Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

RS3663

Incident date

May 5, 2019

Location

كفرنبل, Kafar Nubul , Idlib, Syria

Airwars assessment

Up to three civilians died and up to five more were wounded in an alleged Russia or regime strike on the surgical hospital of Kafar Nubul, according to local media.

The New York Times later published audiofile transcripts which it said proved Russia had deliberately targeted the hospital.

According to Syria TV at the time: “A Syrian television correspondent reported that two civilians (Hussein al-Diri and Ahmad al-Rahal, who worked in the ambulances) were killed in air raids by the regime which targeted the center of the city of Kafar Nabil in the southern countryside of Idlib.”

However, a number of other sources blamed Russia.

@HadiAlabdallah tweeted: “War crime! Russian planes destroy three hospitals in one day in the countryside # Idlib and Hama, the last one was the hospital Kfarnbul surgical 5-5-2019”

The UN Commission of Inquiry for Syria described the attack in its September 2019 report, noting: “Also on 5 May, at approximately 5.30 p.m., pro-Government forces attacked Orient hospital in Kafr Nabl (Idlib) three times, with 3 to 5 minutes between each strike. Orient hospital was the closest medical facility to the Hass cave hospital, and had served up to 500 patients per day. The first air strike struck the main entrance. Two persons were killed and another five injured. The attacks rendered Orient hospital completely destroyed and inoperable.

Some 8,000 families fled Kafr Nubl since the first onslaught of aerial attacks in February, many of whom were left with no choice but to shelter under olive trees throughout northern Idlib. Also on 5 May, pro-Government forces launched air strikes against al-Sham hospital.”

In October 2019, the New York Times published what it said was proof that Russia was responsible for this attack and three other hospitals targeted on May 5th-6th: “An analysis of previously unpublished Russian Air Force radio recordings, plane spotter logs and witness accounts allowed The Times to trace bombings of four hospitals in just 12 hours in May and tie Russian pilots to each one.”

The Times gave the following account: “A doctor who worked there said that the hospital was struck four times, beginning at 5:30 p.m. The strikes landed about five minutes apart, without warning, he said, killing a man who was standing outside and forcing patients and members of the medical staff to use oxygen tanks to breathe through the choking dust.

A spotter logged a Russian jet circling above at the time of the strike, and in another Russian Air Force transmission, a pilot reports that he has “worked” his target at 5:30 p.m., the time of the strike. He then reports three more strikes, each about five minutes apart, matching the doctor’s chronology.”

The incident occured at approximately 5:30 pm local time.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2–5
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Armed Forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (48) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (26) [ collapse]

  • An alleged Russian airstrike struck the surgical hospital of Kafar Nabil on May 5th (via Edllib Media Center).
  • An alleged Russian airstrike struck the surgical hospital of Kafar Nabil on May 5th (via Edllib Media Center).
  • An alleged Russian airstrike struck the surgical hospital of Kafar Nabil on May 5th (via Edllib Media Center).
  • An alleged Russian airstrike struck the surgical hospital of Kafar Nabil on May 5th (via Edllib Media Center).
  • The destructed surgical hospital in Kafar Nabil after it was struck by an alleged Russian airstrike on May 5th (via Syrian Network for Human Rights).
  • The aftermath of an alleged regime strike on Kafar Nabil, May 5th.
  • An alleged Russia airstrike on the surgical hospital of Kafar Nabil, May 5th.
  • Explosive barrels, allegedly dropped by the regime, hit Kafar Nabil, May 5th.
  • The aftermath of an alleged Russian strike on Kafar Nabil, May 5th.
  • The aftermath of a strike on Kafar Nabil, May 5th.
  • Translation: "Air raids and explosive ordnance targeted at the environs of the city of Kafarnabil in the southern suburb of Idlib"
  • The aftermath of strikes on Kafar Nabil, May 5th (via SY24)
  • The aftermath of strikes on Kafar Nabil, May 5th (via SY24)
  • The aftermath of strikes on Kafar Nabil, May 5th (via SY24)
  • The aftermath of strikes on Kafar Nabil, May 5th (via Syrianmosaic)
  • The hospital in Kafar Nubul following the May 5th strikes. (Via @AleppoAMC).
  • Translation: "A patient in the streets of kafar nabil fleeing the hospital for fear of bombing"
  • @HadiAlabdallah tweeted: "War crime! Russian planes destroy three hospitals in one day in the countryside # Idlib and Hama, the last one was the hospital Kfarnbul surgical 5-5-2019"
  • An unnamed victim of a strike on Kafar Nabil, May 5th (via Justice Organisation)
  • Ruins of the hospital in Kafar Nabil, May 5th (via MMC)
  • The aftermath of a strike on the hospital in Kafr Nabil, May 5th (via Alitihad)
  • An image of a hospital in Kafr Nubul in the aftermath of a Russian/Syrian regime airstrikes on May 5th. 2019 (via @Fouadhallak89)
  • Aftermath of an airstrike on the hospital in Kafar Nubul on May 5th 2019. (Via @AleppoAMC).
  • Aftermath of an airstrike on the hospital in Kafar Nubul on May 5th 2019. (Via @AleppoAMC).
  • Aftermath of an airstrike on the hospital in Kafar Nubul on May 5th 2019. (Via @AleppoAMC).
  • Aftermath of an airstrike on the hospital in Kafar Nubul on May 5th 2019. (Via @AleppoAMC).

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
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2–5
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Armed Forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (48) [ collapse]