Up to seven civilians, including children, were reported killed, and 26 others, including six children, were injured in alleged Russian forces or Syrian regime forces airstrikes and/or artillery shelling on Idlib city on February 25th, 2020, according to local sources. Air and artillery strikes targeted Al Qusoor neighbourhood, several schools and the industrial area of Idlib.
A tweet from @abuhuzafia was the first to identify two civilian victims killed in the bombing. A student named Doaa Al-Rahman and a teacher identified Hani Al-Muhaimid were the first two victims to be named. Witness Mahmod Hamway tweeted that the death toll had risen to four as well as thirteen wounded. He noted the use of “sixteen artillery shells and missiles, including four cluster missiles”. Enab Baladi News reported that the Khaled al-Shaar and Taha Gharib schools were struck along with the Al-Manahil kindergarten. Al Araby News provided additional information, noting that three people were confirmed dead and twelve civilians were wounded as warplanes targeted six different schools and kindergartens in the area. Syrian activist Haysam al-Idlibi corroborated these numbers, while the Syrian Civil Defense force stated that eight schools were targeted. A tweet from Justice Organization listed a dead male civilian as Muhammad Mahmoud Ismail.
Smart News was later told by Idlib’s aid coordinator, a man nicknamed “Abu Al-Waid”, that a twenty-year-old and a retired teacher were both killed in the aerial bombardment. Abd al-Razzaq-Ghafir, the head of the Department of the Documentation and Information Department of the Specialized Surgical Hospital for Idlib, told Smart News a body of a teacher and twelve wounded others, including six children were either being treated at the hospital or in the operating room. Later, the Idlib Education Directorate announced that “dozens of teachers and students” were wounded by the bombings, including two dead civilians and two dead teachers. Al-Araby News was later told that the death toll was officially four members of “the educational staff” and one student, with twelve more wounded.
A tweet from @Ahmadmuaffaq also identified “Mrs. Suad Talja” as being killed in the airstrikes on the city of Idlib. Orient News put the number of injured in the incident at 26.
The Syrian Network for Human Rights reported that “Mahmoud Faisal al Sbeih, a teacher, died on March 4th, 2020, due to wounds sustained on February 25th, 2020, in a shelling by Syrian regime forces’ missile launcher using missiles loaded with cluster munitions on al Baraem School in Idlib suburbs. Accordingly, the teachers victims rose to three in the that day.”
Both Syria 24 and Human Rights Watch reported that schools and residential buildings were targeted in the assault on February 25th. A Syrian Civil Defense volunteer told Human Rights Watch that there were “no military objectives in the vicinity”.
Edlib Media Center, Macro Media Center, Justice Organization and Syrian Civil Defence blamed the regime, while Step Agency and Shahba Press blamed both the regime and Russia for the air and/or artillery strikes.
In Human Rights Watch report, it was mentioned that three teachers were killed and six others injured. “On February 25, 2020, at 8:30 a.m., a cluster munition struck the yard of Bra`am secondary school and several of its submunitions detonated, killing three teachers and wounding six others. Fifteen minutes earlier, soon after classes had started, Muhammad Ammoun, the head of the school (formerly known as Taha Gharib school), which has 1,200 male students and 40 teachers, decided to send all of the students home due to heavy shelling in the area. After the students had left, Ammoun said he was standing in the schoolyard at the main gate with about 10 teachers when the munition hit. In addition to the dead and wounded, the attack caused minor damage to the school building and classes were cancelled for several days.”
“At the same time as the attack on the Bra`am school, there was another cluster munition attack on Khalid Sha`ar, a primary school located 400 meters away. The school, which had an enrollment of 218 students, was closed because of heavy shelling the previous day and empty at the time of the attack. The attack caused minor damage to the school yard and the school reopened a few days later.”
The incident occured at approximately 8:30 am local time.
- Muhammad Mahmoud Ismael Adult male killed
- Hani al-Muhaimid 34 years old male Teacher at Al Baraem School killed
- Mahmoud Faisal al Sbeih Adult male Teacher at Al Baraem School killed
- Doaa Al-Rahman Child Student killed
- Mrs. Suad Talja Age unknown female killed