Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

RS764

Incident date

April 26, 2016

Location

الأتارب, Atarib, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.1375975, 36.8284035 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

Five consecutive airstrikes on a civil defense center in Atarib killed up to six members of the White Helmets. Reports however were conflicted: most blame the Assad regime, with only one (the Shaam News Network) alleging that this was the work of Russia – and reporting here was confused.

According to the White Helmets, there were “several raids by warplanes using ballistic missiles“. They said that the regime carried out the attack, killing five members of the civil defense and injuring two more when the civil defense center was struck.

A White Helmets’ eyewitness gave the following testimony in a video: “The regime tried to hit al Atareb civil defence centre. They carried out two raids at 11:00 at night and there were no injuries as the missiles fell in the olives groves. Then they came back after 1 o’clock in the morning and carried out the first and the second strike and the guys were OK, but then the third strike came and hit the centre. I mean, half the guys were in pieces and then the fourth raid came to finish them off. Five were martyred, two were injured and two are totally fine. The equipment is all destroyed, the ambulances, the rescue cars: all of it. There is no centre anymore. There were cluster bombs. When the guys came to help us, two more missiles were fired. You can see one of them there: about 12 meters long and still smoking. This one didn’t cause any injuries.”

A later statement by the Syrian Civil Defense (White Helmets) said:  “At exactly one o’clock after midnight on Tuesday, the twenty sixth of April 2016, Al Ataerb Center of Civil Defense was targeted  by warplanes with five consecutive strikes. [It went] as follows: The first raid was on the northern corner of the center after which volunteers headed to the basic shelter that was dug up in the centre. The second second raid hit the northwest of the center and the third raid hit the shelter directly killing five of the volunteers. The White Helmets identified the first five victims seen below.

The same raid led to injuries amongst the rest of the team members – with medium and light injuries. The fourth raid destroyed the buildings and the sleeping quarters and the last raid targeted the ambulance garage and other machinery leading to the full  destruction of all the equipment of the center. 45 minutes after the raids a ballistic missile mounted with cluster bombs was launched from the regime defense centres south of Aleppo toward the center and fell outside the center.”

However, according to an initial report by Shaam News, Russia was responsible: “Activists said the Russian bombardment directly targeted the civil defense center with several air raids with rockets”. They named the same victims as the White Helmets but later added that Mohammad Bakour (“the driver“) and Abboud al Mukhtar were injured. But there was some confusion in reporting, with SNN later saying that the “Civil defence centre in al Atareb that was destroyed by Assad’s planes and missiles“. In a third posting, it reverted to its original position and said Russia was to blame.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights published 10 images showing damage caused by the bombardment, though did not specify which warplanes were responsible. It put the death toll at six – all members of the White Helmets – with further civilians injured.

A news brief by the Syrian Network for Human Rights attributed the incident to the regime. A later report said that six were killed, of which five were members of the White Helmets, with two other non-combatants wounded.

 

The incident occured at approximately 11:00 pm local time.

  • Ahmed Tariq  Al-Abdullah Adult male killed
  • Khalid Mohammed Bashar al-Khatib Adult male killed
  • Ahmed Tahir Adult male killed
  • Hussein Haj Ismail Orabi Adult male killed
  • Hamdo Haj Ibrahim Adult male killed
  • Mohammad Bakour Adult male killed
  • Abboud al Mukhtar Adult male injured

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5 – 6
  • (6 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1–2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Armed Forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (20) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (27) [ collapse]

  • White Helmets video allegedly showing the aftermath of the strikes targeting the civil defense centre in Atarib, Aleppo (via White Helmets)
  • Video of the Kalalli centre under the Syrian Civil defence being targeted by airstrikes (White helmets Idlib)
  • Aftermath of the contested airstrikes targeting Atarib, Aleppo (via SNN)
  • Aftermath of the contested airstrikes targeting Atarib, Aleppo (via SNN)
  • Aftermath of the contested airstrikes targeting Atarib, Aleppo (via SNN)
  • Aftermath of the contested airstrikes targeting Atarib, Aleppo (via SNN)
  • Aftermath of the contested airstrikes targeting Atarib, Aleppo (via SNN)
  • Ballistic missiles carrying cluster bombs were reportedly used in the airstrikes targeting Atareb town, Aleppo (via SNN)
  • Ballistic missiles carrying cluster bombs were reportedly used in the airstrikes targeting Atareb town, Aleppo (via SNN)
  • Ballistic missiles carrying cluster bombs were reportedly used in the airstrikes targeting Atareb town, Aleppo (via SNN)
  • Ballistic missiles carrying cluster bombs were reportedly used in the airstrikes targeting Atareb town, Aleppo (via SNN)
  • Picture showing the damage the strikes caused on the civil defense centre in Atarib, Aleppo (via SNN)
  • Material damages caused by aerial bombardment targeting a civil defense centre in Atarib, Aleppo (via SOHR)
  • Remnants from the strikes targeting Atarib, Aleppo (via SOHR)
  • Aftermath of aerial bombardment targeting a civil defense centre in Atarib, Aleppo (via SOHR)
  • Aftermath of aerial bombardment targeting a civil defense centre in Atarib, Aleppo (via SOHR)
  • Aftermath of aerial bombardment targeting a civil defense centre in Atarib, Aleppo (via SOHR)
  • Remnant of the bombardment targeting a civil defense centre in Atarib, Aleppo (via SOHR)
  • Remnant of the bombardment targeting a civil defense centre in Atarib, Aleppo (via SOHR)
  • Remnant of the bombardment targeting a civil defense centre in Atarib, Aleppo (via SOHR)
  • Remnant of the bombardment targeting a civil defense centre in Atarib, Aleppo (via SOHR)
  • White Helmets video showing the aftermath and rescuing efforts following the strikes targeting a civil defense centre in Atarib, Aleppo (via White Helmets)
  • Hussein Ismail, civil defense worker and victim of the strikes targeting Atarib, Aleppo (via SN4HR)
  • Ahmad Tareq Abdullah, civil defense member and victim of the strikes targeting Atarib, Aleppo (via SN4HR)
  • Khaled Mohammad al-Khateeb, civil defense member and victim of the strikes targeting Atarib, Aleppo (via SN4HR)
  • Ahmad Taher, civil defense member and victim of the strikes targeting Atarib, Aleppo (via SN4HR)
  • Hamdi Haj Ibrahim, civil defense member and victim of the strikes targeting Atarib, Aleppo (via SN4HR)

Russian Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Armed Forces
  • Russian Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

Russian Armed Forces

The Kremlin has issued no public accounts of airstrikes in Syria from April 1st – 30th.

Syrian Regime Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5 – 6
  • (6 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1–2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Armed Forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (20) [ collapse]