun, 8th November 2016. (via @blackpearls6363)
  • A child being rescued in the aftermath of an alleged Russian and Syrian regime raid on Khan Shaykhun, 8th November 2016. (via @SyriaCivilDefe)
  • Civilians being rescued in the aftermath of an alleged Russian and Syrian regime raid on Khan Shaykhun, 8th November 2016. (via @SyriaCivilDefe)

Russian Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

Russian Armed Forces

Russia has not reported any specific strikes between November 1st – 30th 2016.

On 6 January 2017, Russia reported: “Since November 8, 2016, the aircraft carrier group of the Northern Fleet consisting of the heavy aircraft carrying cruiser Admiral Kuznetsov, the heavy nuclear missile cruiser Pyotr Velikiy, the large ASW ship Severomorsk, as well as auxiliary vessels of the Black Sea Fleet, has been fulfilling counterterrorist missions on the territory of Syria”, adding that ”in the course of two months of their participation in the combat actions, naval aviation pilots have carried out 420 combat sorties, 117 of them were night ones”.

The Russian Defence Ministry denied any Russian involvement in the airstrikes against Khan Sheikkhoun.

Syrian Regime Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Syrian Regime Armed Forces
  • Syrian Regime Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    9 – 11
  • (6–9 children2–3 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    7
  • 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 (28) [ collapse]