Hass refugee camp bombing

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Hass refugee camp bombing
Hass compound airstrike
Part of Russian military intervention in the Syrian Civil War
Location of Hass in Syria
LocationHass, Idlib Governorate, Syria
Coordinates35°37′N 36°35′E / 35.617°N 36.583°E / 35.617; 36.583
Date16 August 2019; 2 years ago (2019-08-16)
7:25 p.m.[1] (local time)
TargetRefugee camp
Attack type
WeaponsAerial bombs
Deaths20 civilians
Perpetrators Russian Air Force

The Hass refugee camp bombing was an aerial bombardment of a refugee camp in the Syrian opposition-held town of Hass in the Idlib Governorate of Syria, which has been deemed a war crime by Human Rights Watch. It was perpetrated on 16 August 2019, at 7:25 p.m. local time, during the Syrian Civil War. The bombing killed 20 civilians, including a pregnant woman, and injured another 52 people.[2]

The refugee camp was located outside the town, eight miles from the nearest front line, and there were no military targets nearby. Later analysis confirmed that the bombing was perpetrated by a bomber jet of the Russian Federation.[3] Two Russian Sukhoi Su-24 war planes departed the Khmeimim Air Base on that day, at 7:02 p.m., and were then circling the area. No Syrian war planes were recorded over the area at the time of the bombardment.[1] The two bombs dropped on the refugee camp were identified as OFAB-100-120 and KAB-500.[4] The blast collapsed a row of buildings around the courtyard of the camp.[3]

It was part of a wider Syrian military campaign against Idlib in 2019. Human Rights Watch released a statement saying that "under international law, deliberate or reckless attacks against civilians and civilian objects committed with criminal intent are war crimes".[5]

France condemned the airstrike on the refugee camp and called for the cessation of hostilities.[6]

The United Nations Human Rights Council recorded the crime in its report published on 2 March 2020. It stated the following:

...the Commission concluded that a Russian aircraft participated in each incident as described above, and that each of the incidents the Russian Air Force did not direct the attacks at a specific military objective, amounting to the war crime of launching indiscriminate attacks in civilian areas.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b United Nations Human Rights Council 2020, p. 23.
  2. ^ "Syria-Russia Attack on Refuge an Apparent War Crime". Human Rights Watch. 18 October 2019. Retrieved 15 January 2020.
  3. ^ a b Malachy Browne, Christiaan Triebert, Evan Hill and Dmitriy Khavin (1 December 2019). "A Civilian Camp in Syria Was Bombed. Here's How We Traced the Culprit". New York Times. Retrieved 15 January 2020.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ a b United Nations Human Rights Council 2020, p. 24.
  5. ^ "Russia Should Be Held Accountable for Any War Crimes in Syria". Human Rights Watch. 3 December 2019. Retrieved 15 January 2020.
  6. ^ "Syria – Air strikes on a camp for displaced people (16 August 2019)". diplomatie.gouv.fr. Retrieved 15 January 2020.