News & Investigations

News & Investigations

Published

April 8, 2022

Written by

Sanjana Varghese

International gathering brings nearer a protocol on restricting explosive weapon use in urban areas.

States edged closer to a political declaration on the use of explosive weapons in populated areas on April 8th, after three days of crunch talks in Geneva.

More than 65 states descended on the Swiss city for key talks on the wording of a political declaration that advocates believe would save thousands of lives by restricting the use of wide area effect explosive weapons in populated areas (EWIPA). Detractors, such as the United States government, argue it would unfairly limit the freedom of their own military actions and have threatened not to sign.

While no final text was agreed upon Friday, all sides struck an optimistic tone at the end of the three-day meet – saying a deal was nearer than ever. Delegates will meet again for one day in two months before an adoption ceremony expected in the summer.

“There are clearly differences of opinion but we have seen a very positive, solution oriented approach,” the chairperson, Ambassador Michael Gaffey of Ireland, said. “We are not simply working on a formula of words in a political declaration –  we want to make a real difference and impact on the ground and foster behavioural change.”

The talks were given additional urgency by the ongoing war in Ukraine, and Russia’s extensive use of explosive weapons on its cities. Moscow did not attend the talks.

Even the United States, widely viewed as one of the most hostile states to a declaration with teeth, struck a more positive tone than in previous meets. “There are still tough drafting issues and decisions ahead, and we have to get them right. The US delegation pledges our goodwill, to help to get to a positive outcome. We look forward to doing so.”

Since 2018, Ireland has chaired consultations on the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. In the sessions since, the need for such a declaration – which is not legally binding and so does not create new legal obligations – has only become clearer.

“The draft declaration text holds the potential to make a meaningful contribution to the protection of civilians, and negotiations over the past few days have overall been constructive,” Laura Boillot of INEW, a network of NGOs pushing for the protocol, told Airwars.

“But decisions will now need to be made if the final text is going to have humanitarian effect. Most importantly it needs to establish a presumption against the use of explosive weapons with wide area effects in towns, cities and other populated areas.”

It will be a failure to leave this room agreeing that simply restating existing laws will reduce civilian harm – a failure for all of us who came here with the intention to reduce that harm in the first place." @alma_osta in HI concluding remarks at #EWIPA negotiations today. pic.twitter.com/pTKpgfqWWU

— HI_Advocacy (@HI_Advocacy) April 8, 2022

Civil society groups and international agencies made a strong case for restricting EWIPA.

Three days of consultations

During three days of focused talks, several key fissures bubbled. While states in attendance – and civil society organisations – repeatedly emphasised the shared desire to produce a tangible and meaningful political declaration that could help save civilian lives on the ground, the practicalities of the process made clear that good intentions weren’t going to be enough.

On the first day of the informal consultations on April 6th, states made general remarks – affirming their support for the proceedings as well as their national positions – after an introductory statement from Ireland, the penholder.

In these general remarks, most states tended towards re-affirming the positions they had made clear in previous negotiations. On the hawkish side, the UK, US, Israel and Canada all emphasized that their positions as militarily active states meant that they would not sign a declaration in its current form, which included strong language about avoiding the use of explosive weapons in urban areas. Throughout the week, the delegates from these countries could often be seen meeting as a bloc outside of formal proceedings.

Many of the sticking points that emerged on the first day continued to dominate both the main floor and side conversations. The predominant line of argument was between those who argued that the declaration needed only to reaffirm the importance of international humanitarian law and provide further guidance about how to do so in this context; and those who asserted that this declaration needed to strengthen existing commitments and add new ones for states around the use of explosive weapons.

The second day of discussions took a more technical turn, with the majority of interventions focused on the wording of specific clauses and paragraphs of the text.

Clause 3.3, which attracted much attention in previous consultations, was once  again hotly debated. It is one of the first clauses in Section B, the operative section – which lays out the actions that states have to comply with if they choose to sign onto the declaration.

In the current draft, Clause 3.3 says states must: “Ensure that our armed forces adopt and implement a range of policies and practices to avoid civilian harm, including by restricting or refraining from the use of explosive weapons with wide area effects in populated areas, when the effects may be expected to extend beyond a military objective.”

The bulk of the discussion around this clause was on the second sentence, as many states intervened on the use of “restricting or refraining,” with some suggesting it was strong enough while others lobbied instead for the use of “avoid”.

A split between the majority of civil society organisations and militarily-powerful states was apparent during these parts of the discussions, with NGOs and international agencies pushing for stronger language, rather than trying to place limits on what kinds of civilian harm would be protected under this new declaration.

Airwars’ incoming director and current head of research Emily Tripp also made an intervention – emphasising how crucial it was for states to actually track civilian harm.

Airwars’ incoming director Emily Tripp addresses a UN-backed conference on explosive weapons in Geneva on April 7th, 2022 (Image: Airwars)

At the end of day two INEW, one of the organisers, named nine states – Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Israel, the Republic of Korea, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States – that it said had “worked to weaken declaration provisions.” The UK delegation, for example, agreed that tracking civilian harm was a ‘moral obligation,’ but then highlighted ways in which it claimed this was not feasible – arguing that live hostilities made it near impossible to monitor casualties properly.

But INEW also said that there had been a “shift in the collective tone set by states since the last round of negotiations, with more governments explicitly committed to strengthening the protection of civilians through the declaration.”

The statement said this was likely as a response to the bombing of Ukrainian towns and cities, and the Ukraine crisis loomed large over the conflict. Not only did the majority of states open their remarks with condemnation of the Russian aggression in Ukraine, many also emphasised the importance of a meaningful political declaration with specific reference to Ukrainian cities and towns such as Mariupol, Bucha and Khrarkiv.

There was also an emphasis on the value of protecting civilian objects and infrastructure, such as schools and hospitals, with states such as Mexico and the delegate for the Holy See (which holds observer state) urging specific language around the need to protect hospitals, blood transfusion centres, and environmental and religious sites.

Speaking at the end of the latest talks, Ambassador Gaffey said Ireland and organisers would review the submissions from all parties before a month or two of further work on the text. He said states and NGOs would then hold a final one-day consultation in a couple of months, before a political adoption ceremony where states would declare their support for the text.

As Alma Taslidžan Al-Osta, of Humanity and Inclusion, noted in her own concluding remarks to delegates: “Eleven years in Syria, seven years in Yemen and over a month in Ukraine have taught us that explosive weapons with wide area effects should not be used in towns, cities and populated areas. The status quo is no longer an option.”

Civilians increasingly bear the brunt of modern conflicts. Addressing the devastating harm to civilians from Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas is a priority for 🇮🇪. We welcome states, international organisations and civil society to consultations in Geneva this week #EWIPA pic.twitter.com/pAyglwZO9D

— Disarmament IRELAND (@DisarmamentIRL) April 6, 2022

Ireland chaired Geneva talks on restricting urban use of explosive weapons

▲ The three-day EWIPA conference in Geneva sought to reach a deal on the use of explosive weapons in urban environments (Airwars)

Published

September 14, 2020

Written by

Oliver Imhof

Header Image

Civilian casualty situation at the beginning of the LNA's Tripoli offensive on April 4th, 2019

At least 200 civilians died during the siege of the capital - with the future still looking uncertain for Libya

Two months after the brutal siege of Libya’s capital ended, new interactive Airwars mapping shows the impact of 14 months of fighting between two rival governments on the city’s beleaguered civilians.

Airwars has visualised every allegation of civilian harm from air and artillery strikes during the period of war in and around Tripoli between April 2019 and June 2020. Glasgow-based consultants Rectangle designed the innovative mapping, in an effort to find fresh ways of visualising civilian harm on the modern battlefield.

The new Airwars mapping uses a sliding timeline to enable an overview of often indiscriminate air and artillery strikes on Tripoli and its suburbs. A fine-detail satellite map of Tripoli and its suburbs makes it possible to see the siege evolving over the 14 months of its duration.

The map utilises a 1km radius hexagonal system, whose height represents the number of civilians reported killed in an incident. This in turn enables users to see the extent of shelling on various neighbourhoods, with casualty spikes clearly revealed in heavily hit areas such as Salaheddin, Abu Salim and Tajoura. The new mapping can also be used as a portal to access individual civilian harm assessments on the Airwars website.

Lizzie Malcolm and Daniel Powers of design consultancy Rectangle explain their rationale behind the new approach: “The challenge of mapping and visualising civilian harm is to balance the presentation of aggregated information and individual details. Maps of large areas and timelines of conflicts are useful for understanding scale. But any visualisation should be a gateway to the evidence and stories about individuals and families,” they tell Airwars.

Over the course of the siege, Airwars recorded 339 civilian harm events in Libya, 197 of which around Tripoli, nearly tripling the number of locally reported incidents since the end of the NATO campaign in 2011. At least 197 civilians were killed by the violence and another 537 were injured by the violence, as the LNA and GNA fought for control of Tripoli.

The LNA’s Tripoli offensive introduced Libyans to a degree of conflict violence not seen since NATO’s intervention almost a decade earlier. Even when the conflict was over, LNA forces and Wagner mercenaries reportedly booby-trapped houses and planted landmines, leading to gruesome additional reports of killed and injured civilians.

The siege of Tripoli has previously been visualised by other organisations, though not via an interactive map. UN agency OCHA has for example provided infographics summing up their findings. And Dzsihad Hadelli has previously visualised Airwars data on civilian casualties for the Libya Observer.

The war on Tripoli is now one year old. But already in this period, as many civilians have been killed by air raids as in all Libyan civil war conflicts since 2012 (Airwars annual report 2020).

Here's a map of all reported air strikes/shellings of the last 12 months. pic.twitter.com/tTYoEaaDSM

— Dzsihad Hadelli (@dhadelli) April 5, 2020

Is justice possible?

Mapping and recording harm in conflicts can help both with the proper investigation of civilian casualties, and of possible war crimes – potentially leading to reconciliation and justice in those parts of society affected by the fighting. “There is no way out of this without people being held accountable,“ says Elham Saudi, Director of Lawyers for Justice in Libya.

Her organisation seeks to document violations of humanitarian and human rights law in Libya, in turn hoping for accountability. “If you’re aiming for criminal responsibility, the threshold is really high. First hand accounts and witnesses are the most important thing,“ Saudi explains. Establishing the chain of command that leads to an event in question is another crucial point, she adds.

As a former resident of Tripoli suburbs, Saudi knows from friends and family what the siege did to Tripoli’s population: “The impact was felt throughout the city, the fear and anticipation of being targeted was quite overwhelming – even if you didn’t live in the areas being targeted, because of the indiscriminate nature of the attacks. You always felt like you were a target.”

However, her organisation does not focus only upon recent events around Tripoli but investigates violations committed in the civil war across the country. The highly polarised political landscape poses an additional challenge, as activists and media in Libya are often affiliated with one of the parties to the conflict: “The hyper-politicisation of everything makes it very difficult to keep the distance from what’s being said in the media. I don’t disregard anything just because it belongs to a certain party.”

“Things get lost if you don’t preserve evidence in a conflict. Preserving evidence is absolutely vital, it’s not just about the present but also about the future for civil society,“ the lawyer elaborates. Social media plays an increasing role there as “Perpetrators help you because they incriminate themselves.“

Mahmoud Werfalli’s arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court, for example, was based on social media accounts of extrajudicial killings. The former LNA commander is accused of executing ten prisoners in Benghazi in 2018, a case that was widely documented on social networks – as are many cases of potential war crimes in Libya.

At this point it remains difficult to predict which alleged incidents might potentially bear fruit in court. War crimes were alleged on both sides of the conflict. “The US is promising because Haftar, as a US citizen, is subject to its jurisdiction; it also allows for individuals to pursue civil responsibility,” Saudi says. Three civil lawsuits attempting to do that have been filed in the US for example, whereby affected families are suing the General for compensation for his alleged responsibility in the deaths of family members as a result of the indiscriminate shelling of Tripoli neighbourhoods by his forces.

Links to individual case assessments that occurred in the Salaheddin neighbourhood of Tripoli

Bringing Libyans back to the negotiations table

Even as the search for accountability continues, rifts remain deep within Libyan society after so many years of civil war. The big question is: how might Libya finally find a way towards a peaceful future?

A pause in fighting between Libya’s rival camps might be expected to generate optimism in a country riven by intermittent civil war since 2011. But instead of improving the livelihoods of the population, both seem keen to return to the status quo that partly led to the siege of Tripoli in the first place. Infighting within both the Government of National Accord (GNA) and the Libyan National Army (LNA); profound economic problems; and deep distrust between all the main political actors, make a peaceful future more uncertain.

Recently popular protests erupted in both GNA- and LNA-controlled territories, that were in turn met with violence by both governments. At the same time, a new military build-up around Sirte has raised fears of another escalation in violence – while a dire economic situation exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic has pushed the population into ever deeper poverty.

Virginie Collombier, Professor of Social and Political Dynamics in Libya at the European University Institute of Florence, has been working on grassroots mediation processes led by Libyans for many years. She sees the first step to a lasting ceasefire taking place at the international level – getting countries now meddling in Libya to respect the commitments they made during the Berlin peace conference: “The aim of the mediation process is to find someone who has the capacities to provide guarantees and enforce things. The UN can’t do anything alone as we see; and the EU doesn’t have the capacities or willingness.“

“Who has the capacities to influence things on the ground: Russia? Turkey?“ Collombier asks.  Neither seems a likely candidate given the ongoing geopolitical struggle between these two states: “Most importantly [there is] the US, but will they work as a guarantor on broader issues related to the economy, and the political framework?“

The current stalemate may however make things easier, Professor Collombier believes: “There is clearly a sense of exhaustion, the meaning of the war is lost, which is something we can see on both sides of the divide.“ She adds: “There is not much we can achieve through violence and weapons, the situation has stabilised around two camps that can block each other.“

However, internal divisions in both the GNA and in Haftar’s camp show that the situation could turn violent again if issues are not resolved. Collombier stresses the need for a dialogue that includes all Libyans, beyond the GNA and LNA: “Voices of Libyans can be heard and put pressure on politics; and diversifying the political sphere is absolutely crucial. There is a need for alternative voices and leaders. There is deep distrust in the current political elite.”

Whatever the result of both reconciliation and accountability processes in Libya, there is a long way ahead for the country to finally find peace. Documenting and archiving the crimes committed during the civil war is only an initial step towards accountability that can then lead to reconciliation between former enemies.

▲ Civilian casualty situation at the beginning of the LNA's Tripoli offensive on April 4th, 2019

Incident Code

LC419

Incident date

June 10, 2020

Location

الساعدية, Al Sa'adeh, Tripoli, Libya

Geolocation

32.889481, 13.180569 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Libya Al Ahrar reported that “the remains of a citizen were found in a civilian car, likely hit by a missile attack in the Al Sa’adeh area by the Haftar militia at the beginning of its aggression on the capital.”

Also Burkan Al Ghadab Operation page posted the news saying that “Al-Jafara Security Directorate members find the remains of a civilian in a civilian car that has traces of missile shelling in Al Sa’adeh area, according to eyewitness accounts from the people of the region that the car was bombed by Haftar’s aircraft at the beginning of its militia’s aggression on the capital Tripoli.”

The date of the incident and other details are not available at the moment.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Libyan National Army
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (4) [ collapse]

  • The vehicle were human remains of a civilian were found in Al Sa’idiya in Tripoli on June 10th, 2020 (via Libya Al Ahrar).
  • The vehicle were human remains of a civilian were found in Al Sa’idiya in Tripoli on June 10th, 2020 (via Libya Al Ahrar).
  • The vehicle were human remains of a civilian were found in Al Sa’idiya in Tripoli on June 10th, 2020 (via Libya Al Ahrar).
  • The vehicle were human remains of a civilian were found in Al Sa’idiya in Tripoli on June 10th, 2020 (via Libya Al Ahrar).

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the neighbourhood of Al Sa’adeh (الساعدية), possibly in vicinity of the Al Sa’adeh Mosque (مسجد الساعدية). Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for the mosque are: 32.889481, 13.180569.

Libyan National Army Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Libyan National Army
  • Libyan National Army position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Libyan National Army
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Incident Code

LC414

Incident date

June 6, 2020

Location

جنوب سرت, South of Sirte, Sirte, Libya

Geolocation

30.798872, 16.534044 Note: The accuracy of this location is to District level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Ten civilians, including two children, were allegedly killed by GNA or Turkish drone strike 50km south of Sirte.

Libyan Crimes Watch reported: “Today, Saturday, June 6, at 2am GNA forces bombed civilian cars 50 km south of Sirte, which were receiving displaced families from Tarhuna, and the shelling killed ten (10) civilians, including two children, and wounded one person.”

According to Al Marsad, a Turkish drone bombed “Mesbah Faraj Al Suwaidi Al Qaddafi, the owner of the Bohadi restaurant, and a family, including women and children, who may be among the displaced from Tarhouna but they could not be identified.”

The rival LNA posted on Facebook: “Flying Turkish aircraft kills families, children, women and the elderly near Sirte.”

Libya Review tweeted: “Two families have been killed in a Turkish UAV drone airstrike on two cars, 50kms south of Sirte. “

The incident occured at 02:00:00 local time.

  • Mesbah Faraj Al Suwaidi Al Qaddafi Adult male owner of restaurant Bohadi killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    10
  • (2 children2 women1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attackers
    Government of National Accord, Turkish Military
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • Picture of scorched cars near Sirte after GNA/Turkish drone strike on June 6th, 2020 (via Libyan Crimes Watch)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention a vehicle being struck 60km south of Sirte (سرت), for which the generic coordinates are: 30.431401, 16.544536. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Government of National Accord Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Government of National Accord
  • Government of National Accord position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Turkish Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Turkish Military
  • Turkish Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    10
  • (2 children2 women1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attackers
    Government of National Accord, Turkish Military
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Incident Code

LC413

Incident date

June 3, 2020

Location

طريق المنارة, Al Manara Road, Tripoli, Libya

Geolocation

32.664739, 13.208983 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (other) level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Between 12 and 20 civilians were allegedly killed by a GNA or Turkish airstrike on Qasr Bin Gashir.

Al Marsad said: “A Turkish aircraft committed a massacre late yesterday, Wednesday, against the family of Al-Lafi, including women and children, in the Qasr Bin Gashir area, south of Tripoli, specifically in the Al-Manara area.

Muhammad al-Lafi, one of the survivors of the Turkish bombing, revealed in a video clip that a Turkish plane directly targeted gathering the family with 4 raids, indicating that the bombing killed 12 people of the family in a horrific manner.”

In the video, the victim further accuses the GNA and says that his “brother’s head was cut. We are in Tarhouna hospital now. The number of airstrikes is four.”

Other sources also quoted the video clip cited in the article.

LibyanCom said 20 people were killed in the attack.

Libya Review said it was a Turkish drone strike.

The incident occured between 9:50 pm and 10:10 pm local time.

The victims were named as:

Family members (12)

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    12 – 20
  • Civilians reported injured
    5–10
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attackers
    Government of National Accord, Turkish Military
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (6) [ collapse]

  • Interview with a relative of the victims
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Victm of alleged GNA/Turkish strike on Qasr BIn Gashir on June 3rd, 2020 (via LibyanCom)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Victm of alleged GNA/Turkish strike on Qasr BIn Gashir on June 3rd, 2020 (via Libyan Review)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Victm of alleged GNA/Turkish strike on Qasr BIn Gashir on June 3rd, 2020 (via Libyan Review)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Victm of alleged GNA/Turkish strike on Qasr BIn Gashir on June 3rd, 2020 (via Libyan Review)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Victm of alleged GNA/Turkish strike on Qasr BIn Gashir on June 3rd, 2020 (via Libyan Review)

Geolocation notes (5) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention a residential building being struck in the vicinity of Al Manara Road (طريق المنارة), within the town of Qaser Bin Ghashir (قصر بن غشير). One source, Tk Yahrouq Kl shy, posted visual material indicating the exact location of this strike. Analyzing audio-visual material from sources, we are able to confirm this location.The exact coordinates for this strike are: 32.664739, 13.208983.

  • Reports of the incident mention a residential building being struck in the vicinity of Al Manara Road (طريق المنارة), within the town of Qaser Bin Ghashir (قصر بن غشير). One source, Tk Yahrouq Kl shy, posted visual material indicating the exact location of this strike. Analyzing audio-visual material from sources, we are able to confirm this location.

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

  • Satellite image comparison against source material which confirms the location

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

  • Tagged panoramic stitch of footage from the incident.

    Imagery:
    Tk Yahrouq Kl shy

  • Satellite imagery showing the distribution of buildings tagged in the visual material from sources.

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

  • Tagged screenshot of footage from the incident.

    Imagery:
    Tk Yahrouq Kl shy

Government of National Accord Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Government of National Accord
  • Government of National Accord position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Turkish Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Turkish Military
  • Turkish Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    12 – 20
  • Civilians reported injured
    5–10
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attackers
    Government of National Accord, Turkish Military
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Incident Code

LC411

Incident date

June 1, 2020

Location

قصر بن غشير, Qasr Bin Gashir, Tripoli, Libya

Geolocation

32.688716, 13.173889 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

An unknown number of civilians was killed and injured in alleged GNA and Turkish shelling on residential areas of Qasr Bin Ghashir on June 1st, 2020, according to local sources. At least one child was among the victims.

According to Khamis Al Sheikhi, “the Capital randomly targeted residential neighbourhoods in the centre of Qasr Bin Gashir municipality, from Turkish militias, which resulted in civilian deaths and injuries.”

Tk Yahrouq Kl shy reported on Facebook that “the child, Lujain Muhammad Buresh, died after a shell landed on their house in Qasr Bin Gashir area.”

Tarhouna24 wrote that “neither humans, stones nor animals were left in place”, posting photos of an injured cow and damaged property.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (1 child)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attackers
    Government of National Accord, Turkish Military
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (6) [ collapse]

  • Damage in the inside of a house after alleged GNA/Turkey artillery strikes on the city of Qaser Bin Ghashir on June 1st, 2020 (via Tarhouna24).
  • Damage after alleged GNA/Turkey artillery strikes on the city of Qaser Bin Ghashir on June 1st, 2020 (via Tarhouna24).
  • Injured cow after alleged GNA/Turkey artillery strikes on the city of Qaser Bin Ghashir on June 1st, 2020 (via Tarhouna24).
  • Damage after alleged GNA/Turkey artillery strikes on the city of Qaser Bin Ghashir on June 1st, 2020 (via Tarhouna24).
  • Damage after alleged GNA/Turkey artillery strikes on the city of Qaser Bin Ghashir on June 1st, 2020 (via Tarhouna24).
  • Rubble after alleged GNA/Turkey artillery strikes on the city of Qaser Bin Ghashir on June 1st, 2020 (via Tarhouna24).

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the city of Qasr Bin Gashir (قصر بن غشير), for which the generic coordinates are: 32.688716, 13.173889. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Government of National Accord Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Government of National Accord
  • Government of National Accord position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Turkish Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Turkish Military
  • Turkish Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (1 child)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attackers
    Government of National Accord, Turkish Military
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Incident Code

LC410

Incident date

May 31, 2020

Location

حي الاندلس, Hay Al Andalus, Tripoli, Libya

Geolocation

32.874009, 13.135207 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Up to seven civilians were allegedly killed and up to twelve injured by indiscrimiante shelling on the Souq Al Talata area of Tripoli.

The Field Medicine and Support Center said three were killed and 11 injured.

The GNA-led Burkan Al Ghadab operation posted that five were killed and eight injured, one of which a child whose leg had to be amputated.

Reuters reported: “Sunday’s shelling hit an expanse of grass that residents often use to relax on the edge of the Hay al-Andalus neighbourhood, west of central Tripoli.

Ameen al-Hashimi, a press officer for the Tripoli government’s health ministry, told Reuters five people, two of them unidentified, had been killed, and 12 wounded.

Osama Ali, a spokesman for local ambulance services, said four of the casualties had been killed at the grassy area and one other at a second, nearby location.”

Al Wasat said: “A spokesman for the ambulance and emergency services, Osama Ali, said that 5 citizens were killed by shells falling on Souq Al Talata and Al Gharbi Street in Tripoli.

Ali added, in a press statement, that four citizens were killed in Souq Al Talata, one man was seriously injured, a woman had minor injuries and is receiving first aid at her relatives home.”

The Libya Observer initially reported seven killed but later corrected to number to five.

Libya Alahrar TV and the Libya Observer accused the GNA of conducting the shelling. Tarhuna 24 blamed the GNA.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Abdel Fattah Akk 24 years old male killed
  • Zahia Faraj 65 years old female killed
  • Abdul Hakim Al-Matani 23 years old male killed
  • Muhammad Abu Guarara Nasr 30 years old male injured
  • Khalifa Muhammad Masoud 60 years old male injured
  • Mohsen Daw Mohamed 29 years old male injured
  • Ezzeldin Mohammed Al-Jilani 51 years old male injured
  • Abdul Latif Al-Jursi 31 years old male injured
  • Miral Mustafa 7 years old female injured
  • Tariq Mustafa Homs 16 years old male injured
  • Mona Ismail Saleh 35 years old female injured
  • Haji Mustafa Omar 26 years old male injured
  • Al-Mandhar Hisham Al-Mabrouk 39 years old male injured
  • Osama Kaddour 25 years old male injured

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3 – 5
  • (1 woman2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    8–12
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Government of National Accord, Libyan National Army
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (26) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (25) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Victim allegedly injured by shelling on Tripoli on May 31st, 2020 (via FMSC)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Victim allegedly injured by shelling on Tripoli on May 31st, 2020 (via FMSC)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Victim allegedly injured by shelling on Tripoli on May 31st, 2020 (via FMSC)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Victim allegedly injured by shelling on Tripoli on May 31st, 2020 (via FMSC)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Victim allegedly injured by shelling on Tripoli on May 31st, 2020 (via FMSC)
  • Victim allegedly killed by shelling on Tripoli on May 31st, 2020 (via FMSC)
  • Victim allegedly injured by shelling on Tripoli on May 31st, 2020 (via FMSC)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Victim allegedly injured by shelling on Tripoli on May 31st, 2020 (via FMSC)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Victim allegedly injured by shelling on Tripoli on May 31st, 2020 (via FMSC)
  • Victim allegedly killed by shelling on Tripoli on May 31st, 2020 (via FMSC)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Victim allegedly injured by shelling on Tripoli on May 31st, 2020 (via FMSC)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Victim allegedly injured by shelling on Tripoli on May 31st, 2020 (via FMSC)
  • Victim allegedly injured by shelling on Tripoli on May 31st, 2020 (via FMSC)
  • Smoke rising after shelling on Tripoli on May 31st, 2020 (via Libya Observer)
  • Smoke rising after shelling on Tripoli on May 31st, 2020 (via Libya Observer)
  • Smoke rising after shelling on Tripoli on May 31st, 2020 (via Libya Observer)
  • Smoke rising after shelling on Tripoli on May 31st, 2020 (via Libya Observer)
  • Cars and buildings damaged after shelling on Tripoli on May 31st, 2020 (via Al Wasat)
  • Cars and buildings damaged after shelling on Tripoli on May 31st, 2020 (via Al Wasat)
  • Smoke rising after shelling on Tripoli on May 31st, 2020 (via Tk Yahroug Kl shy)
  • Child who allegedly lost his leg after shelling on Tripoli on May 31st, 2020 (via Burkan Al Ghadab)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Child who allegedly lost his leg after shelling on Tripoli on May 31st, 2020 (via Burkan Al Ghadab)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Child who allegedly lost his leg after shelling on Tripoli on May 31st, 2020 (via Burkan Al Ghadab)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Child who allegedly lost his leg after shelling on Tripoli on May 31st, 2020 (via Burkan Al Ghadab)

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention the neighbourhood of Hay Al Andalus (حي الاندلس), for which the generic coordinates are: 32.874009, 13.135207. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

  • Reports of the incident mention the neighbourhood of Hay Al Andalus (حي الاندلس).

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

Government of National Accord Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Government of National Accord
  • Government of National Accord position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Libyan National Army Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Libyan National Army
  • Libyan National Army position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3 – 5
  • (1 woman2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    8–12
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Government of National Accord, Libyan National Army
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (26) [ collapse]

Incident Code

LC409

Incident date

May 30, 2020

Location

قصر بن غشير, Qasr Bin Gashir, Tripoli, Libya

Geolocation

32.688716, 13.173889 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

One civilian was allegedly injured by indiscriminate artillery shelling on Qasr Bin Gashir.

Tarhuna 24 said: “Citizen Hamza Al-Barghouth was wounded by shrapnel as a result of a missile landing in Qasr Bin Gashir area, which has been under heavy bombardment for more than a week.”

Tk Yahroug Kl shy only reported heavy artillery shelling in the area but did not mention civilian harm.

Local reports of fighting point at the GNA or LNA as the culprit.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attackers
    Government of National Accord, Libyan National Army

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Hamza Al-Barghouth, allegedly injured by shelling on Qasr Bin Gashir on May 30th, 2020 (via Tarhuna 24)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the town of Qasr Bin Gashir (قصر بن غشير), for which the generic coordinates are: 32.688716, 13.173889. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Government of National Accord Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Government of National Accord
  • Government of National Accord position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Libyan National Army Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Libyan National Army
  • Libyan National Army position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attackers
    Government of National Accord, Libyan National Army

Sources (2) [ collapse]