Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

RS2363

Incident date

July 24, 2017

Location

Arbeen, Ghouta, Damascus, Syria

Geolocation

35.801386, 39.27784 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

Between eight and 10 civilians including four to eight children and between one and two women died and as many as 50 others were wounded in multiple airstrikes on Arbeen in the Damascus countryside, according to sources on the ground. While several reports attributed this event to Russia, a number of sources didn’t identify the warplanes responsible, while the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that it was unclear whether Russia or the Assad regime were to blame.

The lowest death count was given as eight civilians, though @shahed_alep and Ahmad Shibli put the number killed at ten – and laid the blame with Russia. Ahmad Shibli specifically said that a “Russian raid targeted civilian houses”, adding that seven of the fatalities were children – and that a further 50 non-combatants were wounded in the strike(s).

According to RFS Media Office, “Russian air force fighter jets bombed the city of Arbeen in the eastern Ghouta with more than 10 air strikes using dozens of space rockets, resulting in the deaths of eight civilian martyrs, including five children and two women.”

RFS’ correspondent went on to add that the Russian missiles reportedly “penetrated the upper floors” of a building and that missiles “exploded inside the shelters”.

Alarabiya, citing the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, reported that “it was not clear whether Russia or the Syrian regime” were responsible for the strikes. The report said that “according to the Observatory, a warplane struck at 23:30 hours local time on Monday [July 24th], carrying out a raid with eight missiles targeting the centre of the city of Arbeen”.

Alarabiya’s report went on to quote Rami Abdul Rahman, the directory of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights”, who said that the raid “killed eight civilians including at least four children and a woman”. Rami Abdul Rahman added that “30 other people, including children, were injured, several of them critically”.

Sources published very graphic images of the aftermath of the airstrikes, which included pictures of severely wounded and dead children. Caution is required when viewing these photographs and the accompanying video footage.

The report by Alarabiya gave further details on some of the images: “Pictures by an AFP photographer at the hospital show the bodies of children wrapped in white cloth and stretched out on the ground, two of them  babies.

“In another photo, doctors and nurses are helping a screaming child lying on the bed. On another bed, three young children were sitting, faces covered with blood. One is crying, the other is in shock”.

A woman provided the following testimony to Alarabiya: “‘My sister came to visit us with her son and daughter and they were all killed,’ said a woman, weeping next to three buried corpses.”

According to Abdul Rahman, this was the first time that civilians had been killed since the start of a truce.

 

 

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    8 – 10
  • (4–8 children1–2 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    12–50
  • 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 (16) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (14) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Harrowing scenes, including injured children, following an airstrike on Arbeen, July 24th 2017.
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    Harrowing scenes, including injured children, following an airstrike on Arbeen, July 24th 2017.
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Harrowing scenes, including injured children, following an airstrike on Arbeen, July 24th 2017.
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    A wounded child cries in pain following an alleged Russian raid of Arbeen, July 24th 2017 (via Jobar)
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    A child is treated in a medical facility following an alleged Russia raid on Arbeen, July 24th 2017 (via jobar)
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    The dead bodies of chiil;dren in the aftermath of an alleged Russian airstrike on Arbenn, July 24th 2017 (via jobar)
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    A wounded child following an alleged Russia raid on Arbeen, July 24th 2017 (via Jobar)
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    Wounded children following an alleged Russian airstrike on Arbeen, July 24th 2017 (via Jobar)
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    The bodies of five children killed in an alleged Russia airstrike on Arbeen, July 24th 2017 (via Jobar)
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    Corpses of two civilians killed in an alleged Russian airstrike on Arbeen, July 24th 2017 (via Jobar)
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    A man is treated for injuries sustained in an alleged Russian raid on Arbeen, July 24th 2017 (via Jobar)
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    Translation: '8 martyrs and more than 50 wounded, most of them women and children, the result of air raids carried out by the warplanes on the city of Arbeen in Ghouta in Damascus a little while ago.'
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Distressing and graphic images (including a decapitated child) following an airstrike on Arbeen, July 24th 2017.
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    More graphic images from the aftermath of an airstrike on Arbeen, July 24th 2017.

Russian Armed Forces Assessment:

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

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
    8 – 10
  • (4–8 children1–2 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    12–50
  • 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 (16) [ collapse]