Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

RS280

Incident date

December 15, 2015

Location

معارة النعسان, Ma'arat Al Nu'ssan, Idlib, Syria

Geolocation

36.0353463, 36.8360242 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

Between 16 and 34 civilians were killed and more than 100 injured in airstrikes on a fuel market in Ma’arat Al Nu’ssan, according to multiple sources – though reports were conflicted as to whether the attack was the work of Russia or the Assad regime.

The Shaam News Network reported that Russian warplanes launched cluster bombs on the fuel market in three airstrikes, leading to the death of at least 30 non-combatants, most of whom were burnt in massive fires.

Activists told SNN that the warplanes targeted the middle of the market at a time when it was full of fuel dealers.

The network went on to note that “the fuel market in the town of Ma’arat al Nu’ssan is the largest commercial markets in the region, and it is a collection point for diesel coming from IS areas to the liberated areas and has been bombed previously by Assad causing significant massacres.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the death toll lower, at 16, but added that it was likely to rise due to dozens being in critical condition and many people missing. They later put the death toll at at least 34. SN4HR said that the attack was carried out by Warplanes believed to be Russian.

The White Helmets posted a number of images of its members attending the scene and attempting to put out a fire. They stated that “warplanes” carried out the attacks but did not say who they belonged to. The death toll had risen to 20 with more than 100 wounded, they added.

But according to the Syrian Network for Human Rights, “at least six” civilians were killed when regime missiles fired on the village.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    16 – 34
  • Civilians reported injured
    100
  • 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 (9) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (7) [ collapse]

  • Firefighters attend the aftermath of airstrikes on Ma'arat Al Nu'ssan, December 15th (via White Helmets)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    The White Helmets rescue a body in the aftermath of the strikes on Ma'arat Al Nu'ssan, December 15th. (via White Helmets)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    An image of a pile of bones left after a civilian casualty was burnt in a diesel market in Ma’arat Al Nu’ssan. (via, SNN)
  • Fires continue to be extinguished in the aftermath of an airstrike which hit a diesel market. (via, SNN)
  • The ground which has been scorched by the fires in Ma’arat Al Nu’ssan. (via, SNN)
  • A distance view of the smoke caused by huge fires in Ma’arat Al Nu’ssan. (via, SNN)
  • Another image of fires being extinguished. (via, SNN),

Russian Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

Russian Armed Forces

For December 15th-16th 2015, Russia reported that “In the course of the last 24 hours, aircraft of the Russian air group in the Syrian Arab Republic have performed 59 combat sorties engaging 212 objects in the Aleppo, Idlib, Latakia, Hama, Homs, Hasakah and Raqqah provinces… Near Maarat an-Numan (Idlib province), a Su-25 attack aircraft destroyed a large ISIS base. In a separate building, there was an ammunition and materiel depot, as well as a command centre of illegal armed groups. Data concerning the coordinates of this object had been received by the Russian Defence Ministry from representatives of the Syrian opposition. After the data had been checked by the Information centre in Baghdad and unmanned aerial vehicles conducted additional reconnaissance of the base, a Su-25 attack aircraft eliminated this facility.”

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
    16 – 34
  • Civilians reported injured
    100
  • 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 (9) [ collapse]