Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

RS2155

Incident date

April 22, 2017

Location

عابدين, Abidien, Idlib, Syria

Geolocation

35.4681522, 36.5376978 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

As many as five civilians were killed – including four doctors – and others were injured, following an airstrike on a makeshift hospital in Abidien, local media reported.  Sources were conflicted as to who was to blame. Some blamed Russia, whilst others blamed the Syrian regime. Alarabiya news reported that it was either Syrian or a Russian warplane. A local tweeted that they civilians were killed by “military raids”, not specifying the culprit. 

Al Jazeera reported that a Russian air strike that destroyed the Abidien hospital, using a missile with a high explosive which was used to penetrate the reinforced concrete. Allegedly another Russian warplane bombed the site again with a cluster bombs. It should be noted that the cluster bomb contains a large number of small bombs that are scattered in a large area.

Moaz Alshami reported that four doctors were killed. In addition, Halab tTday tweeted that medical staff were also injured, but did not specify how many. 

According to Alarabiya, as many as four people were missing, and that search operations continued under the rubble for hours. One source said that it took longer than 18 hours for searches to be completed. 

Smart reported that a child and her father and a number of medical staff were still missing under the rubble.

Baladi News reported that “rockets penetrated 10 meters of rock and arrived inside the hospital [which was located] inside a cave”.

SHRC published a concise report on the incident. “At 2:30 pm on April 22, 2017, warplanes believed to be Russian attacked [with] a high-impact concussion rocket that targeted the hospital.The shelling broke through the walls of the hospital, which is located inside a cave, resulting in a large explosion inside it, causing great damage to the equipment and medical equipment, and caused the disruption of the work of the hospital. The shelling also injured several people in the hospital at the time of the shelling, including two medical staff, ranging from light to medium wounds. The Idlib Civil Defence team continued to remove the rubble for hours. During the operation, the Russian-made warplanes bombed a location near the first target area at 5:10 pm with one rocket carrying cluster bombs. After about 24 hours of digging, the bodies of the three victims were recovered.” 

“The warplanes, which I believe to have been Russian, have raided the area with several air strikes, then shelled a rocket that caused a major explosion in the area and heard its voice from far away. The missile targeted the hospital located on the outskirts of the northern town, which was the last hope for us in the treatment of the cases of the southern countryside Idlib and the northern countryside of Hama after the cessation of hospitals Mercy, Maaram al-Nu’man and Karnabal surgical and the point of medical Kafarbanda work. The missile penetrated more than 10 meters of rock until it reached the hospital inside the cave, causing extensive damage to its internal construction and medical equipment, causing it to stop working completely. The destruction was great and the rubble removal process was very difficult and continued for a long time. There were a number of medical staff and the rubble, so we thought at first it was a massacre but thank God it was not. The Civil Defence team made tremendous efforts to remove the rubble and assist the wounded and wounded.” Testimony by Ahmed Bakour.

“Russian warplanes targeted the Abdin hospital, located in the southern countryside of Idlib after several air strikes with one concussion missile, which was able to leave the service after the massive destruction caused by the bombing, although the hospital is fully fortified as it is inside a cave. There was a time of ambulance operation, the time of the evacuation of the Civil Defence team. I saw them extracting a doctor from the rubble. I knew that the rest of the staff was still under the rubble and left the place before there were any casualties among the medical staff. I photographed the rescue and rescue operation carried out by the Civil Defence team but was not completed as the aircraft returned to the bombing again and bombed the place during the ambulance and lift the rubble. Their eminence confirms that the second bombing was a cluster missile.” Testimony by Fayyad Abu Ras.

Dr. Darwish, Syrian director of heath, reported that the hospital stopped work, depriving about 100,000 people of basic medical services, adding to the suffering of people in light of the escalation of aerial bombardment.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Adel Abdul Jabbar al-Saleh Age unknown male killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3 – 5
  • Civilians reported injured
    2–6
  • 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 (19) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (16) [ collapse]

  • Members of the civil defence work to remove debris and dig civilians out of the rubble following an airstrike on Abidien hospital, Abidien, 22nd April 2017. (via Baladi news)
  • Satellite image of the vicinity, Abidien. (via SHRC)
  • The White Helmets attempt to search for the missing following an airstrike on Abidien hospital, Abidien, 22nd April 2017. (via SHCR)
  • The aftermath of an airstrike on Abidien hospital, Abidien, 22nd April 2017. (via SHCR)
  • The White Helmets attempt to search for the missing following an airstrike on Abidien hospital, Abidien, 22nd April 2017. (via SHCR)
  • The White Helmets attempt to search for the missing following an airstrike on Abidien hospital, Abidien, 22nd April 2017. (via RFS)
  • The aftermath of an airstrike on Abidien hospital, Abidien, 22nd April 2017. (via RFS)
  • Remnants of shells in the aftermath of an airstrike on Abidien hospital, Abidien, 22nd April 2017. (via RFS)
  • The White Helmets attempt to search for the missing following an airstrike on Abidien hospital, Abidien, 22nd April 2017. (via RFS)
  • The aftermath of an airstrike on Abidien hospital, Abidien, 22nd April 2017. (via RFS)
  • The aftermath of an airstrike on Abidien hospital, Abidien, 22nd April 2017. (via SN4HR)
  • The White Helmets attempt to search for the missing following an airstrike on Abidien hospital, Abidien, 22nd April 2017. (via Idlib civil defence)
  • The aftermath of an airstrike on Abidien hospital, Abidien, 22nd April 2017. (via Idlib civil defence)
  • The White Helmets attempt to search for the missing following an airstrike on Abidien hospital, Abidien, 22nd April 2017. (via Idlib civil defence)
  • The White Helmets attempt to search for the missing following an airstrike on Abidien hospital, Abidien, 22nd April 2017. (via Idlib civil defence)
  • The aftermath of an airstrike on Abidien hospital, Abidien, 22nd April 2017. (via Idlib civil defence)

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 strikes between April 1st – 31st 2017.

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
    3 – 5
  • Civilians reported injured
    2–6
  • 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 (19) [ collapse]