At least six and as many as 12 civilians, including one woman, were killed and up to 30 were wounded as Marat Al Numan, Idlib, was subject to heavy aerial bombardment, possibly including the use of cluster bombs, allegedly carried out by either Russia or the Syrian regime, local media reported.
In this widely-reported incident, Marat Al Numan was subject to heavy aerial shelling in the al Sharqi neighbourhood as reported by Syrian Network for Human Rights (SN4HR), and the city was in large parts left completely destroyed and buildings were set on fire. The rescuing team worked hard in the following hours to extinguish the fire and rescue civilians from under the rubble.
Step News Agency reported that a whole family was stuck under the rubble, and generally, reports mentioned “dozens” of wounded, with the highest was reported by Al Latamna Youth Group who said that around 30 were left wounded.
Reports spanned from six fatalities as reported by Step News Agency to 12 as reported by Syrians for Truth and Justice (STJ). Several sources mentioned that one woman was among the fatalities. Nine male victims were identified by name.
An activist on the ground told Baladi News that “a squadron of Russian air force aircraft targeted the western neighbourhood and the southern neighbourhood of the city with more than 14 high-impact missile attacks.” Several sources echoed that around 14 missiles had been launched.
For example, STJ reported that residential neighbourhoods were hit with high-explosive missiles and vacuum missiles, which was confirmed by Mohammed al-Dahir on the ground, director of the Maara Media Center. al-Dahir added that the shelling began around 6.40 pm Wednesday night, February 7th.
Baladi News additionally reported that Marat Al Numan had, besides from aerial shelling, also been struck by cluster bombs launched from, what they said to be Russian warships in the Mediterranean Sea. Multiple sources mentioned the use of cluster bombs, including Step News Agency and Mara Today.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), the headquarters of the Free Syrian Army in Idlib had also been struck by two Ballistic missiles, leading to the death of three of its fighters. Smart News Agency also reported the death of three Free Syrian Army fighters. However, the media said they were killed as they “were marching their cars in the city where they were bombed”, and instead of that, a four-storey building was struck in the eastern part of the city.
SOHR later amended its reporting, saying that six fighters had been killed.
Finally, the large majority of reports, including SN4HR, Edlib Media Center and Step News Agency, identified Russia as responsible. However, the incident remains contested as SOHR pointed to the Syrian regime and Mara Today and STJ attributed blame to both Russia and the Syrian regime.
The incident occured at approximately 6:40 pm local time.
- Mohammed Ali bin Omar al-Shawaf Adult male killed
- Hassan Abdel Hakim Nahhas Adult male killed
- Majid Abu al-Laban al-Sharaawi Age unknown male killed
- Bahaa al-Husayn, Muhammad Haj Ali Age unknown male killed
- Muhammad Qasoub, Age unknown male killed
- Haitham al-Khalil Age unknown male killed
- Mustafa al-Mustafa Age unknown male killed
- Yousef al-Hassa Age unknown male killed
- Ahmad al-Hassa Age unknown killed
Sources (20) [ collapse]
Russian Military Assessment:
Original strike reports
Russia has not reported any strikes between February 1st - 28th 2018.