Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

RS619 CS174

Incident date

February 15, 2016

Location

مَعَرَّة النُّعْمَان, Maarat al Numan, Idlib, Syria

Geolocation

35.647038, 36.679174 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

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

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3 – 9
  • Civilians reported injured
    26
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Unknown, Syrian Regime Armed Forces, US-led Coalition

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (14) [ collapse]

  • Image showing damage to the exterior of the National Hospital in Maarat al Numan following an alleged Russian strike on Feb 15th (via SNN)
  • The interior of the National Hospital in Maarat al Numan following an alleged Russian airstrike on Feb 15th (via SNN)
  • The aftermath of the incident. (via, SOHR)
  • The aftermath of the incident. (via, SOHR)
  • The aftermath of the incident. (via, SOHR)
  • Damage to the medical facility. (via, SOHR)
  • The aftermath of the incident. (via, SOHR)
  • The aftermath of the incident. (via, SOHR)
  • The aftermath of the incident. (via, SOHR)
  • Damage to the medical facility. (via, SOHR)
  • Damage to the medical facility. (via, SOHR)
  • Damage to the medical facility. (via, SOHR)
  • The interior of the National Hospital in Maarat al Numan following an alleged Russian airstrike on Feb 15th (via SNN)
  • The Russian government accused the US-led Coalition of killing nne civilians in a strike on a hospital on February 15th 2016 (image via Russian Foreign Ministry)

Unknown Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Unknown
  • Unknown position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

Unknown

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 Armed Forces Assessment:

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

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible / Unsubstantiated
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    No Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SBV898472
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • 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

US-led Coalition

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.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3 – 9
  • Civilians reported injured
    26
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Unknown, Syrian Regime Armed Forces, US-led Coalition

Sources (10) [ collapse]