Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

RS3053

Incident date

February 21, 2018

Location

كفر بطنا, Kafar Batna, Damascus, Syria

Geolocation

33.511853, 36.372857 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

In what was described as a “massacre”, Russian or Assad-waged aerial and artillery shelling killed up to 35 civilians, including at least seven children, and wounded dozens in Kafar Batna, eastern Ghouta, Damascus, as reported by local media.

As eastern Ghouta continued to be under heavy aerial shelling, the strikes in Kafar Batna town was described as particular intense by local sources, where residential buildings were struck and left in complete rubble.

The death toll spanned from ten, as initially reported by Zaman al-Wasl, to as many as 35. The latter reported by Step News Agency on the following day, February 22nd. Many sources reported “at least” 20 fatalities, including children. Step News Agency reported exactly seven child fatalities.

Additionally, several sources reported that the incident had wounded “dozens”. Damascus Media Center added that most were children.

Besides from airstrikes, the launch of explosive barrels from helicopters was also widely reported among the sources, including Orient News correspondent and Wesal TV.

But sources where not clear who to blame.

While most reports, including al-Jazeera and Orient News, identified the Syrian regime as the culprit, Step News Agency reported, as the only one, that “Russian warplanes and helicopter gunships launched dozens of air strikes and explosive barrages” in several parts of eastern Ghouta, including Kafar Batna. In another tweet about the specific strikes in Kafar Batna, Step News blamed both the Syrian regime and Russia.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    10 – 35
  • (7 children)
  • Civilians reported injured
    24
  • 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 (14) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (7) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Dead and wounded civilians following the contested shelling of Kafar Batna, Damascus, February 21st, 2018 (via Smart News Agency)
  • Dozens were left wounded following the contested shelling of Kafar Batna, Damascus, February 21st, 2018 (via Hadi al-Abdallah)
  • Dozens were left wounded following the contested shelling of Kafar Batna, Damascus, February 21st, 2018 (via GMC)
  • Dozens were left wounded following the contested shelling of Kafar Batna, Damascus, February 21st, 2018 (via DMC)
  • The aftermath of the contested shelling of Kafar Batna, Damascus, February 21st, 2018, where wounded civilians are being evacuated from the scene (via Wesal TV)
  • Dozens were left wounded following the contested shelling of Kafar Batna, Damascus, February 21st, 2018 (via GMC)
  • A child lost his hands by the Assad or Russian-waged strikes in Kafar Batna, Damascus, February 21st, 2018 (via Iran Arab Spring)

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 February 1st - 28th 2018.

Syrian Regime Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Syrian Regime Armed Forces
  • Syrian Regime Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    10 – 35
  • (7 children)
  • Civilians reported injured
    24
  • 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 (14) [ collapse]