Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

RS4051

Incident date

August 19, 2019

Location

معرة النعمان, Outskirts of Ma`arat Al Nu`man, Idlib, Syria

Airwars assessment

A Turkish military convoy crewed by civilian personnel came under air attack from regime forces (or possibly Russian) – leading to the reported deaths of up to three civilians and the injuring of a further 12.

According to some sources, the convoy appeared to be attempting to deliver heavy armour including tanks and armoured personnel carriers to the rebel held town of Ma`arat Al Nu`man. Turk Press reported that “the convoy includes 28 vehicles, including 7 tanks, 6 bulldozers, vehicles and trucks carrying ammunition, and it seems that the convoy will go to the Turkish observation point in “Morek” in the northern Hama countryside.”

Shabab al Latimina and the Syrian Network for Human Rights named two civilian victims from the city as Hayel Nizar Al-Sejnawi (killed) and the injury of Hayel Naji Al-Sejnawi. A post by Hama Gate on Facebook reported the “death of Hayel Nizar al-Sijnawi and Hayl Naji al-Sijnawi from the city of Al-Lataminah,” which could mean he later succumbed to his injuries. The Syrian Human Rights Committee also identified both victims as being killed in the strike.

Other sources reported only that local faction fighters were killed and injured.

Reports of civilian deaths came from the Turkish military – in a statement first issued and then withdrawn. As Halab Today News noted, “The Turkish Ministry of Defense in a statement condemned the targeting of a military convoy belonging to it on Monday, by the regime forces, while heading to the ninth control point in the area of ​​”escalation reduction” south of Idlib. The Turkish Defense Ministry said that the regime forces targeted the Turkish military convoy heading to the observation point at 8:55[am], pointing out that it informed the Russian side of the destination of the convoy.

In a statement, the ministry pointed out that three civilians were killed and 12 others were injured in the shelling, stressing that the shelling violates the agreements concluded on the “safe area” in Idlib with Russia, noting that the regime forces continue to target civilians increases the human suffering in the region. She stressed that it strongly condemns the attack despite the agreements concluded and cooperation and coordination with Russia, calling on the latter to take all measures to ensure that the attack does not repeat, while Ankara reserves the right to respond.”

Halab Today also noted a report from Aleppo Today which said that the regime had targeted cars from the so-called National Liberation Front which were accompanying the Turkish convoy, which had resulted in the killing of a member of the National Front and the wounding of others. Step News made similar claims. Smart News said the dead fighter belonged to the Faelq Al Sham faction, with three others injured. A tweet from @SyriawatanNews, a pro-regime source, referred to one of those killed, Muhammad Hussein Al-Qassem, as a rebel.

Ariha Now published what it said were images both of the convoy, and of the attack. Smart News also published a series of photographs said to depict the attack.

In its original statement the Turkish military blamed the Assad regime for the strike, though said it also held Russia partly responsible. The Syrian Observatory blamed both Russia and the regime for the attack, noting that “Warplanes of the Syrian regime and the Russian “guarantor” carried out airstrikes on the vicinity of the Turkish column, which is stopped on Damascus – Aleppo international highway near Maarrat al-Nu’man city south of Idlib, where the airstrikes killed a fighter of a Turkey-loyal corps which escorts the column and injured several other members.”

A video posted by @ShehabAgency shows a cloud of smoke and dust surrounding vehicles following the alleged strike. Another video posted by @khalediskef shows damage to multiple vehicles and the road in the aftermath.

The Syrian Observatory blamed Russia for the attack and the Turkish Ministry of National Defence indirectly identified Russia as being responsible for the airstrike. All other sources pointed to the regime.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (2)

  • Hayel Nizar Al-Sejnawi male killed
  • Hayel Naji Al-Sejnawi male killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2 – 3
  • (2–3 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    12
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Syrian Regime Armed Forces, Russian Armed Forces
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1
  • Belligerents reported injured
    3

Sources (25) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (10) [ collapse]

  • According to Ariha Now, this undated image shows the Turkish convoy prior to the August 19th attack.
  • According to Ariha Now, this image depicts an airstrike on a Turkish convoy which killed three civilian drivers.
  • Original statement by Turkish MoD on a fatal airstrike on one of its convoys on August 19th 2019.
  • Hayel Nizar Al-Sejnawi was allegedly killed when a Turkish military convoy crewed by civilian personnel came under air attack from regime forces (or possibly Russian).

Syrian Regime Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Russian Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Armed Forces
  • Russian Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2 – 3
  • (2–3 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    12
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Syrian Regime Armed Forces, Russian Armed Forces
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1
  • Belligerents reported injured
    3

Sources (25) [ collapse]