Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

RS1765

Incident date

December 6, 2016

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

Between five and 10 civilians, including three to five children, a woman, and three men, were killed and at least 15 others were injured in airstrikes against the town of Sarmin in Idlib, according to sources on the ground – though reports were conflicted as to whether Russia or the Assad regime were responsible.

The wounded were taken to a local field hospital to receive medical treatment. Most sources reported at least nine or 10 civilians were killed while only @HalabTodayTV published the low estimate of five civilian deaths.

According to Syria News Desk, the town of Sarmin was under the control of the opposition at the time of airstrikes. The airstrikes reportedly struck a popular market, causing widespread destruction of buildings and homes. Many of those killed were refugees from other besieged areas that were seeking shelter in Sarmin.

The majority of local sources, including the Local Coordination Committee of Syria and @MousaAlomar, identified Russian planes as responsible for the airstrikes. However, there were reports from Syrian Network for Human Rights that regime planes carried out the attacks.

Other sources, including Syria News Desk and @Alkhabar_Agency, were not able to definitively identify who to blames and listed both Russian and regime planes as carrying out airstrikes in the area.

Graphic images and videos from the scene of a civilian massacre in Sarmin showed the bodies of adults and children killed in the airstrikes.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5 – 10
  • (3–5 children1 woman3 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    15–24
  • 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 (13) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (3) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Graphic images from the scene of a civilian massacre, Sarmin - Dec. 6th (via youtube)
  • Civil Defense teams rescued civilians from the rubble following the airstrike, Sarmin - Dec. 6th (via @SyriaCivilDefe)
  • The victims of airstrikes against Sarmin - Dec. 6th (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

Russia has not reported any specific strikes between December 1st – 31st 2016.

On 6 January 2017, Russia, however, 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.”

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
    5 – 10
  • (3–5 children1 woman3 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    15–24
  • 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 (13) [ collapse]