Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

YS086

Incident date

February 4, 2020

Location

عفرين, Afrin, Aleppo, Syria

Airwars assessment

Two civilians were killed and twelve others, among which five children, were reportedly injured in alleged YPG artillery strikes on two schools in Afrin city on February 4th, 2020, according to local sources.

Shabha Press reported that “wounded and material damages were caused by the PYD militia targeting Al Shari’a school in the city of Afrin, north of Aleppo, with rocket launchers.” Shaam News Network reported that two civilians were killed. While most sources reported that eight civilians were injured, the Syrian Civil Defence in Aleppo published the names of one killed victim and thirteen injured victims, among which at least five children.

The Syrian Civil Defence reported that Abd Al-Sami’ Khallas had died in the airstrikes. Whereas SCD initially reported that 19-year-old Yassin Al Hamrawi had been injured, Sami Al Boush and Osama Al Masri later wrote on Facebook that the young man had died from his injuries.

The Syrian Network for Human Rights blamed the SDF for shelling “Al Ittehad al Arabi School – while an educational course took place inside the school – in the middle of Afrin city in the northern suburbs of Aleppo governorate, injuring eight students, partially destroying its building and damaging its furniture, on February 4.”

Mf-Sy’s News correspondent stated that “the SDF militia targeted the city of Afrin with a number of rocket-propelled grenades”, leading to one killed civilian and 12 wounded.

It should be noted that sources posted photos of a classroom stating it was Al Shari’ah school, whereas SN4HR posted a photo of the same classroom, stating that it was Al Ittehad school. It is possible that Al Shari’ah and Al Ittehad are referring to the same school, or that both schools were targeted, as several sources, such as @aa_arabic, reported that two schools and a mosque had been targeted.

However, a third school name was mentioned by @AdelPerwin, who tweeted that “several shells landed on Amir Al Ghbari School for Girls”, adding the same photo. This seems unlikely, as a video posted by @ZahedaRashkilo2 showed more of the evacuation of the site. Mainly young men can be seen leaving the classroom.

The Turkish Ministry of Defence (@tcsavunma) tweeted that “the bloody PKK / YPG terrorist organization targeting innocent civilians in the northern part of Syria, especially with bomb vehicle attacks, now fired four Grad missiles in two schools and one mosque in the centre of Afrin. One student died and seven students were injured in the terrorist organization’s low attack.

Sy-24 reported that “military sources confirmed that the shells were fired from the areas where the SDF militias are deployed at the Meng military airport and the vicinity of the city of Tal Rifaat.”

While sources blamed YPG-related militias, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that “the Turkish forces stationed in the northern countryside of Aleppo fired several rockets targeting Al Ittihad School, Al Sharia School and some residential neighbourhoods in the Turkish-controlled city of Afrin, north-west of Aleppo”.

@NewrozJamo21 blamed Syrian regime forces stationed in the city of Nubl, adding that the strike was reportedly a response to an earlier Turkish bombing near a Russian base near the village of Keshtar. Hence, Airwars has rated this incident as contested.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 2
  • (1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    12
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    YPG forces, Turkish Armed Forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (25) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (18) [ collapse]

  • Damage after alleged YPG artillery strikes on Al Shari’a school in the city of Afrin, Aleppo governorate, on February 4th, 2020 (via @ShahbaPress).
  • Presumably students in the aftermath of alleged YPG artillery strikes on Al Shari’a school in the city of Afrin, Aleppo governorate, on February 4th, 2020. However, other sources posted the same photo, claiming it was taken in Al Ittehad school (via @ShahbaPress).
  • Damaged classroom after alleged YPG artillery strikes on Al Shari’a school in the city of Afrin, Aleppo governorate, on February 4th, 2020 (via @ShahbaPress).
  • Damaged classroom after alleged YPG artillery strikes on Al Shari’a school in the city of Afrin, Aleppo governorate, on February 4th, 2020 (via SCD Aleppo).
  • Injured boy in an ambulance after alleged YPG artillery strikes on Al Shari’a school in the city of Afrin, Aleppo governorate, on February 4th, 2020 (via SCD Aleppo).
  • Injured boy and man in an ambulance after alleged YPG artillery strikes on Al Shari’a school in the city of Afrin, Aleppo governorate, on February 4th, 2020 (via SCD Aleppo).
  • Injured man in an ambulance after alleged YPG artillery strikes on Al Shari’a school in the city of Afrin, Aleppo governorate, on February 4th, 2020 (via SCD Aleppo).
  • Injured boy in an ambulance after alleged YPG artillery strikes on Al Shari’a school in the city of Afrin, Aleppo governorate, on February 4th, 2020 (via SCD Aleppo).
  • Aftermath of alleged Turkish shelling on residential neighborhoods in the Turkish-controlled city of Afrin, north west of Aleppo on February 4th 2020 (via SCD).
  • Reportedly the bombed school after artillery strikes. Whereas all sources blamed the YPG, the source who posted this photo stated that the Syrian regime was the belligerent (via @NewrozJamo21 ).
  • Wounded young man after alleged YPG artillery strikes on a school in Afrin on February 4th, 2020 (via @NewrozJamo21).
  • Aftermath of alleged YPG artillery strikes on Afrin, February 4th, 2020 (via @afrinactivists).
  • Presumably blood in a car after alleged YPG artillery strikes on the city of Afrin on February 4th, 2020 (via @AdelPerwin).
  • Presumably a hole in the roof of Amir Al Ghbari School for Girls after alleged YPG artillery strikes on the city of Afrin on February 4th, 2020. Other sources claimed that the attack targeted Al Ittihad School and/or Al Sharia School (via @AdelPerwin).
  • Aftermath of alleged YPG artillery strikes on Afrin, February 4th, 2020 (via Anadolu Agency).
  • Tweet by the Turkish Ministry of Defence, blaming the YPG for artillery strikes on the city of Afrin on February 4th, 2020 (via tcsvavunma).
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Yassin Al Hamrawi, reportedly a student of one of the targeted schools, was killed in alleged YPG airstrikes on February 4th, 2020 (via Sami Al Boush on Facebook).
  • Students being evacuated after alleged YPG artillery strikes in the city of Afrin, February 4th 2020 (via ZahedaRashkilo2).

YPG forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    YPG forces
  • YPG forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Turkish Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Syrian Regime Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 2
  • (1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    12
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    YPG forces, Turkish Armed Forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (25) [ collapse]