المرصد السوري لحقوق الانسان
The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

The heavy price of capturing M5 Highway by Russian-led regime forces: 2.2 millions displaced and 8,15 killed

The most violent and brutal military escalation ever in the “de-escalation” zone, stretching from the north-eastern mountains of Lattakia to the north-western suburbs of Aleppo city passing through both Hama and Idlib, has completed its tenth consecutive month.

Over the past ten months, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights tracked all major developments on the ground, systematic killing and mass displacement of people. The fiercest escalation ever started on the 30th of April 2019, following unprecedented flare-up in Russian and regime aerial and ground bombardment which ultimately paved the way for several ground offensives. These successive violent assaults enabled the Syrian regime to recover 346 cities, towns and villages, to achieve  the Russian and regime major objective by controlling the strategic Damascus – Aleppo international highway (M5).

Syrian civilians are the only victims of these operations which have been killing, maiming and displacing powerless people and destroying  properties on a mass scale. At the same time, the international community seems satisfied with mere condemnations and press releases,  and relieved by the recently signed but fragile Russia – Turkish ceasefire agreement.

Since late April 2019, Syrian Observatory activists have also documented the displacement of nearly 2,200,000 civilians fleeing the Russian and regime brutality. A large number of those IDPs are staying in the open in nearby agricultural land,  while others have chosen to go  to their relatives in the depth of Idlib city and the northern and north-western parts of Aleppo. Many others resorted to refugee camps on the border with Iskenderun region.

It is worth mentioning that this area has seen second-time or multiple-times displacements, as the regime and Russian intensive military operations forced many families in areas in Hama, Idlib and Aleppo to flee once again to other places. The warlords’ practices and profiteering contributed to the  worsening of this humanitarian crisis and suffering; one example, among many, is the hike of house prices and rent to a level unaffordable by the many. Meanwhile, the Turkish Jandarma continue killing the Syrians who search for a save haven on the border with Turkey, the “de-escalation” guarantor.

Since the start of the military escalation  on the 30th of April 2019, SOHR has documented the killing of 8,149 people in the “de-escalation” zone. The death toll is as follows:

1,770 civilians, including 465 children and 311 women all killed by Russian airstrikes,  regime and factions’ rocket shelling:

  • 577 civilians, including 143 children, 103 females, nine of the civil defense and six of the ambulance crew, were killed in Russian aerial bombardment on Idlib and Hama
  • 120 civilians, including 23 women and 24 children, were killed by regime helicopters’ bombardment using barrel-bombs.
  • 710 civilians, including 202 children, 119 women and six members of rescue teams, were killed in airstrikes by regime jets.
  • 245 civilians, including 45 women and 60 children, were killed in shelling by regime ground forces.
  • 118 civilians, including 36 children and 21 women, were killed in opposition factions’ shelling on al-Suqaylabiyah, Qamhana, Al-Rasif, Al-Aziziyah, Karnaz, Jurin, Al-Nairab Camp, neighborhoods in Aleppo city and southern countryside.

2,265 jihadis among 3,332 opposition fighters were killed in bombardment and fierce clashes with regime forces and allies.

3,047 regime soldiers and loyalists were killed in the same period, of whom 170 soldiers were killed in Turkish drone attacks.

Recently, the area has seen undeniable shifts of power and influence on the ground. Reliable SOHR sources  have confirmed that regime forces have captured more than 276 cities, towns and villages in Idlib, Hama and Aleppo provinces since the recent ground operation was launched on January 24.

In Idlib and Hama, regime forces captured the following 158 areas: (1) Telmans, (2) Ma’ar Shmasha, (3) Deir Sharqi, (4) Deir Al-Gharbi, (5) Ma’ar Shmarin, (6) Ma’rata, (7) Al-Ghadfa, (8) Ma’ar Shourin, (9) Al-Za’alana, (10) Al-Dana, (11) Tal Sheikh, (12) Sawami’e, (13) Khirbet Mezyan, (14) Masaran, (15) Bsida, (16) Taqana, (17) Babolin, (18) Kafr Bassin, (19) Marhatat, (20) Hamidia, (21) Dar Al-Salaam, (22) Salhia, (23) Kafruma, (24) Maarrat Al-Nu’man city, (25) Wadi Al-Daif, (26) Hantutin, (27) Al-Jarrada, (28) Al-Ruwayha, (29) Al-Qahiryah, (30) Khan al-Sobol town, (31) Mardebseh, (32) Al-Hartamiyah, Qamhana, (33) Abu Juraif, (34) Tal Khatrah, (35) Tal Musaytif, (36) Al-Kana’es, (37) Karsyan, (38) Hish, (39) Kafr Mazdah, (40) Jabbalah, (41) Muqah, (42) Al-Amudiyah, (43) Armanya, (44) Kafr Batikh, (45) Dadikh, (46) Luf, (47) Anqarati, (48) Jubas, (49) Sannan, (50) Zakkar, (51) Tarnabeh, (53) Mardikh, (54) Tal Mardikh, (55) Kaddur, (56) Al-Ruwayha, (57) the Abandoned Battalion, (58) Al-Balisah, (59) Al-Wasitah, (60) Kuwayris, (61) Tal Al-Agher, (62) Al-Mushayrafah, (63) Tawil Al-Halib, (64) Al-Raqim, (65) Jadidat Al-Khatrah, (66) Sheikh Idrees, (67) Baj’as, (68) Al-Rayyan, (69) Tal Al-Rumman, (70) Parisa, (71) al-Hammamat, (72) Tal al-Sultan, (73) Om Sharshuh, (74) al-Khashakhish, (75) Tal Ibrahim, (76) Jabal al-Taweel, (77) Mas’adah, (78) Ras Al-Ain, (79) Shuha, (80) Kafr Amim, (81) Tal Rihan, (82) Al-Rasafah, (83) Islamin, (84) Abu Al-Khashah, (85) Tal Al-Tuqan, (86) Jlas, (87) Sheikh Mansur, (88) Al-Duwayrah, (89) Saraqeb, (91) Maarrat Al-Na’saan, (92) Sheikh Damis, (93) Hantutin, (94) Rakaya, (95) Tal Al-Nar, (96) Kafr Sajna, (97) Sheikh Mustafa, (98) Naqir, (99) Satuh Al-Deir, (100) Arinbeh, (101) Um Sir, (102) Maarrat Al-Sin, (103) Jabbala, (104) Maarrat Mater, (105) Arinbeh, (106) Maarrat Hurmah, (107) Maar Zita, (108) Ba’rabu, (109) Basqala, (110) Hass, (111) Kafr Nubl, (112) Hazarin, (113) Tremla, (114) Al-Dar Al-Kaberah, (115) Jibbin, (116) Hassanah, (117) Al-Faqi’, (118) Karsa’a, (119) Al-Lubaydah, (120) Ftirah, (121) Malaja, (122) Kafr Mous, (123) Kawkaba Al-Qasirah, (124) Kawkaba Al-Tawilah, (125) Um Nir, (126) Rasha, (127) Shoulin and other villages, hills and positions in the eastern and south-eastern countryside of Idlib, and (128) Hwaijah, (129) Al-Hawwash, (130) Al-Amqiyah, (131) Jesr Bayt al-Ras, (132) Tanjarah, (133) Al-Dayrouniyah, (134) Al-Sherkah, (135) Al-Arima, (136) Shir Maghar, (137) Maydan Ghazal, (138) Shahrnaz, (139) Hourtah, (140) Jurn, (141) Deir Sunbul, (142) Lubaydah, (143) Kura, (144) Sahhab, (145) Deir Sunbul, (146) Al-Sahriayh in the western and north-western countryside of Hama.

Meanwhile, regime forces managed to take control of 118 areas in Aleppo; they are as follows: (1) Khan Tuman, (2) warehouses of Khan Tuman, (3) Al-Khalidyah, (4) Rajam, (5)Hazmer Hills, (6) Kherbet Kharas, (7) Tal Al-Zaytun, (8) Maarata, (9) Al-Rashideen fifth sector, (10) Zammar, (11) Jazraya, (12) Othmaniyah Kaberah, (13) Talafeh, Tal Tabarez, (14) Maharem, (15) Khawwari, (16) Al-Qal’ajiyah, Khalseh, (17) Zitan, (18) Berneh, (19) Al-Huwayr, (20) Abad, (21) I’jaz, (22) Sheikh Ahmed, (23) Tal Karatin, (24) Al-Zahiryah Farm, (25) Al-Aaseriyah, (26) Mak-hala, (27) Rasm Al-Ward, (28) Um Atabah, (29) Rasm Al-Eis, (30) Rasm Saharij, (31) Jib Al-Kas, (32) Bans, Al-Eis, (33) Al-Eis Hill, (34) Al-Kusaybiyah, (35) Al-Bawabiyah, (36) Al-Talhiyah, (37) Tal Haddiyah, (38) IKARDA, (40) Al-Barqum, (41) Al-Zarbah, (42) Al-Kammari, (43) Al-Kalariyah, (44) Kafr Halab, (45) Al-Qanater, (46) Kherbet Jazraya, (47) Miznaz, (48) Al-Rashideen 4th sector, (49) Zaid neighborhood, (50) Abu Shlim, (51) Tal Klayriyah, (52) Khan Al-Asal, (53) Arbikh, (54) Sheikh Ali, (55) Arradah, (56) Arnaz, (57) Al-Muhandiseen first countryside, (58) Kafr Jum, (59) Zahrat Al-Mada’en, (60) Al-Shameko, (61) Al-Muhandiseen second countryside, (62) Al-Sawma’a roundabout, (63) Urm Al-Sughra, (64) Urm Al-Kubra, (65) Jam’eyyat Al-Radwan, (66) the 46th Regiment, (67) Kafr Naha, (68) the area of the scientific research center, (69) Jam’eyyat Al-Kahrabaa, (70) Aajil, Owayjil, (71) Al-Mansurah, (72) the northern Al-Rashideen, (73) Sadiyeh, (74) Police School, (75) Al-Shuwayhana, (76) Tallat Al-Shuwayhana, (77) Kafr Da’el, (78) Hayyan, (79) Beyanoun, (80) Tal Musaybin, (81) Babis, (82) Maarrat Al-Artiq, (83) Bashtara, (84) Jam’eyyat Al-Hadi, (85) Haritan, (86) Anadan, (87) Kafr Hamra, (88) the second Jam’eyyat Al-Kahrabaa, (89) Jam’eyyat Azaar, (90) Tal Al-Nabi Nu’man, (91) Jam’eyyat Al-Fanar, (92) Bashqatin, (93) Beit Ghazi, (94) Al-Houta, (95) Qayloun, (96) Jam’eyyat Al-Itihad Al-Arabi, (97) Jam’eyyat Al-Muharibin, (98) Majinah, (99) Jam’eyyat Al-Zahraa, (100) Layramoun, (101) Yaqed Al-Adas, (102) Kafr Basin, (103) Sheikh Aqil, (104) Hur, (105) Al-Qasimiyah, (106) Basartoun, (107) Anjara, (108) Al-Salloum, (109) Qabtan (110) Al-Jabal, (111) Bala and other positions and hills in the area.

In November 2019, the Syrian regime took control of Al Mshairfeh, Al Zarzour and Umm Elkhalayel located in south-east Idlib).

While in August, regime forces recovered the following towns and villages (1) Al Khwayn farms, (2) Al Zarzour, (3) Tal Aghbar, (4) Al-Arbaeen, (5) Al-Zakat, (6) Al Sakher, (7) Al Jissat, (8) Al Sayyad hill, (9) Kafr Zeita town and some points west of it, (10) Al-Ltamnah, (11) Al-Sayyad, (12) Al-Boida, (13) Maar kabeh, (14) Latmin, (15) Lahaya, (16) Murek in northern Hama countryside, in addition to other areas in the southern countryside of Idlib represented by (1) Khan Sheikhoun city, (2) Al-Skik, (3) Tal Skik, (4) Taari, (5) Tal Taari, (6) Hobait, (7) Abidin, (8) Magher al-Hamam, (9) Magher al-Hintah, (10) Kafr Ain, (11) Tal Aas, (12) Madaya, (13) Al-Mardam, (14) Al-Mantar Farms, (15) Kafridon, (16) Al Sabbaghia and other hills, farms and points in the southern sector of the Idlib countryside.

Between late April and early August, regime forces took control of (1) Al-Qassabia, (2) Humayrat, (3) Hardana, (4) Qaroutyah, (5) Kirata, (6) Qalaat Al Madiq, (7) Karkat, (8) Twaineh, (9) Kafrenabuda, (10) Al-Bana, (11) Tal Osman, (12) Al-Mestariha, (13) Al-Sharia, (14) Bab al-Taka, (15) Al-Jabria, (16) Tal Hawash, (17) Tobeh, (18) Sheikh Idris, (19) Al-Muhajereen, (20) Al Hamra, (21) Al Hawiz, (22) Hasrayah, (23) Abu Raaida, (24) Al-Aziziya and (25) Al-Rai regions.

Syrian Observatory activists also confirmed that more than 50 hospitals and medical facilities were put out of service due to the intensive bombardment, mainly inflicted by Russia; those hospitals are (1) Kafr Zita Hospital, (2) Jisr Al-Shughur Hospital, (3) Kiwan Hospital in Kafr Oweid, (4) Sham Central Hospital, (5) Kafr Nubl Surgical Hospital, (6) the hospitals of Al-Sayedah Mariam (Saint Mary), (7) Al-Khatib and (8) Al-Orient in Kafr Nubl, (9) Nabd Al-Hayat Hospital in Hass, (10) Al-Tah Hospital, (11) Serjah Hospital, (12) Balshon Hospital and (13) the 112 Hospital in Qalaat al-Madiq, (14) Al-Magharah Hospital and (15) Sham Hospital in Al-Lataminah town, (16) a specialist hospital in Hawwash village, (17) a maternity hospital in Tremla, (18) Al-Amal Hospital in Kansafra, (19) Al-Fardus, (20) Al-Kenanah, and other hospitals and medical and health facilities in Idlib, Aleppo and Hama countryside)).

During the same period, from the 30th of April to date, Observatory activists documented the use of internationally prohibited substances by regime forces in ground bombardment, which burned thousands of acres of agricultural lands in the southern and western parts of Khan Sheikhoun, Al-Hobait, Abidin, The outskirts of Kafr Sajnah, Kafr Ain, and other areas within the southern sector of the countryside of Idlib, Harsh al-Skebiyeh, Tal Hadya and IKARDA area in the southern countryside of Aleppo, and Kafr Zitah and Latamanh in the northern countryside of Hama.

In addition, activists documented looting, thefts and ransacking of civilians’ houses, shops and crops by the regime forces and loyalists in areas recently captured.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept