Special Reports  ::   Sukhoi: A Special Report on Attacks on the Villages of Idlib on the 3rd Anniversary of the Syrian Revolution


A Special Report on Attacks on the Villages of Idlib

 on the 3rd Anniversary of the Syrian Revolution.

Violation Documentation Center in Syria

March 2014


An image of the warplane that bombed Ihsem on 15/03/2014



     On 15/03/2014, the third anniversary of the Syrian revolution, many towns and villages in Idlib were exposed to attacks by warplanes. During these attacks the regime forces used vacuum missiles which led to the death of more than twenty civilians, the injury of dozens and the destruction of many houses.

Musab al-Shibib, a member of VDC in Syria, reported that the regime forces attacked more than nine areas on that anniversary day. He witnessed one of those attacks on the south western part of Taftanaz town while he was coming back from Turkey. The attack claimed the life of a fifth grade child named Darwish.


Musab added:


Warplanes bombard the cities and villages of Idlib every day. No day goes by without losses in lives and property due to the random use of explosive barrels, guided missiles and vacuum missiles by the regime forces. However, during that day, warplanes were hovering over Idlib and the attacks were concentrated”.




The observatories in Idlib detected the takeoff of several warplanes from “Altifor Military Airport”. Several of the bombings by these warplanes amounted to massacres, the gravest of which was that of Ma'arrat Misrin  where the bodies of more than fifteen martyrs scattered into pieces and dozens of people, including children, were injured.  Another massacre was committed in Ihsim, claiming the lives of several civilians including three children.  Furthermore, the regime forces targeted more than seven other regions by warplanes, including: Taftanaz; Aleppo-Damascus International Highway near Babila village, and Sarja village (the last being targeted by a guided missile which demolished two houses completely. The towns of Abulzohour, east of Saraqeb, and Najieh in Jisr al-Shoghour were also targeted.   

The violation Documentation Center in Syria (VDC) has contacted (N, K), a worker in one of the observatories in Idlib, specifically a Free Syrian Army observatory. He stated the following:

“On that day, we observed an intense movement of warplanes, especially toward Morak and Khan Sheikhoun fronts. Most of the warplanes heading to Idlib took off from Altifor Airport. At 9:30 am, a Sukhoi 22 flew towards the north, over Hama, Khan Sheikhoun and Ma’arrat al-No’aman and on to the northern part of Idlib's countryside. It went around the area, dropped a vacuum missile on Ma'arrat Misrin, and then flew back to the south after it had poured some kerosene into the air.”  


The Vacuum Missiles:

The dissident First Lieutenant Abu Ali, from Aleppo City Brigade, which is affiliated to al-Mujahideen Army, described the Vacuum Missiles as follows: 

 "Guidance for air missiles has several types: thermo-guidance and traditional guidance by dropping. The term "guided" relates to how the missile reaches its target, there being non-guided ones too such as the M-4.  As for the Sukhoi 22 - known to be a warplane designed for maneuvers and clashes - it can carry a number of missiles weighing from 2 to 4 tons, which means it is suitable for the vacuum missile.

The highly destructive Russian-made vacuum missile is filled with an explosive load that weighs about 750 kilograms. Additionally, the Syrian army has several sophisticated Iranian models of this missile, which they developed by adding the Russian load.

The missile can kill before and after it explodes, for it first draws in oxygen and turns the atmosphere into a powerful high pressure which causes the massive explosion, which in turn causes its own heavy damage. The total length of the missile is 16 meters, which is almost as long as a Scud missile. However, the missiles the Sukhoi drops are 4.5 m miniatures of it”

The Moment the warplane attacked its target - Ihsim 15/03/2014


First: Ma’arrat Misrin Massacre

At 9:30 am, a Sukhoi 22 bombed a market in Ma’arat Misrin with a vacuum missile, which resulted in dozens of martyrs and casualties. The final toll was 17 civilian martyrs including three children and three women whose bodies were scattered into pieces.

Activist Bahjat al-Najjar, a member of Ma’arrt Misrin News Network, described the attack as follows:

“On 15-3-2014, at about 9:30 am, I was at my home near the market. I heard the sound of a warplane and then the rebels began informing each other on their pagers that there might be an air strike on the southern part of Idlib’s countryside.  So I got out to watch the plane and film the bombardment. Suddenly, a massive explosion could be heard and a cloud of dust arose from the middle of Ma’arrat Misrin where the highly crowded main market was. At that time of the day, all shops were open and people were shopping. It is worth mentioning that the targeted area had no military presence of the FSA what so ever, and that the city was calm prior to the attack and had not been bombarded or shelled."


Bahjat added:

"Following the explosion, I ran to the place that had been hit. There was dust everywhere and the bodies and carnages filled the street. The shops were destroyed…tens of them were completely demolished, and more than fifty casualties were there. People began rushing them to the nearby hospital. In the morning, the number of martyrs counted was 14, then another 3 passed away due to their injuries. There were 23 wounded, whose cases varied from medium to critical. No minor cases were reported.

Half an hour after the attack, the regime forces and "Shabiha" in Fo'aa village began an artillery shelling on the area. Six shells fell causing the destruction of buildings, the burning of a house near al-Sa’a Square and the damage to one of the media offices.” 



Ma’arrat Misrin 15-3-2014

Martyr Dr. Ammar al-Asfari


Second: Other Attacks

The city of Ihsim also witnessed a massacre on that day. A Sukhoi dropped a vacuum missile on the western neighborhood of the village at about 11:30 am, which caused the immediate complete destruction of several houses, the death of five civilians and the injury of another ten.

Apparently, the bombing was aimed at a military headquarter of one of the fighting battalions, but the missile hit the civilian houses next to al-Rajaa Hospital close to Balshon Street. Among the martyrs were the three children of Khalid Fadel; Huda, Safaa and Ahmed.


Pictures of Ma’arrat Misrin Massacre 15-3-2014




In addition to Ihsim, a warplane bombed Taftanaz in mid-afternoon of that same day, according to the media activist Ismael Altaftanazi. He added:

“At noon the city of Taftanaz, which had not been shelled for a long period of time before then, was calm and there was no presence of the Free Syrian Army or any other armed movement. Then, we heard the sound of a military aircraft hovering and circling over the city. After that, it fired a missile that landed on the south western part of the city. The missile, which fell on the street, killed an eleven-year-old-child: Darwish Hussein Darwish, slightly injured a man who was driving a motorcycle and partially damaged a shop near the barrier.  Additionally, the electricity wires were cut off. Finally, the warplane left toward the south. "


An Appendix of the Martyrs and Casualties                             *Maarat Mesrin

The Martyrs

1-Mahmoud Ahmad Salam Aleik
2-Ahmad Yeyha Abu Hasan

3-Alaa Bakhouri

4-Muna Bakhouri

5-Omar Msaher

6-Dr. Ammar Asfari

7-Saed al-Abed

8-Hasan Ghazal

9-Ahmad Amoura Abu Nader

10-Omar Mashhal

11-Ibraheem Asaad- a displaced

12-Saed Taqqo- a displaced from Ariha

13-Shaleh Muhammad Sakhouri- a displaced from Babolin

14-15-16-17- an unidentified woman and three other men who died due to their wounds



The Wounded and Casualties

1-Razan Asaad

2-Afraa and another child of al-Fakhouri Family

3-Lokan Hanano Abu Yehya

4-Hasan al-Merei- a displaced

5-Nour AbdulMajeed Shahin- a displaced

6-Hasan Jasem

7-Shaker Bahaa al-Deen Bdeiri

8-Anas Mustafa Yaseen

9- The daughter of Haseeb Ashouri

10-Samer Jaabban

11-Bakri Sheikh Salem

12-Hasan Nihad Sawan

13-Hadi Nihad Sawan

14-Nihad Sawan’s wife

15-Bade’e al-Am

16-Ahmad Hijazi

17-Imad Bdeiwi from Ram Hamdan

18-Abdullah al-Abd

19-Firas Sheikh Salim

20-Yaser Sheikh Salim

21-Samer Saleh

22-Khaled Sakhouri

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