At least three civilians were reported killed when an airstrike struck the popular market in the city of Ma’arat Al Nu’man south of Idlib in the morning of June 3rd, 2019. Local sources reported that the market was struck with at least three missiles, also described as “rocket-propelled grenades”, although Smart News Agency claimed the use of a total of four missiles. According to Shaam News, the raid was carried out by the Russian Air Force and Syrian regime helicopters.
Most sources reported that among the three killed civilians was one woman. According to Smart News, the other victims were a woman and a man. The source added that 20 civilians were wounded.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the death toll higher and claimed that a total of four civilians were killed, including a woman.
In a report in October 2020, Human Rights Watch wrote that “On June 3, 2019, the last day of Ramadan, at about 11 a.m., an aircraft released four munitions, one at a time, onto an extension of the town’s main market. The market was particularly full that day because of people shopping for Eid.”
HRW spoke to Obeida Zikra, the Syrian Civil Defence team leader in Ma’arat Al Nu’man, who stated that “two munitions hit the roof of the market and two others struck inside the market. Zikra said that when he arrived at the scene, he saw a fire burning in one of the shop stalls and many wounded people on the ground.”
HRW analysed several photos and videos of the scene: “The videos and photographs show damage to at least 15 market stalls and shop fronts, debris on the street, damage to motorbikes, a man who seems to have had his right leg severed by the attack being carried on a stretcher to an ambulance, a severely injured or deceased man, and two injured men in the back of an ambulance.”
The SCD team leader told HRW that he was unaware of any military objectives in the vicinity of the site before or at the time of the attack, “nor were there signs of military weapons, equipment, or personnel in the imagery reviewed”.
The incident occured at approximately 11:00 am local time.