Alleged Chemical Attack, December 12, 2016

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Dec. 12 chemical attack from the air - in ISIS-held Hama province killed at least 30 and perhaps nearly 100 people, according to activists linked to the Islamic State (ISIS) and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. According to ISIS sources, the attacking jets were Russian.


Location, given as near Uqrabiyat, is not very close to Palmyra or related to any direct efforts to reclaim it; Located 90 km NW of Palmyra, closer to Homs (30 km east of Salamiya, here on Wikimapia) More specifically, the VDc cites Jrouh village (Arabic: جروح ). locaion: E-NE of Salamiyah, 7 km NE of Uqrabiyat (here). It's well within ISIS-held territory as of 28 June 2016 and still in December, by reports.

The Local Coordinating Committees also report (Yalla Souriya) 86 martyrs killed by the bombing with Sarin gas on the eastern suburb villages #Grouh (Jrouh) #Alsalaliey (just south) and #Hamadi_omar (a bit further to the southwest). The hub town of Uqrabiyat between them was apparently spared. A total of three alleged strikes makes the large and divergent death tolls a little more plausible.

CW 12-12-16 Hama attackmap.png

Map: all three reported attack areas, as labelled on Wikimapia (top), the area in relation to Palmyra, Homs, and Hama (bottom)


  • SOHR English: first 26 killed in various raids, including some chemicals, then 53 killed "in bombardment by warplanes using rockets carrying toxic gases which targeted Uqayribat area and the nearby villages in the eastern countryside of Hama,"
"Citing local sources near the site of the attack ... (SOHR) said there were cases of suffocation and that dozens had been wounded during heavy rocket fire on the area. The dead included 28 children, the Observatory said.
The reported attack came from the air ...the Observatory said, without specifying who might have been responsible.
Amaq, a news service linked to Islamic State, said in an online statement that 20 people had died and around 200 were injured from breathing problems "as a result of a Russian air attack with sarin gas".
Ahmad al-Dbis, of the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations (UOSSM), said about 86 people had died, and about 250 were injured in the attacks on Monday.

Guardian Dec 13

At least 93 reportedly killed and hundreds injured near Palmyra, with witnesses saying many child victims suffocated

“Most of the dead were families,” said Ahmad al Hamawi, head of a regional council. “They had built primitive shelters and they ran to them, not knowing it was poison gas. While they were in the shelters the gas entered because of the wind direction, and killed dozens, mostly women and children.”

... Photographs purportedly taken after the attacks show rows of children lying on the ground. All appear to be dead and foam is apparent near the nose of one young boy.

The OPCW expresses concern over the reports.

  • Yalla Souriya 85 killed and 500 civilians injured most of them are women and children, by regime Sarin gaz attack on Uqayrabat area" There's no further explanation, but photos of 5 dead children, from babies to preteen. One apparent girl has foam bubbles from her nose and clenched fists.

VDC only lists 34 people killed, and all from Hama, Jrouh village, "Due to the shelling with Sarin gas," blamed on "Russian Troops." The others apparently haven't been documented yet, but if they were on par, we'd be expecting the 80-93 or so that's been claimed.

Of the 34, 33 died right away on the 12th, and one man 3 days later. This sub-total is not "mostly women and children," but perhaps the other town's tolls balance it out. 6 women, 2 girls, 5 boys, and 21 men (22 appear but one is a "wife of"). This could be one complete family, another 3-5 husband-wife pairs, and around 16-18 men without their families. At least 12 victims are from a Hasan family, and a few other names repeat.