Between five to six civilians, among them at least three women, were reportedly killed by an alleged Russian airstrike in the town of Malaja, near Kafr Nabl in southern Idlib, on November 17th, 2019. Sources state that they were members of one family, including a couple and their son. According to several reports, another three to fourteen civilians were also wounded in the attack – among them at least one female infant related to the affected family.
A number of local media reports alleged there were five deaths, with all of the victims related to each other. Other reports stated that six people were killed. The victims were identified by some sources as four women and one child. Smart News Agency, a Syrian online news outlet belonging to the opposition media network, quoted local witnesses stating that three women, two children and one man were killed instead.
Three civilians were injured, two of them being mother and child, according to the SCD. Step News Agency reported four injured instead. According to @ShahbaPress, up to 14 civilians have been injured due to Russian air raids in al-Malaja, although it is not clear if the outlet is referring exclusively to al-Malaja or the overall toll of injured civilians by Russian Armed Forces on the 17th of November. A one-and-a-half year old girl was heavily injured and left in critical condition according to @syrian191124, who published a video of her treatment in a hospital. According to a tweet by @saidalgurabal, she was the daughter of the killed victims. Several other reports confirmed the girl’s injury.
All of the local media sources and the opposition’s aviation observatory, cited by AA news, blamed the Russian Air Forces for the strike. Sources reported that the belligerent attacked with more than one warplane. The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) claimed that the attack resulted from missile strikes from a fixed-wing aircraft. The strike was reported to have been conducted in a residential area, severely damaging civilian homes as documented in video and photo evidence. Sources claimed that the stroke was aimed at Malaja city center. A video by the Syrian Civil Defense shows White Helmets in their search for survivors, recovering dead bodies from the rubble.
Several other victims were still missing and/or trapped under the rubble according to SOHR and other outlets. No further reports relating to the incident are presently known.
The incident occured in the afternoon.
The victims were named as:
Family members (6)