Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

RS2137

Incident date

April 17–18, 2017

Location

معرة حرمة, Ma’arat Hurma, Idlib, Syria

Geolocation

35.5497387, 36.5422624 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

Ten civilians – a grandmother and her nine grandchildren from the Al Nabo family – died in an alleged Russian airstrike on Ma’arat Hurma, according to local media. Up to another 13 civilians were reportedly wounded.

Sources added that prior to the “massacre” killing the family, warplanes carried out two other strikes on the outskirts of the town. Following the strike which killed the family, the planes then reportedly returned and struck the civil defence as they attempted to aid people trapped under the rubble, thereby delaying the rescue operation. Multiple reports noted a residential area was struck, resulting the collapse of an apartment building above its residents.

According to RFS, “media activist Omar Haj Ahmed from the town of Maara Hrema said that the town woke up to three heavy air raids by the Russian warplanes at five o’clock in the morning, which led to the massacre of a terrible killing 10 civilians, including nine children and an elderly woman. A large number of wounded civilians were trapped  under the rubble.”

RFS went on to add that “the raids were highly explosive and caused extensive destruction to civilian homes. Six houses and more than 25 shops were destroyed and other material damage occurred in the places where rockets fell. Activists said that a vacuum missile was used”.

According to the Syrian Human Rights Committee (SHRC), aircraft believed to be Russian, conducted “two air raids on the outskirts of the town before the massacre, and then carried out the raid which resulted in the massacre [of the 10 people from the AL Nabo family] shortly after.”

SHRC said that the “massacre” of the family of ten occurred at  3.35am, when a “single rocket” hit a residential area.

Moreover, according to SHRC, the site of the attack was struck yet again during the rescue operation: “The civil defence worked to remove rubble and put people in ambulances for two continuous hours, during which they were able to help two people and rescue three victims, all of them children.

“But two hours later, a warplane believed to be Russian, bombed the location again with a missile close to the scene of the massacre. The warplane then return and helled the paramedics’ compound and the civil defense team, causing material damage to two ambulances and a rescue vehicle. The renewed shelling meant that the area had to be evacuated and halted the rescue operation. After about an hour later, the civil defence team and paramedics were finally able to complete the rescue operation, lifting the rubble and recovering seven victims – six children and one woman”.

Media activist Hossam El Din gave SHRC the following testimony: “I heard air raids after 3:00 am, which the observatories confirmed were Russian, though I couldn’t personally confirm this before I went to the scene of the massacre.

I learned later that the shelling that resulted from a free rocket caused the demolition of buildings and the occurrence of casualties. I know the area well and it is a residential area. I immediately went to the shelling site and arrived at around 4:00 am.

The destruction was so great that I was assured that the air force carrying out the air raid was a Russian airplane. One of the buildings was completely destroyed and the medics were trying to recover victims under the rubble.

I saw the Civil Defence team during the first two hours. t\They were helping a lady and a man. They were taken to the hospital immediately, and I also saw them picking up three of the victims.

The warplanes were still in the air and the atmosphere was very tense…The air force continued to be in a state of tension until the Civil Defense team was targeted, and here I saw their ambulance burning…Then the search stopped, and the civil defence came back after about half an hour to recover the rest of the victims of the massacre.”

 

 

 

 

The incident occured between 3:00 am and 5:00 am local time.

The victims were named as:

Family members (10)

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    9 – 10
  • (9 children1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    5–13
  • 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 (16) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (16) [ collapse]

  • The first moments of a strike on Ma’arat Hurma, April 17th/18th.
  • Three of the children from the Al Nabo family, killed in an alleged Russian airstrike on Ma’arat Hurma, April 17/18th 2017 (via Baladi)
  • The White Helmets work to remove civilians from the rubble following an airstrike on Ma’arat Hurma, April 17/18th 2017.
  • Map imagery showing the location of the alleged Russian airstrike on Ma'arat Herma, April 17/18th 2017 (via SHRC)
  • The aftermath of an alleged Russian airstrike on Ma'arat Herma, April 17/18th 2017 (via SHRC)
  • The aftermath of an alleged Russian airstrike on Ma'arat Herma, April 17/18th 2017 (via SHRC)
  • The aftermath of an alleged Russian airstrike on Ma'arat Herma, April 17/18th 2017 (via SHRC)
  • The aftermath of an alleged Russian airstrike on Ma'arat Herma, April 17/18th 2017 (via SHRC)
  • The aftermath of an alleged Russian airstrike on Ma'arat Herma, April 17/18th 2017 (via SHRC)
  • The aftermath of an alleged Russian airstrike on Ma'arat Herma, April 17/18th 2017 (via SHRC)
  • The White Helmets work to remove civilians from the rubble following an alleged Russian airstrike on Ma'arat Herma, April 17/18th (via Step)
  • 'Image shows unexploded cluster munitions type AO-2.5RTM / AO-2.5RT fired by suspected Russian warplanes on Ma’aret Harma village in Idlib governorate southern suburbs, April 18, 2017.'
  • More scenes following the allaged Russian airstrike on Ma'arat Herma, April 17/18th, which reportedly killed nine children and their grandmother (via SNN)
  • More scenes following the allaged Russian airstrike on Ma'arat Herma, April 17/18th, which reportedly killed nine children and their grandmother (via SNN)
  • More scenes following the allaged Russian airstrike on Ma'arat Herma, April 17/18th, which reportedly killed nine children and their grandmother (via SNN)
  • More scenes following the allaged Russian airstrike on Ma'arat Herma, April 17/18th, which reportedly killed nine children and their grandmother (via SNN)

Russian Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    9 – 10
  • (9 children1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    5–13
  • 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 (16) [ collapse]