Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

RS4395

Incident date

February 2, 2020

Location

سرمين, Sarmin , Idlib , Syria

Airwars assessment

Up to eight civilians all from one family were reportedly killed in an alleged Russian or regime strike on Sarmin, Idlib, on February 2nd 2020. A baby girl, only 40 days old, was killed according to many sources alongside up to seven members of her family, including her mother and brother. The family was reportedly survived by the father.

According to @Shahba Press, there was “a massacre killing 8 martyrs of one family, including 4 children and 3 women, as a result of the bombing of al-Assad warplanes on the town of Sarmin, east of Idlib”. Zaman Al Wasl claimed instead that “Seven civilians, including two children and a woman, were killed, and others were wounded”. @turkeyalaan, however, reported that the attack caused at least nine casualties, while Syria News – as the only source – put the death toll at three civilians.

A number of sources identified the names of the victims. The girl, no older than 40 days, was identified as Najah bint Hassan Agha. Her mother, Najah Hassan Agha (45) was killed as well alongside family members Muhammad Ibn Fida Hassan Agha (2), Sarah bint Muhammad Hassan Agha Abu Al-Fida (10), Mustafa Ibn Muhammad Hassan Agha Abu Al-Fida (12), Amina Ahmed Hassan Agha (16) and  Sundus Shahoud (20). In addition, a truck driver named Muhammad Faisal Haj Othman, who was driving the family when the attack happened, was killed as well. According to @DirarKhattab, Mr. Othman was about to drive them to a displacement camp.

@abuhuzaifa_ noted that “the family was preparing to flee and escape the hell of bombing in Sarmin” . They were then struck by a warplane, and “immediately targeted by a helicopter with explosive barrels.

According to MMC,  the strike hit a “residential gathering”. Other sources reported that airstrikes completely destroyed houses, including that of the family.  Independent Arabia further specified that their two-storey house was completely destroyed by the bombing. Step News Agency claimed that the strikes attacked “displaced people on the roads”.

The sources make competing claims on who was behind the attack. While some sources blame the Russian forces, Ariha Today, who suspected the Syrian Regime responsible, claimed “helicopters of Assad gangs” were part of the offensive. According to DW citing other local sources, it was not clear ” whether Syrian or Russian planes carried them out, as both sides are launching raids in the area.”

The city of Sarmin and its outskirts were bombed between 9:16 – 9:22 according to @anastracey.

Video footage shows a group of people, presumably including the father who survived the attack, retrieving the dead bodies in blankets, crying and mourning over the loss of life. The footage also shows the extent of material destruction caused by the airstrikes.

The incident occured between 9:16 am and 9:22 am local time.

The victims were named as:

Family members (7)

  • Muhammad Faisal Haj Othman Adult male killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3 – 9
  • (1–5 children1–3 women1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Military, Syrian Regime

Sources (43) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (39) [ collapse]

  • Photographs of the child civilians killed in alleged Russia attacks on Sarmin, Idlib, February 2nd (via @abuhuzaifa_)
  • The bodies of those killed in alleged Russian or Syrian Regime strikes on Sarmin, February 2nd (via @abuhuzaifa_)
  • A White Helmet at the scene in Sarmin, February 2nd (via MMC)
  • The White Helmet rescue team at the scene in Sarmin, after Russian airstrikes allegedly struck, February 2nd (via MMC)
  • Significant material destruction in Sarmin after suspected Russian or Syrian Regime airstrikes, February 2nd (via MMC)
  • Destroyed buildings in Sarmin after suspected Russian or Syrian Regime attack, February 2nd (via MMC)
  • Two men look into the rubble in Sarmin during the aftermath of suspected airstrikes, February 2nd (via MMC)
  • A rescue worker for the White Helmets searched for bodies amongst the rubble in Sarmin, February 2nd (via MMC)
  • The White Helmets look for survivors in the rubble after airstrikes allegedly hit Sarmin, February 2nd (via MMC)
  • A destroyed building inspected by The White Helmets team in Sarmin, February 2nd (via MMC)
  • Scene of destruction in Sarmin following suspected Russian or Regime airstrikes, February 2nd (via MMC)
  • Three dead bodies wrapped up in Sarmin after alleged Russian or Regime airstrikes killed a whole family, February 2nd (via MMC)
  • A local man tends to the victims of an alleged Russian or Regime strike in Sarmin, February 2nd (via MMC)
  • Pulled from the rubble in Sarmin, the White Helmets team responds following suspected Russian or Syrian Regime strikes, February 2nd (via MMC)
  • A man carries a wrapped up body in Sarmin following an alleged Russian or Regime strike, February 2nd (via MMC)
  • A scene of the aftermath of suspected Russian or Syrian Regime strikes in Sarmin, February 2nd (via MMC)
  • The little girl, Najah Fidaa Hassan Agha, aged only 40 days who was killed in suspected Russian or Syrian Regime airstrikes on Sarmin, February 2nd (via Justice Organisation)
  • The White Helmets scour through the rubble in response to the deadly attack on Sarmin, Russia and the Regime both cited as responsible by sources. February 2nd. (via @Shahba Press)
  • Rubble and destruction in Sarmin after airstrikes allegedly hit and killed a whole family, February 2nd (via @Shahba Press)
  • Syria Civil Defense teams recovered the body of a man under the rubble in the town of Sarmin, east of Idlib, on Sunday March 8th, allegedly killed in Syrian regime shelling. (via SCD)
  • Syria Civil Defense teams recovered the body of a man under the rubble in the town of Sarmin, east of Idlib, on Sunday March 8th, allegedly killed in Syrian regime shelling. (via SCD)
  • Syria Civil Defense teams recovered the body of a man under the rubble in the town of Sarmin, east of Idlib, on Sunday March 8th, allegedly killed in Syrian regime shelling. (via SCD)
  • One of the children killed by alleged Russian or Regime airstrikes in Sarmin, February 2nd. (via @ShehabAgency)
  • Children wrapped in blankets who were killed by alleged Russian or Regime airstrikes in Sarmin, February 2nd. (via @ShehabAgency)
  • A relative mourning the death of a child in the aftermath of alleged Russian or Regime airstrikes in Sarmin, February 2nd. (via @ShehabAgency)
  • A relative mourning after an entire family was killed in alleged Russian or Regime airstrikes in Sarmin, February 2nd. (via @ShehabAgency)
  • Civilians, deeply moved by the death of an entire family killed by alleged Russian or Syrian regime airstrikes on Sarmin, retrieve the dead bodies in blankets.
  • Civilians, deeply moved by the death of an entire family killed by alleged Russian or Syrian regime airstrikes on Sarmin, retrieve the dead body of a child in a blanket. Excavators remove the rubble.
  • People are mourning the death the death of an entire family killed by alleged Russian or Syrian regime airstrikes on Sarmin, February 2nd. A journalist who is visibly moved shows the scale of the destruction.
  • Al Jazeera report on the alleged Russian or Syrian regime airstrikes on Sarmin, February 2nd.
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    One of the girls killed by alleged Russian or Syrian regime airstrikes in Sarmin, February 2nd. (via @mohmad_rasheed)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    One of the children killed by alleged Russian or Syrian regime airstrikes in Sarmin, February 2nd. (via @mohmad_rasheed)
  • Civilians, deeply moved by the death of an entire family killed by alleged Russian or Syrian regime airstrikes on Sarmin, retrieve the dead bodies in blankets.
  • A journalist reporting from the ground and showing the scale of the destruction caused by alleged Russian or Syrian regime airstrikes on Sarmin on February 2nd.
  • The White Helmets during a rescue operation after alleged Russian or Regime airstrikes in Sarmin, February 2nd. (via @Sy24ria)
  • The White Helmets looking for victims under the rubble after alleged Russian or Regime airstrikes in Sarmin, February 2nd. (via @Sy24ria)
  • The White Helmets and civilians looking for victims under the rubble after alleged Russian or Regime airstrikes in Sarmin, February 2nd. (via @Sy24ria)
  • Three man mourning the death of a child killed by alleged Russian or Syrian regime airstrikes in Sarmin, February 2nd. (via @Sy24ria)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    One of the victims, most likely Muhammad Faisal Haj Othman, killed by alleged Russian or Syrian regime airstrikes in Sarmin, February 2nd. (via Mohammad Fadel)

Russian Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Military
  • Russian Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Syrian Regime Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3 – 9
  • (1–5 children1–3 women1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Military, Syrian Regime

Sources (43) [ collapse]