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.