At least four but up to 11 civilians, including one woman and two female children, were killed and several wounded as Saqba in eastern Ghouta, Damascus was subject to intense air and artillery shelling, local media reported, though it was unclear whether Russia or the Syrian regime was to blame.
Al-Jazeera reported how both Syrian and Russian air forces had “launched dozens of raids on residential neighborhoods in the eastern cities of Ghouta”, including Saqba.
Saqba was in large parts left in rubble as it reportedly was struck by both explosive barrels from helicopters, missiles and even cluster bombs as reported by Rajaa. Also, al-Jazeera mentioned artillery shelling.
The death toll spanned from “at least four” as reported by the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SN4HR) to as many as 11 as reported by Dirar Khattab and @LaLaKdaho. The latter identified 11 fatalities by name and age, hereof two female children and one woman.
According to Step News Agency, who blamed Assad helicopters for dropping barrel bombs, the incident wounded at least two civilians.
Additionally, the strikes inflicted great material damage on civilian properties. Al-Jazeera reported that the shelling “led to the suspension of the field hospital in the city of Saqba”.
While few sources pointed to respectively exclusive Russia or the Syrian regime culpability, the large majority of reports pointed to shared Russian/Assad responsibility.
Finally, it should be mentioned that the strikes may have taken place the previous day, on Monday, February 19th. While all sources reported from the incident on Tuesday 20th, HalabTodayTV referred to it as occuring “yesterday” (Monday 19th).
The local time of the incident is unknown.
Sources (15) [ collapse]
Russian Military Assessment:
Original strike reports
Russia has not reported any strikes between February 1st - 28th 2018.