Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

RS3594

Incident date

March 1, 2019

Location

خان شيخون,, Khan Sheikhoun, Idlib, Syria

Geolocation

35.44208, 36.65095 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

Up to three civilians including a child died and four or five others were wounded in a heavy bombardment of Khan Sheikhoun on March 1st, according to local media. The majority of sources blamed the Assad regime, though there were also allegations against Russia.

The heavy shelling reportedly encompassed rockets, artillery and airstrikes. Multiple sources noted that up to 130 artillery shells and rockets hits residential neighbourhoods of the city, resulting in fires to civilian homes and infrastructure and widespread destruction.

According to the White Helmets, who published multiple images depicting the aftermath of the attacks, “two men died and four others were wounded in heavy shelling with more than 130 artillery shells and missiles, targeting the residential neighbourhoods of Khan Sheikhoun city.”

The White Helmets worked to both inspect the sites and rescue victims – and were reportedly struck during the rescue attempts, though the damage in this case was only material.

Mena-monitor also put the death toll at two civilians, adding that this included a child.

Geiroon also reported from the city, stating that “the Syrian regime on Friday [March 1st], the Syrian regime bombed the town of Khan Sheikhan in the southern Idlib countryside with more than 80 rockets, some of them by the air force, some by rocket launchers. The city is now almost empty of residents, activists and eyewitnesses said.”

According to the Syrian Network for Human Rights, the regime shelled “near the al Rawda Mosque in the al Sharqi neighbourhood”, partially destroying the building.

While most sources attributed the strikes to Assad, there were also claims against Russia. For example, Smart reported that “the commander of Civil Defense Center in Khan Sheikhoun, Khalid Al Najim, said that forces belonging to the regime to Russia targeted residential neighbourhoods in the city with more than 116 rocket shells, killing two young people, and moderately wounding four others, who were taken to a nearby medical point”.

Baladi pointed to “the forces of the regime and its military militias”.

Amnesty International also reported on the shelling: “Amnesty International also interviewed four residents from Khan Sheikhoun, south of Idlib, who said the vast majority of residents had been displaced after escalating airstrikes and artillery attacks in February which had destroyed or damaged homes and other buildings, including two bakeries and medical clinics located in residential buildings. A civil defence volunteer said: ‘The al-Rawda bakery, the central bakery in Khan, was destroyed in an airstrike attack on 11:30 AM. I removed the bodies of two men who died in the explosion in front of the bakery on the street.” Residents stated that there was no longer any operational hospital in Khan Sheikhoun after an airstrike had destroyed the only field hospital in the town in February 2018. The closest hospital is 20 kilometres away in Maarat al Numan.”

Commenting on the ongoing strikes on the city, Jisrtv said that the additional two civilians deaths in this particular incident on March 1st had brought “the number of civilian deaths in Khan Sheikhoun to 48 since the start of the bombing campaign on the city on February 9th”.

The incident occured at approximately 11:30 am local time.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 3
  • (1 child1–2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    4–5
  • 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
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (33) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (17) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    'Shocking scenes' following strikes on Khan Sheikhoun, March 1st 2019.
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    The moment a strike hit Khan Sheikhoun, March 1st 2019.
  • 'A violent rocket attack by the Assad terrorist gangs on the town of Khan Sheikhoun, south of Idlib'
  • Translation: 'Activists More than 85 rockets landed on # Khan Sheikhoun until the moment.'
  • Translation: '80 missiles on Khan Shaykhun Oh Allah peace be upon you'
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    A young girl wounded in a strike on Khan Sheikhoun, March 1st 2019.
  • Images from the White Helmets in the aftermath of strikes on Khan Sheikhoun, March 1st 2019.. The White Helmets said that more than 130 artillery shells and missiles had "targeted" neighbourhoods of the city.
  • More footage showing the aftermath of strikes on Khan Sheikhoun, March 1st 2019.
  • Footage from the Step News Agency showi9ng the immediate aftermath of the strikes on Khan Sheikhoun, March 1st 2019.
  • "Heavy artillery and missiles" from "the criminal regime" hitting Khan Sheikhoun, March 1st 2019 (via Ebaa)
  • "Heavy artillery and missiles" from "the criminal regime" hitting Khan Sheikhoun, March 1st 2019 (via Ebaa)
  • An ambulance reportedly shelled by the regime in Khan Sheikhoun, March 1st 2018 (via SN4HR)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    A child reportedly injured in alleged Russian or Syrian regime air or artillery strikes on Khan Sheikhoun on March 1st, 2019 (via @shmal123456).
  • Syrian Civil Defence volunteer extinguishing fire after alleged Russian or Syrian regime air or artillery strikes on Khan Sheikhoun on March 1st, 2019 (via @SyriaCivilDefe).
  • Syrian Civil Defence volunteers on the site after alleged Russian or Syrian regime air or artillery strikes on Khan Sheikhoun on March 1st, 2019 (via @SyriaCivilDefe).
  • Syrian Civil Defence volunteers on the site after alleged Russian or Syrian regime air or artillery strikes on Khan Sheikhoun on March 1st, 2019 (via @SyriaCivilDefe).
  • Syrian Civil Defence volunteers extinguishing fire after alleged Russian or Syrian regime air or artillery strikes on Khan Sheikhoun on March 1st, 2019 (via @SyriaCivilDefe).

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

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 3
  • (1 child1–2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    4–5
  • 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
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (33) [ collapse]