News & Investigations

News & Investigations

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

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

Published

July 9, 2020

Written by

Airwars Staff

Killing of Iranian commander by US drone strike represents 'not just a slippery slope. It is a cliff', warns Special Rapporteur

The US assassination of Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), in Baghdad in January 2020, was unlawful on several counts, according to a new report submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Council by its expert on extrajudicial killings.

Dr Agnes Callamard, the current UN Special Rapporteur on Extra-Judicial Executions, asserts in her latest report that Soleimani’s controversial assassination by a US drone strike on Baghdad International Airport on January 3rd 2020 had violated international law in several ways.

Noting that the US drone strike had also killed several Iraqi military personnel, Dr Callamard notes that “By killing General Soleimani on Iraqi soil without first obtaining Iraq’s consent, the US violated the territorial integrity of Iraq.”

The Special Rapporteur also argues that by failing to demonstrate that Soleimani represented an imminent threat to the United States – and instead focusing on his past actions dating back to 2006 – that his killing “would be unlawful under jus ad bellum“, the criteria by which a state may engage in war.

In the bluntest condemnation yet of the Trump Administration’s killing of Iran’s leading military commander, Dr Callamard argues that “the targeted killing of General Soleimani, coming in the wake of 20 years of distortions of international law, and repeated massive violations of humanitarian law, is not just a slippery slope. It is a cliff.”

She also warns that the killing of Iran’s top general may see other nations exploit the US’s justification for the assassination: “The international community must now confront the very real prospect that States may opt to ‘strategically’ eliminate high ranking military officials outside the context of a ‘known’ war, and seek to justify the killing on the grounds of the target’s classification as a ‘terrorist’ who posed a potential future threat.”

Speaking to Airwars from Geneva ahead of her presentation to the UNHRC, Dr Callamard described the US killing of General Soleimani as “a significant escalation in the use of armed drones, and in the use of extraterritorial force. Until now, drones have focused on terrorism and on counterterrorism responses. Here we’re seeing the displacement of a counterterrorism strategy onto State officials.” She described the Trump administration’s justification of the assassination of a senior Iranian government official as “a distortion of self defence.”

Qasem Soleimani, Iran’s highest ranked military commander, was assassinated in a US drone strike near Baghdad on January 3rd 2020 (via @IRaqiRev).

‘The second drone age’

Dr Callamard’s denouncement of the US’s killing of Qasem Soleimani marks the latest in almost 20 years of concerns raised by United Nations experts on the use of armed drones for targeted assassinations. In 2002, following the killing of five al Qaeda suspects in Yemen by the CIA, then-rapporteur Asma Jahangir warned for example that the attack constituted “a clear case of extrajudicial killing”.

UN reports since then have tended to focus on controversial drone campaigns outside the hot battlefield, in countries including Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Palestine’s West Bank and Gaza Strip.

With her new report, delivered to the UNHRC on July 9th, Dr Callamard seeks to bring the discussion on armed drone use up to date, noting that “the world has entered what has been called the ‘second drone age’ with a now vast array of State and non-State actors deploying ever more advanced drone technologies, making their use a major and fast becoming international security issue.” The term ‘second drone age’ was originally coined by Airwars director Chris Woods, to reflect a growing wave of armed drone proliferation among state and non-state actors.

My latest report to the UN #HRC44 focus on targeted killings by armed drones: https://t.co/qLsqubaMpA The world has entered a “second drone age”, in which State and non-State actors are deploying ever more advanced drone technologies, a major international, security issue.

— Agnes Callamard (@AgnesCallamard) July 8, 2020

 

As Dr Callamard and her team write: “The present report seeks to update previous findings. It interrogates the reasons for drones’ proliferation and the legal implications of their promises; questions the legal bases upon which their use is founded and legitimized; and identifies the mechanisms and institutions (or lack thereof) to regulate drones’ use and respond to targeted killings. The report shows that drones are a lightning rod for key questions about protection of the right to life in conflicts, asymmetrical warfare, counter-terrorism operations, and so-called peace situations.”

Many of the conflicts monitored by Airwars are referenced by Dr Callamard.

    In Iraq, she notes that non state actors including ISIS deployed armed drones, sometimes to devastating effect. “In 2017 in Mosul, Iraq, for example, within a 24-hour period ‘there were no less than 82 drones of all shapes and sizes’ striking at Iraqi, Kurdish, US, and French forces.” In Libya, the Special Rapporteur asserts that “The Haftar Armed Forces carried out over 600 drone strikes against opposition targets resulting allegedly in massive civilian casualties, including, in August 2019, against a migrant detention center.” Callamard notes that a ‘nations unwilling or unable to act’ defence – first used by George W Bush’s administration to justify drone strikes in Pakistan and elsewhere – had been employed by several nations, including Turkey and Israel, to justify attacks in Syria. The UN Special Rapporteur also cautions that as more States acquire armed drones, their use domestically has increased: “Turkey has reportedly used drones domestically against the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK), while Nigeria first confirmed attack was carried out against a Boko Haram logistics base in 2016. In 2015 Pakistan allegedly used its armed drones for the very first time in an operation to kill three ‘high profile terrorists.’ Iraq has similarly purchased drones to carry out strikes against ISIS in Anbar province in 2016.” Finally, Dr Callamard warns that non-State actors including terrorist groups increasingly have access to remotely piloted technologies – noting that “At least 20 armed non-State actors have reportedly obtained armed and unarmed drone systems.”

“Drones are now the weapon of choice for many countries. They are claimed to be both surgical and to save lives – though we have insufficient evidence to conclude either,” Dr Callamard told Airwars. “Drones may save the lives of ‘our’ soldiers – but on the ground is another matter.”

Civilian harm concerns

The UN Special Rapporteur’s latest report highlights concerns about ongoing risks to civilians from armed drone use. Citing multiple studies, she writes that “even when a drone (eventually) strikes its intended target, accurately and ‘successfully’, the evidence shows that frequently many more people die, sometimes because of multiple strikes.”

Callamard also cautions that “Civilian harm caused by armed drone strikes extends far beyond killings, with many more wounded. While the consequences of both armed and non-combat drones remain to be systematically studied, evidence shows that the populations living under ‘drones’ persistent stare and noise experience generalized threat and daily terror’.”

The UN’s expert on extrajudicial killings additionally notes the key role drones play in helping militaries to determine likely civilian harm: “Without on-the-ground, post-strike assessment, authorities rely on pre- and post-strike drone-video feeds to detect civilian casualties leaving potentially significant numbers of civilian casualties, including of those misidentified as ‘enemies’, undiscovered. Studies showed that in Syria and Iraq the initial military estimates missed 57% of casualties.”

The Special Rapporteur does however point out that civilian harm can be reduced by militaries, “through stronger coordination, improved data analysis, better training of drones’ operators, and systematic evaluation of strikes.”

▲ Aftermath of US drone strike on Baghdad International Airport in January 2020 which assassinated Iranian General Qasem Soleimani (via Arab48).

Incident Code

LC419

Incident date

June 10, 2020

Location

طرابلس‎: الساعدية, Tripoli: Al Sa'adeh, Tripoli, Libya

Geolocation

32.889496, 13.180408 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

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
  • 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 (LNA)
  • 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).

Libyan National Army (LNA) Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Libyan National Army (LNA)
  • Libyan National Army (LNA) 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
  • 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 (LNA)
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Incident Code

LC417

Incident date

June 8, 2020

Location

غرب سرت, Western Sirte, Sirte, Libya

Geolocation

31.190547, 16.571441 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

Five people, including paramedics, were killed in alleged LNA airstrikes with a Russian warplane on western Sirte on June 8th, 2020. Reportedly, GNA vehicles were targeted, including an ambulance.

Libya Observer reported that, according to a source within the GNA that “a MiG 29 warplane, which Russia gave to Haftar recently, had raided Libyan Army positions in western Sirte, targeting several vehicles, including one ambulance, and killed five people – paramedics included.” According to Libya Observer, all victims were GNA fighters. Airwars counts medical personnel as civilian casualties.

Currently, further information is unavailable to Airwars.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2 – 3
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Libyan National Army (LNA)
  • Suspected target
    GNA
  • Belligerents reported killed
    2–3

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the city of Western Sirte (غرب سرت), for which the generic coordinates are: 31.190547, 16.571441. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Libyan National Army (LNA) Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2 – 3
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Libyan National Army (LNA)
  • Suspected target
    GNA
  • Belligerents reported killed
    2–3

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Incident Code

LC415

Incident date

June 8, 2020

Location

جارف: قرارة القزاح, Jarif: Qarara Al Qazzah, Sirte, Libya

Geolocation

31.131944, 16.271944 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

Seven civilians of the same family, including three children and two women, were killed in alleged LNA airstrikes on their home in Qarara Al Qazah in Al Thalatheen/Jarif area in Jarif on June 8th, 2020, according to local sources.

@LibyaCW reported that “the organisation recorded the fall of shells on three houses in Al Thalateen area west of Sirte today, Monday, June 8, killing seven (7) civilians and wounding ten (10) others.”

Libya Observer reported that, according to a GNA source, the family’s house was targeted by a MiG 29 warplane, which Russia provided recently to Haftar militias. The source reported that a day earlier, on Sunday, June 7th 2020, GNA forces had entered the town.

Libya Al Ahrar reported that the Chamber of Insurance and Protection Operations of Sirte and Al Jafra condemned “the terrorist act carried out by the Haftar militia after bombing civilian homes in the Jarif area, by means of a MiG-29 warplane, which killed 7 civilians.” The source reported the names of the seven victims, among which the children Ahmed Salim Al Nabsha Al FerjaniSaleh Salem Al Nabsha Al Ferjani and Salsabil Salem Al Nabsha Al Ferjani, who died alongside their mother.

Libyaakhbar said that The Ministry of Foreign Affairs paid condolences to Salim Al Ferjani, an employee at the Foreign Office in Sirte, after the death of his wife, his three children, and his brother as a result of the brutal bombing of his house in Sirte.

Al Marsad News blamed Turkey for this incident saying “Turkey’s Third Massacre of Civilians in Less than a Week. Eyewitnesses in Sirte confirmed the death of Salih, Ahmed, and Salsabeel Salem Al-Fitouri, all children, and their mother Najat Saleh, and father, Saleh Al-Fitouri. The Turkish intense bombing also claimed the lives of Ali Faraj Ashtaiwi and Ali Faraj Ashtaiwi.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (7)

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    7
  • (3 children2 women2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    6–10
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Libyan National Army (LNA), Turkish Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    GNA

Sources (8) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (3) [ collapse]

  • Translation: "The organization recorded the fall of shells on three houses in Al Thalateen area west of Sirte today, Monday, June 8, killing seven (7) civilians and wounding ten (10) others. Both parties to the armed conflict should spare civilians military operations and immediately stop targeting residential neighborhoods" (via @LibyanCW).
  • Damage after alleged LNA airstrikes on Al Thalateen area on June 8th, 2020 (via @LibyaCW).
  • The names of the victims in a statement by the Chamber of Insurance and Protection Operations of Sirte and Al Jafra (via Libya Al Ahrar).

Libyan National Army (LNA) Assessment:

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

Turkish Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    7
  • (3 children2 women2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    6–10
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Libyan National Army (LNA), Turkish Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    GNA

Sources (8) [ collapse]

Incident Code

LC412

Incident date

June 2, 2020

Location

غريان, Gheryan, Jabal al Gharbi, Libya

Geolocation

32.17182, 13.021889 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

Five men were killed in alleged LNA/UAE drone strikes on the city of Gheryan, Jabal Al Gharbi, on June 2nd, 2020, according to local sources.

Simfaro reported that aircraft was hovering over the city for several hours, conducting ten strikes in separate areas. @EbrahimGasuda initially reported the names of three victims as the result of UAE drone strikes, targeting the Meteorological and Seismological Center in Baderten neighbourhood.

The source later updated this to five victims. Reportedly, civilian males Abdul Basit Ali Al BasheerAbdul Karim Al SharqawiAshour Ahmed BelhadjRami Muhammad Abu Shaqour and Mahmoud Abdul Hamid Al Tajouri were killed in the strikes.

Amina Burgrara reported that ten strikes led to “three martyrs when the Meteorological and Seismological Center was bombed and two when the forces located near the Jendouba Bridge were bombed.”

Sidi Mousa Street reported that Rami Muhammad Abu Shaqour was one of the victims of the airstrikes on Jendouba bridge.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5
  • (5 men)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attackers
    Libyan National Army (LNA), United Arab Emirates Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (3) [ collapse]

  • One of the victims of alleged LNA/UAE drone strikes on Gharyan on June 2nd, 2020 (via Amina Burgrara on Facebook).
  • One of the victims of alleged LNA/UAE drone strikes on Gharyan on June 2nd, 2020 (via Amina Burgrara on Facebook).
  • One of the victims of alleged LNA/UAE drone strikes on Gharyan on June 2nd, 2020 (via Khamis Al Kawasem on Facebook).

Libyan National Army (LNA) Assessment:

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

United Arab Emirates Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    United Arab Emirates Armed Forces
  • United Arab Emirates Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5
  • (5 men)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attackers
    Libyan National Army (LNA), United Arab Emirates Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Incident Code

LC410

Incident date

May 31, 2020

Location

طرابلس‎: سوق الثلاثاء, Tripoli: Souq Al Talata, Tripoli, Libya

Geolocation

32.880754, 13.155657 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Nearby landmark level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Nearby landmark

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
  • 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 Armed Forces (GNA), Libyan National Army (LNA)
  • 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)

Government of National Accord Armed Forces (GNA) Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Government of National Accord Armed Forces (GNA)
  • Government of National Accord Armed Forces (GNA) position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Libyan National Army (LNA) Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Libyan National Army (LNA)
  • Libyan National Army (LNA) 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
  • 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 Armed Forces (GNA), Libyan National Army (LNA)
  • 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

Geolocation accuracy

Town

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
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attackers
    Government of National Accord Armed Forces (GNA), Libyan National Army (LNA)

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 Armed Forces (GNA) Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Government of National Accord Armed Forces (GNA)
  • Government of National Accord Armed Forces (GNA) position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Libyan National Army (LNA) Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Libyan National Army (LNA)
  • Libyan National Army (LNA) 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
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attackers
    Government of National Accord Armed Forces (GNA), Libyan National Army (LNA)

Sources (2) [ collapse]