The Russian government accused the Coalition of killing nine civilians and injuring 26 in an airstrike on an MSF hospital at Maarat al Numan. This was later denied, with a Coalition report insisting “No Coalition strikes were conducted on that day in the geographic area of the reported civilian casualties.”
According to a document and map issued by the Russian foreign ministry “On 15 February 2016 the airstrike by the US-led coalition was delivered on the “Medecins sans frontierès” hospital near the Maared al-Nuuman village. As a result of this attack 9 people were killed and 26 wounded.”
However Russia itself – along with the Assad regime – were accused of the same incident. Shaam News Network reported that the Health Directorate in Iblib “issued a statement regarding the Russian raids that targeted field hospitals today in a rural Idlib and Aleppo. The statement said that Russian warplanes had on Monday conducted air strikes which targeted a number of villages in the provinces of Aleppo and Idlib and that the largest share in these raids was the medical facilities.“
It went on to say that at “around eleven o’clock, the Russian Aviation raid targeted the Central Hospital (National) in the town of Maaret al-Numan killing three martyrs, including a nurse and a large number of wounded.“
SNN also posted a video – not specific only to this incident – entitled ‘The day of the destruction of hospitals: 5 main medical centres are out of service as a result of the planes and missiles of the Russian enemy.’
Reuters reported that “about 50 civilians were killed when missiles hit five medical centers and two schools in rebel-held Syrian towns on Monday“, according to the United Nations and local residents. The report cited the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: “Also in Marat Numan, another strike hit the National Hospital on the north edge of town, killing two nurses, the Observatory said.” But the report did not say whether Russia or the regime were responsible.
Ten images were published by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights showing “destruction by bombing by warplanes believed to be Russian on two hospitals in Maarrat al-Nu’man and its vicinity.” It said a strike on one hospital “supported by an international medical organization, killed and injured tens of people including nurses, besides missing people under the rubble which also includes nurses and doctors.” It is not clear whether these photos refer to this incident or the other incident in Maarat al Numan on this day, a strike on a MSF hospital (see entry below for February 15th).
SO4HR put the final death toll of the bombing of two hospitals (the “National hospital” which this incident refers to and the MSF hospital in the separate incident – listed below – also on February 15th) at 31 including “four children, three women citizens, and 11 doctors, nurses and laboratory specialist“.
However, the Syrian Network for Human Rights blamed shelling by the regime, which they said killed a nurse, named as Amena Hussein Al Hasan.
In their February 2020 civilian casualty report, the US-led Coalition assessed reports that they were responsible for civilian harm in this strike as “non-credible”, stating that no Coalition actions were conducted in the geographical area at that time.
The local time of the incident is unknown.
- Amena Hussein Al Hasan Adult female Named by SN4HR killed
Sources (10) [ collapse]
Attached to this civilian harm incident is the Pentagon's declassified assessment of this civilian harm allegation, obtained by Azmat Khan and the New York Times through Freedom of Information requests and lawsuits filed since March 2017, alongside the corresponding press release published by the Pentagon. Airwars is currently analysing the contents of each file, and will update our own assessments accordingly.
Original strike reports
Russia has not reported any airstrikes in Idlib for February 10th – February 16th. Additionally, they published the following in response to allegations of strikes on hospitals in the governorate for this date:
Syrian Regime Assessment:
US-led Coalition Assessment:
Civilian casualty statements
Feb 2, 2020
Feb. 15, 2016, in Maarat al Numan, Syria, via Airwars report. After a review of all available records it was assessed that no Coalition actions were conducted in the geographical area that corresponds to the report of civilian casualties. 2905/CS174 37SBV898472
Original strike reports
For February 14th-16th 2016, the Coalition publicly reported no strikes in Idlib governorate. However, any unilateral US strikes against al Nusra targets in Idlib were not publicly reported by the Coalition.