Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CS1957

Incident date

April 4, 2021

Location

مبروكة‎, Mabrouka countryside, Al Hassaka, Syria

Geolocation

36.665778, 39.858190 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

At least one named man, whose status as a civilian or belligerent presently remains contested, was killed and a civilian was injured in alleged Coalition airstrikes (or possibly an IED attack) near the city of Ras Al-Ain in the Al Hassaka countryside on April 4th 2021. The UK declared a Reaper drone strike in the near region for that date.

Free Hasska Reporter described and included pictures of what it said was a Kia vehicle, after having been reportedly struck with “three missiles” and named the person killed as Omar Abdel-Fattah. Adar Press indicated that he may have been using another name and ” it was not able to know his real name, but he bears an identity issued by the local council of the city of Ras al-Ain.”

Instead according to Ezdina, “a civilian lost his life and another was wounded, as a result of the explosion of an explosive device, today, Sunday, in the countryside of Sere Kaniye / Ras Al-Ain.” It  also reported that “the explosive device, which was planted in a civilian vehicle, exploded.”

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that ” the dead man was a civilian, not belonging to any armed faction, and he was from the region and belonged to the Adwan clan, which is why it is likely that his death was a result of clan and family disputes.”

Ida2at also identified the man killed as a civilian, stating that he died from “the explosion of a truck transporting petroleum products…as a result of a technical failure that led to the ignition of the refined fuel.” They also added that the road that the incident occurred on was “used by armed factions loyal to the “Turkish occupation”, to allegedly facilitate smuggling operations with Syrian Democratic Forces.

Syrian TV also identified both the man killed and wounded as being civilians, though harmed by an explosive device planted in the car, adding that they had “crossed illegally” coming from areas controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the countryside of Hasaka.”

Euphrates Post quoted local sources as saying “a “Kia 2700” vehicle exploded on Darbasiyah Road before entering Ras Al-Ain, killing the driver, whom it described as a member of the “National Army”, and also wounding a civilian.”

A tweet by the Violations Documentation Centre identified the man killed as being an “ISIS leader” and attributed the strike to “a drone, believed to be by the international coalition to fight ISIS led by the United States.” Rojava Network also noted what it said was the “killing of the leader of the terrorist organization ISIS, Omar Abdel Fattah, in a raid by an international coalition drone”.

Xeber 24 instead reported that “sources suggested that the targeted person was affiliated with the armed factions and organizations supported by Turkey, as the Ankara loyalists struck a large security cordon at the location of the targeting.”

According to NPA Syrian, “this [would be] the first time that the Global Coalition has targeted ISIS or al-Qaeda leaders in this region.”

The British Royal Air Force issued a statement on April 8th that “In a separate operation carried on Sunday 4 April, an RAF Reaper, armed with Hellfire missiles, identified a small group of Daesh terrorists in northern Syria, some fifty miles west of Al Hasakah. Having checked that there were no civilians nearby, the Reaper’s crew attacked the terrorists, striking the target successfully.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Omar Abdel-Fattah Adult male Contested as to whether belligerent or civilian killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike, Ground operation
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (0–1 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attacker
    British Armed Forces
  • Suspected targets
    ISIS, Other
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–1

Sources (15) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (4) [ collapse]

  • Caption translation: Unidentified aircraft targeted a Kia vehicle with three missiles near Al-Sarli village, killing a person named Omar Abdel-Fattah (Images posted by Free Hasska reporter via Facebook)
  • Caption translation: Unidentified aircraft targeted a Kia vehicle with three missiles near Al-Sarli village, killing a person named Omar Abdel-Fattah (Images posted by Free Hasska reporter via Facebook)
  • Caption translation: Unidentified aircraft targeted a Kia vehicle with three missiles near Al-Sarli village, killing a person named Omar Abdel-Fattah (Images posted by Free Hasska reporter via Facebook)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    An image of Omar Abdel Fattah, contested as to whether he was a civilian or belligerent, killed in strikes against Ras al-Ain on April 4, 2021. (Image posted by Roja Ava network via Facebook)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention a vehicle being struck in the vicinity of Mabrouka (مبروكة‎). According to research conducted by @obretix, a possible location for this strike is: 36.665778, 39.858190. However, due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

British Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    British Armed Forces
  • British Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

British Armed Forces

In a separate operation carried on Sunday 4 April, an RAF Reaper, armed with Hellfire missiles, identified a small group of Daesh terrorists in northern Syria, some fifty miles west of Al Hasakah. Having checked that there were no civilians nearby, the Reaper’s crew attacked the terrorists, striking the target successfully.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike, Ground operation
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (0–1 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attacker
    British Armed Forces
  • Suspected targets
    ISIS, Other
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–1

Sources (15) [ collapse]

UK MoD for March 22, 2021 – April 4, 2021
Original
Annotated

Report Date

April 4, 2021

Summary

Sunday 4 April – a Reaper struck a small group of Daesh terrorists in northern Syria.
Detail

On Sunday 4 April, an RAF Reaper, armed with Hellfire missiles, identified a small group of Daesh terrorists in northern Syria, some fifty miles west of Al Hasakah. Having checked that there were no civilians nearby, the Reaper’s crew attacked the terrorists, striking the target successfully.

Previous update

Royal Air Force aircraft have continued to support security operations by the Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service in northern Iraq to eliminate small pockets of Daesh terrorism. Daesh extremists were confirmed to be based in a network of caves in the Makhmur mountains, south-west of Erbil, where the RAF has been actively assisting the Iraqi ground operations since 10 March. Since the caves were assessed to be a particularly challenging target, three Typhoon FGR4s were tasked to conduct an attack using Storm Shadow missiles on Monday 22 March, the remote area having first been checked to ensure that no civilians would be placed at risk. The strike on the Daesh targets there was assessed by subsequent surveillance to have been a success.

Report Date

April 4, 2021

Report Summary

  • 2 total strikes
  • 1 in Iraq
  • 1 in Syria

Confirmed Actions

UK
Royal Air Force aircraft have continued to support security operations by the Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service in northern Iraq to eliminate small pockets of Daesh terrorism. Daesh extremists were confirmed to be based in a network of caves in the Makhmur mountains, south-west of Erbil, where the RAF has been actively assisting the Iraqi ground operations since 10 March. Since the caves were assessed to be a particularly challenging target, three Typhoon FGR4s were tasked to conduct an attack using Storm Shadow missiles on Monday 22 March, the remote area having first been checked to ensure that no civilians would be placed at risk. The strike on the Daesh targets there was assessed by subsequent surveillance to have been a success.
April 4, 2021
Syria: 1 strikes
On Sunday 4 April, an RAF Reaper, armed with Hellfire missiles, identified a small group of Daesh terrorists in northern Syria, some fifty miles west of Al Hasakah. Having checked that there were no civilians nearby, the Reaper’s crew attacked the terrorists, striking the target successfully.

French MoD for March 26, 2021 – April 1, 2021
Original
Annotated

Report Date

April 1, 2021

PROCHE MOYEN-ORIENT – CHAMMAL

SITUATION MILITAIRE DU THÉÂTRE

L’opération CHAMMAL se poursuit, et les Armées restent résolument engagées dans leur lutte contre l’organisation terroriste Daech, qui opère une mue. Acculé, l’ennemi se transforme, change ses méthodes, ses moyens d’action. Depuis la chute de Baghouz, dernier bastion de Daech, l’organisation terroriste est entrée dans combat en réseau, clandestin, sans territoire, imprévisible.

ACTIVITÉ DE LA FORCE

Relève des Rafale de la BAP au Levant
Au Levant, 4 Rafale C de la 30e Escadre de chasse, stationnée sur la base aérienne 118 de Mont-de-Marsan ont relevé 4 Rafale B.

En près de six mois au sein de l’opération CHAMMAL, les Rafale B de la 4e Escadre de chasse de la base aérienne 113 de Saint-Dizier ont totalisé plus de 250 sorties représentant 1 200 heures de vol, et procédé à 9 frappes dont les premières frappes opérationnelles au moyen du pod TALIOS (pod de désignation laser de nouvelle génération).

Les Rafale B ont également opéré à plusieurs reprises avec des bâtiments de la Marine nationale en Méditerranée orientale dans le cadre d’exercices conjoints. Les Rafale B se sont enfin illustrés en dépassant la barre des 10 000 heures de vol depuis leur déploiement sur le théâtre en août 2016.

Sorties air hebdomadaires (bilan du 24 au 30 mars inclus)
Les aéronefs français basés au Levant, aux Émirats arabes unis et ceux du groupe aéronaval poursuivent leurs actions contre Daech, au sein de la Coalition. Cette semaine, les avions engagés dans l’opération CHAMMAL ont réalisé 19 sorties aériennes.

French MoD for March 17, 2021 – March 23, 2021
Original
Annotated

Report Date

March 23, 2021

PROCHE MOYEN-ORIENT – CHAMMAL

 

SITUATION MILITAIRE DU THÉÂTRE

L’opération CHAMMAL se poursuit, et les Armées restent résolument engagées dans leur lutte contre l’organisation terroriste Daech, qui opère une mue. Acculé, l’ennemi se transforme, change ses méthodes, ses moyens d’action. Depuis la chute de Baghouz, dernier bastion de Daech, l’organisation terroriste est entrée dans combat en réseau, clandestin, sans territoire, imprévisible.

ACTIVITÉ DE LA FORCE

Les Rafale de BAP au Levant appui les forces irakiennes en opération contre Daech

Le lundi 22 mars 2021, lors d’une vaste opération irakienne menée dans le nord-est du pays et baptisée READY LION, une patrouille mixte de 4 Rafale B et C de la Base aérienne projetée (BAP) au Levant ont appuyé les militaires des Forces de sécurité irakiennes (FSI).

Lors de cette mission, les Rafale français a procédé à plusieurs frappes. Trois jours auparavant, le vendredi 19 mars, un Rafale avait également frappé un objectif de Daech, lors d’une mission de Close air support (CAS).

Durant près de deux semaines, l’opération READY LION a été menée dans une région montagneuse du nord de l’Irak, en étroite coordination entre les forces irakiennes et celles de la coalition internationale œuvrant au profit de l’opération INHERENT RESOLVE (OIR). Durant plusieurs jours consécutifs, les troupes irakiennes ont bénéficié de l’appui aérien de la Coalition, parvenant à frapper durement Daech, en détruisant notamment des caches et positions détenues par l’organisation terroriste.

Sorties air hebdomadaires (bilan du 17 au 23 mars inclus)
Les aéronefs français basés au Levant et aux Émirats arabes unis poursuivent leurs actions contre Daech, au sein de la Coalition. Cette semaine, les avions engagés dans l’opération CHAMMAL ont réalisé 20 sorties aériennes et 3 frappes.

Report Date

March 23, 2021

Report Summary

  • 3 total strikes
  • 3 in Syria

Confirmed Actions

France
Weekly air outlets (results from March 17 to 23 included)

French aircraft based in the Levant and the United Arab Emirates are continuing their actions against Daesh, within the Coalition. This week, the planes engaged in Operation CHAMMAL carried out 20 air sorties and 3 strikes.

UK MoD for March 15, 2021 – March 17, 2021
Original
Annotated

Report Date

March 17, 2021

Summary

Monday 15 March – Typhoons struck three Daesh-held caves in northern Iraq.

Tuesday 16 March – Typhoons hit two Daesh-held caves in northern Iraq.

Wednesday 17 March – Typhoons destroyed two more Daesh-held caves in northern Iraq.

Detail

Iraqi security forces, spearheaded by their very capable Counter Terrorism Service, continue to mount operations in northern Iraq to eliminate any groups of Daesh terrorists attempting to regain a foothold in the region. Coalition airpower is supporting these operations, and Royal Air Force aircraft have played a significant role, conducting an intensive series of air strikes on Daesh targets south-west of Erbil since 10 March, where the terrorists have sought to establish bases in the numerous caves of the Makhmur mountains.

On Monday 15 March, two Typhoons successfully attacked a cave used by Daesh with Paveway IV guided bombs, and later that day a second Typhoon flight struck two more Daesh-held caves with Paveways. Two more caves, in which Daesh had established a presence, were hit with Paveway IVs on Tuesday 16 March, and a further two such caves were destroyed in like manner on Wednesday 17 March.

All of the caves were located in a remote, mountainous area, but nevertheless, very careful checks were made before each strike to ensure that there were no signs of civilians who might be placed at risk.

Previous update

The Royal Air Force has continued to conduct strikes, as part of the global coalition’s support for the Iraqi Security Forces, as they conduct operations to prevent the Daesh terrorist group from re-establishing its presence in the country.

The Iraqi forces recently identified a significant number of Daesh fighters using cave complexes south-west of Erbil. The caves identified were assessed to be particularly difficult targets and two RAF Typhoon FGR4s were therefore tasked to conduct strikes in support of ground forces from the highly-capable Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service.

On Wednesday 10 March they conducted surveillance of the area to confirm that there were no signs of civilians who might be placed at risk, before conducting the first attack using Storm Shadow missiles, which had been selected as the most appropriate weapon for the task. Following the mission, the Typhoon’s weapons were confirmed to have struck their targets precisely.

Further surveillance efforts confirmed two additional locations in the same area were also occupied by Daesh. Two Typhoons conducted precision attacks on the extremists at both locations on Thursday 11 March, using six Paveway IV guided bombs.

RAF aircraft were again in action on Friday 12 March, when they struck another group of caves used by Daesh, with eight Paveway IV bombs; and again on Sunday 14 March, when six Paveway IVs were employed against Daesh-held caves in the same remote, mountainous area.

On each occasion, our aircrew have exercised their utmost care in checking there were no signs of civilians in the area before conducting the strikes and subsequent surveillance to ensure their successful completion.

Report Date

March 17, 2021

Report Summary

  • 7 total strikes
  • 7 in Iraq

Confirmed Actions

UK
On Monday 15 March, two Typhoons successfully attacked a cave used by Daesh with Paveway IV guided bombs, and later that day a second Typhoon flight struck two more Daesh-held caves with Paveways.
March 16, 2021
Iraq: 2 strikes
Two more caves, in which Daesh had established a presence, were hit with Paveway IVs on Tuesday 16 March
March 17, 2021
Iraq: 2 strikes
and a further two such caves were destroyed in like manner on Wednesday 17 March.

All of the caves were located in a remote, mountainous area, but nevertheless, very careful checks were made before each strike to ensure that there were no signs of civilians who might be placed at risk.

French MoD for March 10, 2021 – March 16, 2021
Original
Annotated

Report Date

March 16, 2021

PROCHE MOYEN-ORIENT – CHAMMAL

SITUATION MILITAIRE DU THÉÂTRE

L’opération CHAMMAL se poursuit, et les Armées restent résolument engagées dans leur lutte contre l’organisation terroriste Daech, qui opère une mue. Acculé, l’ennemi se transforme, change ses méthodes, ses moyens d’action. Depuis la chute de Baghouz, dernier bastion de Daech, l’organisation terroriste est entrée dans combat en réseau, clandestin, sans territoire, imprévisible.

ACTIVITÉ DE LA FORCE

Sorties air hebdomadaires (bilan du 10 au 16 mars inclus)

Les aéronefs français basés au Levant et aux Émirats arabes unis poursuivent leurs actions contre Daech, au sein de la Coalition. Cette semaine, les avions engagés dans l’opération CHAMMAL ont réalisé 16 sorties aériennes.

UK MoD for March 10, 2021 – March 14, 2021
Original
Annotated

Report Date

March 14, 2021

Summary

Wednesday 10 March – RAF Typhoons struck Daesh terrorists based inside caves in northern Iraq.

Thursday 11 March – Typhoons conducted further attacks on Daesh in northern Iraq.

Friday 12 March – Typhoons struck Daesh targets in caves in northern Iraq.

Sunday 14 March – Typhoons again attacked Daesh-held caves in northern Iraq.

Detail

The Royal Air Force has continued to conduct strikes, as part of the global coalition’s support for the Iraqi Security Forces, as they conduct operations to prevent the Daesh terrorist group from re-establishing its presence in the country.

The Iraqi forces recently identified a significant number of Daesh fighters using cave complexes south-west of Erbil. The caves identified were assessed to be particularly difficult targets and two RAF Typhoon FGR4s were therefore tasked to conduct strikes in support of ground forces from the highly-capable Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service.

On Wednesday 10 March they conducted surveillance of the area to confirm that there were no signs of civilians who might be placed at risk, before conducting the first attack using Storm Shadow missiles, which had been selected as the most appropriate weapon for the task. Following the mission, the Typhoon’s weapons were confirmed to have struck their targets precisely.

Further surveillance efforts confirmed two additional locations in the same area were also occupied by Daesh. Two Typhoons conducted precision attacks on the extremists at both locations on Thursday 11 March, using six Paveway IV guided bombs.

RAF aircraft were again in action on Friday 12 March, when they struck another group of caves used by Daesh, with eight Paveway IV bombs; and again on Sunday 14 March, when six Paveway IVs were employed against Daesh-held caves in the same remote, mountainous area.

On each occasion, our aircrew have exercised their utmost care in checking there were no signs of civilians in the area before conducting the strikes and subsequent surveillance to ensure their successful completion.

Previous update

The UK Armed Forces have once again conducted air strikes in support of the Iraqi security forces, as the Global Coalition against Daesh continues to prevent a terrorist resurgence in Iraq. On Thursday 11 February, two Royal Air Force Typhoon FGR4s were tasked to conduct strikes against terrorists who had been identified occupying two dispersed encampments on the banks of the Tharthar River, west of the city of Bayji.

A preceding check of the area revealed there were no signs of any civilians who might be placed at risk and the RAF aircraft proceeded to conduct the strikes using Paveway IV guided bombs. Further surveillance of both sites confirmed that the series of different targets within the encampments were struck and the mission had been a success.

Report Date

March 14, 2021

Report Summary

  • 7 total strikes
  • 7 in Iraq

Confirmed Actions

UK
The Iraqi forces recently identified a significant number of Daesh fighters using cave complexes south-west of Erbil. The caves identified were assessed to be particularly difficult targets and two RAF Typhoon FGR4s were therefore tasked to conduct strikes in support of ground forces from the highly-capable Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service.

On Wednesday 10 March they conducted surveillance of the area to confirm that there were no signs of civilians who might be placed at risk, before conducting the first attack using Storm Shadow missiles, which had been selected as the most appropriate weapon for the task. Following the mission, the Typhoon’s weapons were confirmed to have struck their targets precisely.
March 11, 2021
Iraq: 2 strikes
Further surveillance efforts confirmed two additional locations in the same area were also occupied by Daesh. Two Typhoons conducted precision attacks on the extremists at both locations on Thursday 11 March, using six Paveway IV guided bombs.
March 12, 2021
Iraq: 2 strikes
RAF aircraft were again in action on Friday 12 March, when they struck another group of caves used by Daesh, with eight Paveway IV bombs;
March 14, 2021
Iraq: 2 strikes
and again on Sunday 14 March, when six Paveway IVs were employed against Daesh-held caves in the same remote, mountainous area.

French MoD for March 3, 2021 – March 9, 2021
Original
Annotated

Report Date

March 9, 2021

PROCHE MOYEN-ORIENT – CHAMMAL

SITUATION MILITAIRE DU THÉÂTRE

L’opération CHAMMAL se poursuit, et les Armées restent résolument engagées dans leur lutte contre l’organisation terroriste Daech, qui opère une mue. Acculé, l’ennemi se transforme, change ses méthodes, ses moyens d’action. Depuis la chute de Baghouz, dernier bastion de Daech, l’organisation terroriste est entrée dans combat en réseau, clandestin, sans territoire, imprévisible.

 

ACTIVITÉ DE LA FORCE

Sorties air hebdomadaires (bilan du 03 au 09 mars inclus
Les aéronefs français basés au Levant et aux Émirats arabes unis poursuivent leurs actions contre Daech, au sein de la Coalition. Cette semaine, les avions engagés dans l’opération CHAMMAL ont réalisé 16 sorties aériennes