Between two and 23 civilians were reported injured and at least one person alleged to be a civilian, a journalist, was killed during alleged Russian airstrikes on the Al Dwailah area near Salqin, west of the city of Kafr Takharim, in the northwestern countryside of Idlib on October 26, 2020. Multiple sources stated that the Russian forces targeted a military training camp belonging to the Turkish-backed “Sham Legion”, one of the factions of the National Liberation Front (NLF). Local sources reported that between 30 and 90 fighters sustained injuries and up to 78 fighters were killed as a result of the alleged Russian airstrikes. Step News Agency said that the NLF camp was located close to camps for displaced people and that the proximity of the raids to these camps resulted in civilian harm.
Regarding civilian deaths, @MousaAlomar and others reported that the journalist Rasheed al-Bakr died as a result of the Russia attack. Al Araby quoted activist Mustafa Muhammad according to whom “Al-Bakr was killed (…) while covering the graduation of a military course for fighters from the “Al-Sham Legion”, in Jabal Al-Duwailah. He explained that [al-Bakr] was working as a photographer for several local agencies, and was also active in covering humanitarian events in the Kafr Takharim area near the Syrian-Turkish border. However, Hadiabdullah and Minbersham claimed that al-Bakr was part of the NLF’s media office and that he had “great participation in the popular movement, especially in Kafr Takharim.”
A correspondent from Step Agency said that “more than 20 people were killed in an initial outcome in the bombing, most of them were “Sham Legion” fighters, and among them were civilians, as a result of the proximity of the raids to the Talmanes [IDP] camp on the Syrian-Turkish border. @abo_gamal_1 reported that 25 people were killed in the Russian airstrikes, without specifying the status of the individuals. Resala Post published the names of 29 casualties, also without specifying their status. However, Syria TV posted the same 29 names plus seven additional names, explicitly stating that these people were members of the Sham Legion.
Regarding wounded civilians, Aramme reported that among the dead and wounded, although mostly Sham Legion fighters, were also civilians who lived in a camp near the targeted area. @SyrianCoalition tweeted that “[t]he raids carried out by the Russian occupation on the camp located in the Duwaila area in Idlib countryside, also included the bombing of the village of Al-Duwailah and the camp in it, which left many civilians injured, and dozens of them are still under the rubble.” @Nasr_Haririr stated that dozens of people were injured and killed as a result of Russian airstrikes, most of them cadets of the Sham Legion. This indicates that there were also some civilian casualties.
Regarding belligerent harm, Alkhabour stated that “[t]he Russian warplanes launched raids with high-explosive bombs on the Al-Duwailah area in the western countryside of Idlib, killing more than 30 fighters and wounding more than 30 other fighters of the National Liberation Front.”
A correspondent from Step News Agency reported that “the [NLF military training] camp contained about 200 fighters and leaders from the faction, and as a result of the targeting more than half of them were killed or wounded, as the number of dead reached 36 and more than 90 wounded.” Initially, Step had reported that more than 20 people, most of them Sham Legion fighters, were killed.
Syria TV documented the names of 36 killed members of the Sham Legion, stating that “the number can be increased due to the presence of injuries in critical condition, as the number of injured ranges between 50 and 75 injured, who have been distributed to a number of hospitals.”
The Daily mail reported that Russian airstrikes on a training camp killed more than 50 Turkish-backed militia fighters. It further said that the “Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the war in Syria, gave a higher toll of 78 fighters dead and nearly 90 wounded.”
Al Jazeera quoted Naji Mustafa, spokesman for the NLF, according to whom the raid was “”a clear and continuous breach of the de-escalation agreement signed between Russia and Turkey (…).” This is corroborated by a statement from US ambassador James Jeffrey, the Special Representative for Communication in Syria, that was posted by Raqqa.rwb. In the statement the US expresses its concerns about the “dangerous escalation by pro-regime forces and apparent violation of the March 5 Idlib ceasefire agreement.”
The Daily Mail said that “Syrian rebel groups vowed to retaliate.” Shaam reported that “[a]s a result of the shelling of the media activist, Rashid al-Bakr, the rebel factions responded by targeting the strongholds of the Assad forces on the axes of the cities of Kafr Nabl, Saraqib, Maarat al-Numan and the towns of al-Dar al-Kabir, Khan al-Sabil, Hazarin, Jubas, al-Hasa, al-Majalla and Kafr Batikh with artillery shells, which led to deaths and injuries, and the factions killed two members of the Assad forces Sniper rifle on the axis of Al Dar Al Kabira.”
All sources attributed the airstrikes on the Al Dwailah area to the Russian Armed forces. The Manbij Military Council said that “the aviation observatories in the northern regions of Syria reported that they had monitored the take-off of a Russian “Sikhoy 30” warplane from the Hmeimim air base, which carried out its full cargo on the Duwailah area.” According to Alkhabour, the raids on Al Dwailah were carried out with high-explosive bombs. Euphrates Post and Step referred to Russian media outlets who claimed that Russia destroyed the Sham Legion camp with “half a ton of explosives”.
The incident allegedly took place in the morning.
The incident occured in the morning.
- Rashid Al-Bakr Adult male Media Activist killed