In a second day of airstrikes on Raqqa, 43 civilians were reported killed and 60 injured – though sources are conflicted as to whether this was the work of Russia or the Assad regime – with one report suggesting this may be a Coalition incident.
The Daesh agency Al A’maq said there had been nine raids by Russia on various “crowded” neighborhoods in the city, killing 43 and wounding 60. They published graphic footage of the event. Al Jazeera also blamed Russia, reporting that warplanes had carried out nine raids, killing more thna 40 and injuring dozens more.
An initial report by Shaam News Network spoke of a “terrible massacre against unarmed civilians conducted by air raids thought to be Russian“. However, a second report said this was either a Russian or Coalition incident: “…the city came under dozens of air raids from aircraft believed to be a Russian or an international coalition.” A subsequent report by SNN also referred to the incident in Raqqa on March 18th, adding: “Activists said the air raids targeted civilian areas and public squares directly away from the headquarters of the organization, resulting in 20 martyrs yesterday [March 18th], but today more than 20 have been killed and dozens more wounded, packing the hospitals in the city.” It said that the focus of the airstrikes was “on Karnak Square in Tel Abiyad Street and Al Ferdous neighbourhood, Al Mourour street and Al Sina’iya area and al Thakana“.
Initial reports by Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently did not say who who carried out the raids, though further reports alleged Russia was responsible for nine strikes – killing 43 civilians and wounding 60 more – which targeted the following areas:
1.Alkarnak Square in Tel Abyad Street – targeted with three missiles, one of them behind behind Alandalus bakery, another on the square and a third on Alkarnak mall.
2. Alssinaea area
3. The area next to Alnnawawi mosque.
4. The park of 4th of April, Alsleby building
5. Neighborhood of althukna – Hospitality Palace Road
6. Alfirdaws neighborhood – the Chamber of Commerce – the corner of the children’s park
9. National Hospital
10. Panorama area
However, the Syrian Network for Human Rights said that the regime was to blame:”The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) has accused the Assad regime of targeting civilian areas in IS-controlled areas. It said that the regime carried out airstrikes against Raqqa, an IS stronghold, on March 18 and 19, killing 32 civilians, including six children. The targets were civilian areas, with no military or weapons facilities in the vicinity.”
Sky News – citing the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights – reported: “At least 39 people, including five children and seven women, were killed in an air strike which targeted several areas in the Syrian city of Raqqa.The Syrian Observatory said it was unclear whether the warplanes were Russian regime.”
Both the BBC and France24 also cited the Observatory in their reports.
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.
The victims were named as:
Family members (2)
- Mohammed Al-Rashed Age unknown male killed
- Zahra al-Faihan, mother of Mohammed Al-Rashed Adult female killed
Family members (2)
- Ruba, daughter of Abu Waddah Al-Sukhni Age unknown female killed
- Amira, daughter of Abu Waddah Al-Sukhni Age unknown female killed
- Issa Al Karat Adult male Agricultural engineer killed
- Abdallah Mahmoud al Nijm Age unknown male killed
- Ibrahim Al Rawaba 70 years old male killed
- Mohammad Khalaf Al Zagheer Age unknown male From the village of al Assadiya killed
- Ammar Al-Mufdi Age unknown male killed
- Um Muhannad Adult female Wife of Haj Mohammed killed
- Aziza Al-Qadro Age unknown female killed
- Hamudi, son of Abu Mohammed Age unknown male killed
- Ali, son of Um Waddah Age unknown male killed
- Tala’at Mohammad Amin Hussein al Assa’ad Adult male killed
Sources (31) [ collapse]
Original strike reports
Russia has published no known record of strikes in Syria for March 1st to March 19t-20th.
Syrian Regime Assessment:
US-led Coalition Assessment:
Civilian casualty statements
Feb 2, 2020
March 19, 2016, in Raqqah, 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. 2925/CS192 37SEV008784