Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

Lib2011-053

Incident date

March 30, 2011

Location

تاجوراء , Tajoura, Tripoli, Libya

Geolocation

32.830319, 13.383189 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

Up to 40 civilians were killed in Tajoura by a NATO airstrike, according to a senior Vatican official based in Tripoli at the time.

Reuters reported on the incident: “At least 40 civilians have been killed in air strikes by Western forces on Tripoli, the top Vatican official in the Libyan capital said Thursday, citing what he called reliable sources in close contact with residents.”

It further stated: “NATO said it was investigating Martinelli’s report but had no confirmation of civilian casualties in Tripoli.

Martinelli earlier told Catholic news agency Fides that the 40 civilians were killed in Buslim, but he later corrected the district to Tajoura, saying he had confused the names of the two neighbourhoods.

He said his information on the killings came from “people who work with us, who have many contacts with residents, who are on the ground and know the situation very well.”

Al Jazeera tweeted that a residential area in Tripoli was bombed according to Libyan TV. And DP News posted pictures of “Libyan victims” but did not state if they were killed in this particular incident.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    40
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    NATO forces
  • Suspected target
    Gaddafi forces

Sources (11) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Images of victims possibly killed in the incident (via DP News)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the city of Tajoura (تاجوراء), for which the generic coordinates are: 32.830319, 13.383189. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

NATO forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    NATO forces
  • NATO forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    40
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    NATO forces
  • Suspected target
    Gaddafi forces

Sources (11) [ collapse]

Incident Code

Lib2011-047

Incident date

March 23, 2011

Location

كلية الهندسة العسكرية, College of Military Engineering, Tripoli, Libya

Geolocation

32.867559, 13.412167 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Nearby landmark level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Nearby landmark

Airwars assessment

Several civilians were reportedly killed in a NATO airstrike on Tajoura, east of Tripoli.

BBC Arabic said at the time: “Libyan officials early on Thursday took a group of journalists to a hospital in Tripoli to see what they said were 18 charred corpses of soldiers and civilians killed in coalition raids overnight. Western planes bombed a military base and areas east of the capital Tripoli for the fifth consecutive day of military operations. The Libyan news agency said earlier that the coalition aircraft targeted a residential neighborhood east of Tripoli, which caused ‘a large number of civilian deaths.'”

Arabic people reported: “A large number of Libyan and wounded civilians and paramedics targeted by Western coalition raids were seen in a residential neighbourhood of Tajoura district in the eastern suburb of Tripoli on Friday morning.

The bodies, which arrived at Tripoli Central Hospital, appeared charred; Some of the other bodies, which were torn apart as a result of the western raids, arrived, according to the official news agency (Auj).”

Arabic People added that the incident took place near the College for Military Engineering.

RT Arabic tweeted: “Libyan television: Civilians killed in raids by international forces on Libya.” In a video piece it also showed various bodies of alleged victims.

An article in The Telegraph later seemed to contest civilian casualties near Tajoura, likely referring to this incident: “Officials have been unable to identify areas where large numbers of civilians died, and admitted that the figure of 100 deaths included cadets at military academies, at least one of which on a base in Tajoura was said to have been struck.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    8 – 16
  • (2 children)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    NATO forces
  • Suspected target
    NATO forces

Sources (16) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • Video piece allegedly showing the aftermath and victims of the attack
  • Image of the alleged airstrike (via Arabic People)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention multiple strikes within the vicinity of the College of Military Engineering (كلية الهندسة العسكرية) located in the neighbourhood of Tajoura (تاجوراء). Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for the College of Military Engineering are: 32.867559, 13.412167.

NATO forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    NATO forces
  • NATO forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    8 – 16
  • (2 children)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    NATO forces
  • Suspected target
    NATO forces

Sources (16) [ collapse]

Incident Code

Lib2011-045

Incident date

March 22, 2011

Location

بنغازي‎, Benghazi, Libya

Geolocation

32.112582, 20.082151 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

Between six and eight civilians were reported injured after a US aircraft crashed near Benghazi. It is unclear whether they were wounded by gunfire, or a subsequent airstrike in an attempt to save the crew.

The Telegraph wrote: “US officials insisted that rescue crews did not fire their weapons when retrieving the pilot, contesting media reports that a squad of Marines came in with ‘all guns blazing’ and wounding several civilians.

The pilot and his weapons officer bailed out of their F-15E Strike Eagle fighter over Benghazi when it became crippled by a mechanical fault during a bombing raid on Monday night. The two crewmen became split up when they parachuted to the ground.

“Military commanders decided to dispatch four US Marine Harriers from the USS Kearsarge, off the Libyan coast, when they spotted armoured vehicles approaching the location where the pilot landed. The Harrier pilots dropped two 500lb bombs on the vehicles.”

The Telegraph added: “The apparent contradiction in the accounts suggested that the Libyan villagers may have been injured not by small arms gunfire but shrapnel from the two bombs. It was reported on Tuesday night that eight people were injured in the incident, which is now subject to an investigation by the USAAF.”

The Daily Mail said six people were injured by gunfire in the incident.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    6–8
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    NATO forces
  • Suspected target
    Other

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (3) [ collapse]

  • Image of the dropped plane (via Daily Mail)
  • Another image of the dropped plane (via Daily Mail)
  • Another image of the dropped plane (via Daily Mail)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the city of Benghazi (بنغازي‎), for which the generic coordinates are: 32.112582, 20.082151. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

NATO forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    NATO forces
  • NATO forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    6–8
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    NATO forces
  • Suspected target
    Other

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Incident Code

Lib2011-044

Incident date

March 20, 2011

Location

سرت‎, 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

A “large number” of civilians was reported killed in NATO airstrikes on Sirte, according to the Gaddafi regime.

Mohamed Abd El Rahman reported on Facebook that “the Libyan regime said that the coalition launched raids on Tripoli and Zuwara and Misurata (west) and Sirte since Saturday and targeted Sirte on Monday, especially the airports, which led to the death of ‘a large number of civilians’.”

Another source only mentioned British airstrikes on Sirte, but made no mention of civilian harm.

According to independent monitors, numbers of civilian casualties reported by the Gaddafi regime were significantly inflated throughout the NATO intervention.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    10 – 20
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    NATO forces
  • Suspected target
    Gaddafi forces

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the city of Sirte (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.

NATO forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    NATO forces
  • NATO forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    10 – 20
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    NATO forces
  • Suspected target
    Gaddafi forces

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Incident Code

Lib2011-038

Incident date

March 19, 2019

Location

قاعدة طرابلس وبنغازي ومصراتة وسرت والوطية الجوية, Tripoli, Benghazi, Misurata, Sirte and Al Watyah airbase, Libya

Geolocation

31.155680, 16.555218 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Province/governorate level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Province/governorate

Airwars assessment

Between 48 and 64 civilians were killed during the first day of NATO airstrikes in Libya, according to Gaddafi regime media. However, these numbers are heavily contested by non-partisan sources.

Doualia wrote at the time: “Air strikes on several Libyan cities killed 48 people and wounded 150 in ‘civilian areas,’ a statement on Libyan state television said.”

The Telegraph contested these numbers in its own reporting: “Libyan officials said that 64 ‘martyrs”‘ had been hit in the attacks and that the coaltion had targeted military facilities protected by civilians as well as civilian buildings. However claims by one top Gaddafi aide that the hospital and ambulances were filling up were left unsubstantiated.

Security forces reportedly refused to allow journalists access to hospitals or morgues. One woman who had accessed a hospital in Tajoura, a suburb of Tripoli where an anti-aircraft battery was blown up, said nursing staff were preparing beds for wounded but that none had turned up.

Eyewitness said the likelihood of casualties at another target – Mitika airbase in Tripoli – was also low. No ambulance arrived or left the base hours after the hit.”

The Telegraph added: “State television show thousands of human shields congregating at potential targets across the country, including Col Gaddafi’s headquarters in central Tripoli. Tents have been set up around the concrete walls of the heavily defended compounds. Aides continued to bus thousands of loyalists, who were provided with money, food and soft drink, to act as human shields at airports, government buildings and military installations across Libya.”

On this day, NATO strikes were officially reported in Tripoli, Benghazi, Misurata, Sirte and on the Al Watiyah airbase.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    48 – 64
  • Civilians reported injured
    150
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attacker
    NATO forces
  • Suspected target
    Gaddafi forces

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention the cities of Tripoli (طرابلس‎), Benghazi (بنغازي‎), Sirte (سرت‎), Misurata (مصراتة), and the Al Watiyah Airbase (الوطية الجوية). Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for a middle point between these locations are: 31.155680, 16.555218.

  • Imagery:
    Google Earth

NATO forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    NATO forces
  • NATO forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    48 – 64
  • Civilians reported injured
    150
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attacker
    NATO forces
  • Suspected target
    Gaddafi forces

Sources (5) [ collapse]