Home Investigative Reports Syria: Assault on Idlib Leaves Numerous Casualties, Mostly Children and Women

Syria: Assault on Idlib Leaves Numerous Casualties, Mostly Children and Women

Syrian military and its Russian ally intensified military action prior to seizing Al-Tamanah on August 30, 2019

by bassamalahmed
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Syrian troops backed by Russian airpower continue to escalate their hostilities on southern rural Idlib, especially on the villages located on the Damascus-Aleppo international highway (known as M5), which goes through Idlib. In this report, STJ details the bombardments took place on 27, 28 and 29 August 2019, and the casualties resulted from them, which eventually led to the Syrian forces and allied controlling the town of Al-Tamanah eastern the town of Khan Shaykhun on August 30, 2019.[1]

On August 29, 2019 Syrian Army jets bombed residential neighborhoods in the village of Maar Shamshah,[2] located near the M5 highway, killing four civilians, including two women and a child and forcing many civilians to flee towards the border areas.

On August 28, 2019 regime warplanes fired all the 12 missiles they were loaded with, on residential neighborhoods in the city of Ma`arat al-Nu`man, which is located on the M5 highway.[3] That resulted in a massacre involving at least 13 deaths and 36 injuries among civilians, most of whom were children between 2 and 15 years of age. The attack caused significant material damage to properties of civilians as well, prompting many of them to move to safer areas.

On August 27, 2019, the Syrian Army attacked residential areas in the village of Ma’ar Shoreen[4]-3 km away from Ma`arat al-Nu`man city and near the M5 highway- with barrel bombs and naval mines, killing, injuring and displacing numerous civilians.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said that the Syrian forces would begin a unilateral ceasefire in Idlib on August 31, 2019.[5] But STJ field researcher, however, confirmed that the military operations didn’t completely stop in Idlib despite the ceasefire agreement.

This wasn’t the first time southern rural Idlib witnessed such offensive by the Syrian Army and allies. STJ had documented earlier attacks on residential neighborhoods in northern rural Hama and the town of Khan Shaykhun, which claimed the lives of many civilians, mostly children.[6]


Who controls what in Idlib, September 9, 2019. Photo credit: Syria live map. (STJ made some changes).


A satellite image illustrates the locations of Ma`arat al-Nu`man city, and the villages of Ma’ar Shoreen and Maar Shamshah, located on the M5 highway in southern rural Idlib.


You may read and download the full version of the report in PDF format by clicking here. (the version contain full details about many incidents).



[1] The Syrian forces and allies managed to control the town of Khan Shaykhun on August 21, 2019.

[2] Controlled by Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS).

[3] Controlled by HTS.

[4] Controlled by HTS.

[5] “Syrian army to unilaterally cease fire in Idlib tomorrow”, RT, August 30, 2019 https://arabic.rt.com/middle_east/1041984-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AF%D9%81%D8%A7%D8%B9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%B3%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%AA%D8%B9%D9%84%D9%86-%D9%88%D9%82%D9%81-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AC%D9%8A%D8%B4-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B3%D9%88%D8%B1%D9%8A-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%86%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D9%81%D9%8A-%D8%A5%D8%AF%D9%84%D8%A8-%D8%BA%D8%AF%D8%A7/?fbclid=IwAR0TN-EcYGZwo7Opd_4QmULU3ybFZUbfiXaKoG6ogOOdmoWcDmrz8l46B6s.

[6] “Syria: Violent Airstrikes Take Toll on Civilians, including Children, in Southern Rural Idlib”, STJ, August 31, 2019 https://stj-sy.org/en/syria-violent-airstrikes-take-toll-on-civilians-including-children-in-southern-rural-idlib/.

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