Six civilians including three young girls, their mother and two women, all belonging to the same family, have been reportedly killed in alleged Syrian regime and/or Russian air or artillery strikes on Bidama in the western countryside of Idlib during the day on December 17, 2019. Local sources also claimed that in addition, a “large number” (AA)/ “dozens” (@fattumabdulfat1) of civilians had been wounded as a result of the attack.
According to the sources, the attack killed the family of Syrian Civil Defence volunteer Anwar Hamidi, including his wife Zakia Abdul Karim Ahmad (28), and his three daughters, Hanin (4), Raneem (6) and Tasnim (9). Anwar Hamidi was allegedly out on a Syrian Civil Defense rescue operation, while his wife and daughters were hosting his brother’s (Alaa Hamidi) wife, Enas Jumaa Al-Nimr (21), and his cousin’s (Mohammad Hamidi) wife (47). Both women died in the attack as well. Syrian Civil Defence posted a video on Facebook where Zakia Hamidi can be seen carrying his dead children out of the house in his SCD uniform.
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed that the regime attacked with an artillery “ground bombardment”. According to @Razak0000 as well, the casualties were caused by an “artillery shelling from the regime’s positions stationed in the countryside of Lattakia”. The local news site Al Modon reported instead that “The warplanes pursued the fleeing families from the towns targeted by the aerial bombardment”.
While most sources blamed the attack on the regime, Twitter user @DirarKhattab claimed the strikes were a joint Russian and regime operation. The Director of the Media Office of the Civil Defense in Idlib, Ahmed Sheikho, reportedly confirmed to Al-Modon that the Russian warplanes were heavily involved in the bombing campaign.
According to Facebook user Moderet Trbiah, “The Directorate of Education in Lattakia extended its heartfelt condolences to the families of the martyrs and to the father of the three girls”.
Facebook User Abu Othman, who seems to have been familiar with the family, recounted the incident from the perspective of the victims as follows: ” My sisters and I used to play, Mama is talking to the guests, It was all normal, But we are always afraid. Along the way, the regime is bombing our village. I do not know why The bombing is breaking the apple trees, And people fled out of the village. Few were lost in the village, and we were lost. The weather today was warmer than yesterday, suddenly in a second We heard a voice from afar. missile sound. mama screamed: Hey girls. Strong voice. fire. dust. Everything has gone black”
The incident occured during the day.
The victims were named as:
Family members (6)
- Zakia Abdul Karim Ahmad 28 years old female wife of Zakia Abdul Karim Ahmad (SCD volunteer) killed
- Hanin Hamidi 4 years old female child of Zakia Abdul Karim Ahmad and Anwar Hamidi killed
- Tasnim Hamidi 9 years old female child of Zakia Abdul Karim Ahmad and Anwar Hamidi killed
- Raneem 6 years old female child of Zakia Abdul Karim Ahmad and Anwar Hamidi killed
- Enas Jumaa Al-Nimr 21 years old female killed
- Name unknown 47 years old female killed