Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

SDF00042

Incident date

September 21, 2023

Location

بلدة غريبة, Ghariba, Deir Ezzor, Syria

Airwars assessment

A young boy, Muayad Ahmed al-Khudair, was injured on September 21st, 2023 in the town of Ghariba, when he was struck by bullets allegedly fired by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Al-Khudair, who has been reported as either 12 or 13 years old, was herding sheep near the bank of the Euphrates River when he was shot.

Euphrates Post alleged the SDF was stationed on the other side of the river. Naher Media corroborated this claim, stating that the SDF was firing from a military point located there.

Al-Khudair, who was taken to a hospital, was said to be in critical condition at the time of reporting.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Muayad Ahmed al-Khudair
Child male 12-13 years old injured

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Ground operation
  • Civilian infrastructure
    Agriculture
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Small arms and light weapons
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    YPG

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Muayad Ahmed al-Khudair, believed to be either 12 or 13 years old, was herding sheep when hit by a bullet allegedly fired by the SDF

YPG Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    YPG
  • YPG position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Ground operation
  • Civilian infrastructure
    Agriculture
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Small arms and light weapons
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    YPG

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS1992

Incident date

May 3, 2023

Location

قورقانيا, Qurqaniya, Idlib, Syria

Geolocation

36.133082, 36.623254 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (other) level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

A 60 year old male civilian was killed by a declared US drone strike on the outskirts of Qurqaniya just before noon on May 3, 2023. At the time of the strike, US Central Command released a statement that they had targeted a senior Al Qaeda leader without any additional details. On May 2, 2024, the US military admitted that “a civilian, Mr. Lufti Hasan Masto (Masto), was struck and killed instead.”

The Syrian Civil Defense (@SyriaCivilDefe) tweeted that a civilian named Lutfi Hassan Masto (Abu Hassan), age 60, was killed by an unidentified drone while grazing sheep on the outskirts of Qurqaniya. The drone strike also resulted in the death of sheep.

US Central Command (CENTCOM) released a statement on May 3rd that “at 1142am local Syrian time on 3 May, US Central Command forces conducted a unilateral strike in Northwest Syria targeting a senior Al Qaeda leader. We will provide more information as operation details become available.”

However, the information provided by CENTCOM has been disputed by local sources. A tweet from Syrian journalist @pressrahhal stated that while “US Central Command claimed targeting a leader it said was prominent in the “Al-Qaeda” organization…the target is the martyr uncle “Lutfi Hassan Masto” at the age of 60, and he is a civilian who has no connection with any organization, neither now nor previously.”

Xeber24 News was the only source that referred to “the leader of one of the terrorist organizations” as being killed in the drone strike but did not clarify if it was the same person as the elderly man killed. However, multiple terrorism experts that spoke with the Washington Post pointed out that “it would be very unusual for al-Qaeda — particularly a senior leader — to operate in any meaningful way near the area, which is controlled by a rival group (Hayat Tahrir al-Sham) that split from the organization years ago and now considers al-Qaeda an adversary.” Other terrorist analysts pointed out that there were no announcements or celebrations of martyrdom among any terrorist organizations. Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, a militant group that controls Idlib province, told The Post the victim was a civilian.

A Washington Post investigation into the victim identified him as “a father of 10 tending to his sheep when he was slain by an American missile” and “a former bricklayer who lived quietly in this town in northwest Syria” according to interviews with his brother, son and six others who knew him. Those that knew him described a kind, hard-working man whose “whole life was spent poor.”

Multiple local sources referred to the location of the strike as being on a poultry farm, specifically in the vicinity of “Abu Khalouf poultry farm.”

Aramme News attributed the strike to a MQ9 reconnaissance aircraft.

On May 9th, AP quoted Maj. John Moore, a CENTCOM spokesperson, who said Tuesday that U.S. forces “are in the process of confirming the identity of the individual killed in the strike….We are aware of the allegations of a civilian casualty and the outcome of the confirmation process will inform if further investigation is necessary and how it should proceed.” On May 18th, the Washington Post quoted two U.S. defense officials, one who said “We are no longer confident we killed a senior AQ official,” while the other official said  “though we believe the strike did not kill the original target, we believe the person to be al-Qaeda.”

The victim’s brother, Mohamed Masto, told AP that reports that his brother was involved in al-Qaida were “absolute lies” and that his killing was “an injustice and an aggression…He had nothing to do with the revolution. … He had nothing to do with the Al-Nusra Front or with the Islamic State” or any of the other armed groups involved in Syria’s 12-year-old uprising-turned-civil-war, Masto said.

A neighbor named Fayad Jamil Raji told AP he had known Lufti Masto — or “Abu Hassan,” a nickname meaning “father of Hassan” — for many years. “The man was a civilian. He had a farm with poultry, cows and sheep,” he said.

According to the Washington Post, on the day of the strike, his son Hassan said that Masto had gathered with his family about 7:30 a.m that morning. “We had breakfast that morning like there was nothing wrong. We had breakfast and everything was fine, and then he went to herd his sheep,” the son recalled. Masto then took a break after a few hours outside near his home to have tea with his brother, and they parted ways around 11:30 a.m., and he returned to his animals as they grazed. An MQ-9 Predator drone soared overhead and struck him close to where he had just had tea with his brother 20 minutes ago. Neighbors pointed out that aircraft had been surveilling the area for nearly two weeks.

In a civilian casualty assessment released on November 30th 2023, the US-led Coalition has indicated that the credibility of this civilian harm allegation is in the process of being assessed.

On May 2, 2024, the CENTCOM released the findings of their investigation that “the investigation determined U.S. forces misidentified the intended Al Qaeda target and that a civilian, Mr. Lufti Hasan Masto (Masto), was struck and killed instead. Many of the facts and other findings of the investigation involve classified information and cannot be shared publicly. What we can share is the investigation concluded the strike was conducted in compliance with the law of armed conflict as well as Department of Defense and CENTCOM policies. However, the investigation revealed several issues that could be improved. We are committed to learning from this incident and improving our targeting processes to mitigate potential civilian harm.”

The incident occured at 11:42:00 local time.

The victims were named as:

Lutfi Hassan Masto لطفي حسن مسطو
60 years old male killed

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the town of Qurqaniya (قورقانيا). Reporting from the Washington Post places the strike at the following exact coordinates: 36.133082, 36.623254.

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Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian infrastructure
    Agriculture
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    Al Qaeda
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–1

Sources (32) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (12) [ collapse]

  • Remnants of the missile from a US drone that killed a civilian in Qurqaniya, Syria on May 3, 2023. (Image posted by @anasanas84)
  • Sheep killed by a US drone that also killed a civilian in Qurqaniya, Syria on May 3, 2023. (Image posted by @anasanas84)
  • Remnants of the missile from a US drone that killed a civilian in Qurqaniya, Syria on May 3, 2023. (Image posted by @anasanas84)
  • Remnants of the missile from a US drone that killed a civilian in Qurqaniya, Syria on May 3, 2023. (Image posted by @anasanas84)
  • A raid by the armed coalition warplanes targeted a poultry farm near the town of Qorqanya, north of Idlib
  • White Helmet volunteers at the site of a declared US drone strike that killed a civilian in Qurqaniya, Syria on May 3, 2023. (Image posted by @SyriaCivilDefe)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    The civilian "Lutfi Hassan Masto" (60 years old) was killed by a missile strike from a drone that targeted him while he was working in herding sheep on the outskirts of the town of "Qorqanya", north of Idlib.
  • Image of Lutfi Hassan Masto, age 60, killed by a declared US drone strike in Qurqaniya, Syria on May 3, 2023. (Image posted by @khaleedalkhteb)
  • Mohammed Hassan Masto sits next to the grave of his brother Lutfi, who was killed on Wednesday, May 3, in a U.S. military strike, in the village of Qorqanya, a rural area in northern Idlib province, Syria, Sunday, May 7, 2023. Maj. John Moore, a CENTCOM spokesperson, said Tuesday, May 9, that U.S. forces are investigating reports that they killed a civilian in the recent strike in northwest Syria that meant to target a senior al-Qaida leader. (AP Photo/Omar Albam)
  • An undated image of Lotfi Hassan Misto, who was killed on May 3 by a U.S. drone strike in Syria. (Courtesy of the Misto family)
  • Location of strike: Satellite image © 2023 Maxar Technologies via Google Earth

US Forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US Forces
  • US Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Civilian casualty statements

US Forces
  • May 2, 2024
  • Nov 30, 2023
  • May 03, 2023, near Qurqanya, Syria, via White Helmets report. 3334/CS1992/37S BA 86128 01283

  • May 2, 2024 Release Number 20240502-01 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE TAMPA, Fla. – On May 3, 2023, the United States conducted a unilateral counterterrorism air strike in Northwest Syria targeting a senior Al Qaeda leader. Soon after the air strike, reports surfaced the strike may have resulted in a civilian casualty. Following initial reviews by subordinate elements, General Michael Erik Kurilla, Commander, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), directed Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF - OIR) to conduct a joint investigation on 6 June 2023 in accordance with Army Regulation 15- 6. The investigation, which concluded on November 15, 2023, was conducted by Investigating Officer, Brigadier General John P. Cogbill, U.S. Army, and supported by a team of ten senior service members and civilian employees not directly involved with the strike with extensive subject matter expertise in intelligence, law of armed conflict, operations, and targeting matters. The investigative team received both cognitive bias training and red team training. The team conducted site visits in the United States, Iraq, and Jordan, and interviewed more than forty witnesses. The investigative team also sought information from non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The team reviewed classified and unclassified information held by DoD and other federal agencies. The investigation determined U.S. forces misidentified the intended Al Qaeda target and that a civilian, Mr. Lufti Hasan Masto (Masto), was struck and killed instead. Many of the facts and other findings of the investigation involve classified information and cannot be shared publicly. What we can share is the investigation concluded the strike was conducted in compliance with the law of armed conflict as well as Department of Defense and CENTCOM policies. However, the investigation revealed several issues that could be improved. We are committed to learning from this incident and improving our targeting processes to mitigate potential civilian harm. U.S. Central Command acknowledges and regrets the civilian harm that resulted from the airstrike. We take all reports of civilian harm caused by U.S. military operations seriously and continue to employ thorough and deliberate targeting and strike processes to minimize civilian harm. This process includes a thorough review and vetting of lawful targets prior to a strike and another review after each strike. CENTCOM is fully engaged in implementing the objectives in the Civilian Harm Mitigation and Response Action Plan (CHMR-AP) and the DoD Instruction (DoDI) 3000.17, titled “Civilian Harm Mitigation and Response.”

Original strike reports

US Forces

At 1142am local Syrian time on 3 May, US Central Command forces conducted a unilateral strike in Northwest Syria targeting a senior Al Qaeda leader. We will provide more information as operation details become available.
"This operation reaffirms CENTCOM's steadfast commitment to the region and the enduring defeat of ISIS and Al Qaeda," said General Michael "Erik" Krill, CENTCOM Commander.

Media
from belligerent (1) [ collapse]

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian infrastructure
    Agriculture
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    Al Qaeda
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–1

Sources (32) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS1973

Incident date

December 3, 2021

Location

المسطومة, Al-Mastouma, Idlib, Syria

Geolocation

35.838709, 36.622450 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (via Airwars) level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

At least one young man was killed and between six and seven civilians, including up to four children, were injured in a declared US drone strike on the Al-Mastouma Ariha road on December 3rd, 2021. Sources are conflicted as to whether the young man killed was an active or former member of the Guardians of Religion Organization, an Al Qaeda affiliate group.

In a press briefing on December 6, 2021, the Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby told reporters “a senior leader with Hurras al-Din, which is an Al-Qaeda affiliated group, by the name of Musab Kinan was the person targeted and killed in a kinetic strike by U.S. forces near Idlib on the 3rd of December. It was a strike conducted from an MQ-9 unmanned aircraft. The initial review of the strike did indicate the potential for possible civilian casualties. They’ve [CENTCOM] launched a civilian casualty assessment report, which they have to do when they think there’s a potential and as far as I know that’s still ongoing. I don’t know what the results might be.”

Associated Press reported that at least four members of the Qasoum family were children – 16-year old Hiba Qasoum, 15-year old Batoul Qasoum, 12-year old Walid Qasoum and 10-year old Mohammad Qasoum. Fatima, 48, was also reported seriously injured in the strike alongside her husband Ahmed Qasoum who sustained light injuries. One source (@jabha_sy) reported different ages (included in brackets in victim details below).

The Middle East Eye (MEE) also reported on the Qasoum family, including an interview with father Ahmed Qasoum who told MEE that one of those injured was his 10-year old son: ““The motorcycle was going in front of me and I decided to pass it, when I got parallel to it, I felt a lot of pressure pushing the car to the left of the road….It was horrible,” Qasoum said. “We didn’t hear any sound of the explosion. The shrapnel hit the left side of the car, tearing through that side, which acted as a sort of filter for a lot of it.”

“My 10-year-old son has had a fractured skull and is now in a very serious condition in the intensive care at a hospital in Idlib. Doctors have told me that he would have nerves problems on his right side in the future,” Qasoum said, speaking to MEE via WhatsApp.”

Mr. Qasoum added that his 15-year old daughter was also seriously injured after shrapnel struck her head, and that it might take her a week to be able to walk again.

In an interview with Associated Press published December 6th, Mr. Qassoum said that he was driving 10km every day to visit the hospital where his son, Mahmoud, was being treated for his head injuries.

Step News Agency reported that the Qasoum family had been displaced from the village of Kafr Batikh after regime forces took control of the area.

@humam_isa identified the young man, “Musab Khaled Kanaan” (a first-year Turkish language student) as being one of the people killed by Coalition missile strikes on the Idlib-Al-Mastouma road, while Syrian Network for Human Rights and Shaam News referred to Musab as being a former Hurras al Din (Guardians of Religion) fighter.

A tweet from @SunaUnique reported that a drone struck a car traveling on the Al-Mastouma Ariha road, killing those inside, but didn’t specify how many were traveling in the car.

According to @Click_Syria, a drone alleged to belong to the Coalition struck a motorcycle belonging to a military official from the Guardians of Religion Organization and also hit a Santa Fe car passing by on the same road, the Ariha-Mastouma highway, injuring six people in the car. @syr_television added that the family of six people in the car were “lightly” injured. Euphrates Eye put the number killed at two and identified them both as Guardians of Religion.

Syrian Civil Defense put the number of injured civilians at five, including three women and a child.

A tweet from @FreshFM90MHZ referred to those killed and injured as being “civilians”.

A video posted by @syr_television shows the moment that the drone strike hit the motorcycle from the perspective of the car where the six family members were injured. Syrian Observatory for Human Rights identified that three missiles were involved in the attack.

@NotWoofers pointed out that this is the first time in a while in Idlib that there have been civilian casualties from a Coalition drone strike.

The Military Times reported that “the command [CENTCOM] would not say whether such operations will pause during the investigation” into civilian harm allegations.

Limited local media coverage was noted by the Middle East Eye, who reported that Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the armed group in control of Idlib, seized the Qasoum family car after the attack “under the pretext of checking the car’s papers”, and “prevented the media from filming the damage at the scene”.

In the Department of Defense’s 2022 annual report on civilian casualties (1057 report), released April 25, 2024, the US military admitted that six civilians had been injured during this incident.

The incident occured at approximately 10:00 am local time.

The victims were named as:

Family members (6)

Fatima Qarqour
48 years old injured
Muhammad Qasoum
10 (also reported as 15) years old injured
Heba Qasoum
16 (also reported as 30) years old injured
Batoul Qasoum
15 (also reported as 20) years old injured
Walid Qasoum
12 (also reported as 50) years old injured
Ahmed Qasoum
52 years old injured

The victims were named as:

Musab Khaled Kanaan
Age unknown male conflicted as to whether the young man killed was an active or former member of the Guardians of Religion Organization, an Al Qaeda affiliate group killed

Geolocation notes (3) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention vehicles struck on the road between Ariha (أَرِيحَا) and Al Mastouma (المسطومة). Analyzing audiovisual material from sources, we have narrowed down the location to the following coordinates: 35.838709, 36.622450.

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  • Tagged visual material from sources

    Imagery:
    Middle East Eye

  • Tagged visual material from sources

    Imagery:
    Macro Media Center

  • Tagged visual material from sources

    Imagery:
    Macro Media Center

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (0–1 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    6–7
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    Al Qaeda/HTS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1–2

Sources (35) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (18) [ collapse]

  • A drone struck a car traveling on the Al-Mastouma Ariha road, killing those inside. (Image posted by @SunaUnique)
  • A drone struck a car traveling on the Al-Mastouma Ariha road, killing those inside. (Image posted by @SunaUnique)
  • Musab Khaled Kanaan, killed in an alleged Coalition drone strike on a car on the Idlib-Al-Mastouma road on December 3, 2021. (Image posted by @humam_isa)
  • White Helmets observe the motorcycle struck with a drone attack on the Ariha Al-Mastouma road on December 3, 2021. (Image posted by Syrian Civil Defense)
  • White Helmets observe the car struck with a drone attack on the Ariha Al-Mastouma road on December 3, 2021. (Image posted by Syrian Civil Defense)
  • Blood of the victims on the car struck with a drone attack on the Ariha Al-Mastouma road on December 3, 2021. (Image posted by Syrian Civil Defense)
  • A White Helmet with remnants from the drone attack on the Ariha Al-Mastouma road on December 3, 2021. (Image posted by Macro Media Center)
  • Remnants of the car destroyed by the drone attack on the Ariha Al-Mastouma road on December 3, 2021. (Image posted by Macro Media Center)
  • A White Helmet with remnants from the drone attack on the Ariha Al-Mastouma road on December 3, 2021. (Image posted by Macro Media Center)
  • Blood of the victims on the car struck with a drone attack on the Ariha Al-Mastouma road on December 3, 2021. (Image posted by Macro Media Center)
  • Blood of the victims on the car struck with a drone attack on the Ariha Al-Mastouma road on December 3, 2021. (Image posted by Macro Media Center)
  • Blood of the victims on the car struck with a drone attack on the Ariha Al-Mastouma road on December 3, 2021. (Image posted by Macro Media Center)
  • Ahmed Qasoum was reported to be one of at least six members of the Qasoum family who sustained injuries after a US military strike hit a road in Idlib, December 3rd 2021. Image via Middle East Eye/Izzeddin Kasim.
  • "The wife of Ahmed Qasoum resting her broken leg after being injured in a US attack near Idlib on 3 December", Image via Middle East Eye/Izzeddin Kasim.
  • ""The shrapnel hit the left side of the car, tearing through that side," Ahmed Qasoum said", Image via Middle East Eye/Izzeddin Kasim.
  • Mahmoud Qasoum was was reported seriously injured in a US strike in Idlib December 3rd 2021. Image published by Associated Press/Ghaith Alsayed.
  • The Qasoum family, injured by a US strike in Idlib December 3rd 2021. Image via Associated Press.

US Forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US Forces
  • US Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Civilian casualty statements

US Forces
  • Apr 25, 2024
  • 03 DEC 21 Idlib, Idlib Province, Syria, Air, 6 civilians injured

Original strike reports

US Forces

"A senior leader with Hurras al-Din, which is an Al-Qaeda affiliated group, by the name of Musab Kinan was the person targeted and killed in a kinetic strike by U.S. forces near Idlib on the 3rd of December. It was a strike conducted from an MQ-9 unmanned aircraft. The initial review of the strike did indicate the potential for possible civilian casualties. They've [CENTCOM] launched a civilian casualty assessment report, which they have to do when they think there's a potential and as far as I know that's still ongoing. I don't know what the results might be."

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (0–1 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    6–7
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    Al Qaeda/HTS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1–2

Sources (35) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS1959

Incident date

June 28, 2021

Location

القائم, Al Qa’em, Deir Ezzor, Syria

Airwars assessment

One child was reportedly killed and three other civilians, including women and children, were wounded in US airstrikes on the Al Qa’em area near the Syrian-Iraqi borders on June 28, 2021. Local sources also reported that between four and 11 militants, with at least four members of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization, were also killed. The US Department of Defense confirmed they carried out the airstrikes but initially only recognized killing militants until admitting that “at least one civilian was killed or wounded” in November 2023, which was revised to “one civilian killed” in the 2022 1057 report released April 25, 2024.

Syrian Arab News Agency reported that the airstrikes attacked “residential houses near the Syrian-Iraqi borders in the countryside of al-Bokmal” led to “the martyrdom of a child, the injury of 3 civilians, and material damage”. Sputnik News also pointed to local sources that reported that “a child was killed and 3 other civilians were wounded” and that “the source denied that the target site was a military one, pointing out that the warehouses contain large quantities of oil derivatives, stressing that the fires affected vehicles that were in the target area”.

Eye of Euphrates provided information on both civilian and belligerent casualties, reporting that “the initial statistic that was reached indicates the killing of about 10 members of the Sayyid al-Shuhada militia (4 of them were recognized by the militia), amid reports of a civilian death and wounding of others, including women and children, with varying injuries, after which they were transferred to the city of Deir Ezzor”. According to them, the civilian casualties were caused by “Iranian militias hiding among civilians and taking their headquarters and warehouses within residential areas”.

The US Department of Defense released a statement that “the targets were selected because these facilities are utilized by Iran-backed militias that are engaged in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) attacks against U.S. personnel and facilities in Iraq. Specifically, the U.S. strikes targeted operational and weapons storage facilities at two locations in Syria and one location in Iraq, both of which lie close to the border between those countries. Several Iran-backed militia groups, including Kata’ib Hezbollah (KH) and Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada (KSS), used these facilities.”

Various sources reported on militants that were killed in the strikes. According to Euphrates Post, “Iraqi Popular Mobilization Militia mourns four of its fighters who were killed as a result of the American air strikes” and included an image of the four that were killed. @DeirEzzorNow also named four Popular Mobilization members killed as “Karar Abdel Aziz, Hussein Ali Abdul Hussein, Karar Saad Hamdan, Mohamed Al-Fartousi” and later provided an elevated death toll of 11.

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights provided a death toll of seven Iraqi Popular Mobilization” militia members in addition to “destruction of an ammunition and weapons depot, in addition to the destruction of another military point for the militias.” Step News gave their own toll of “6 militants were killed and about 12 others were wounded”.

A tweet from @YusufAd76532779 identified that “the house that was targeted by the American aircraft last night near the city of #Albukamal and the Syrian-Iraqi border, which was used by the militias of the “Sayyid Al-Shuhada” as their headquarters, has become completely destroyed and all of the militia members were killed in it”.

Geolocation for the incident was provided by @obretix, @AuroraIntel and @SAMSyria0.

In a civilian casualty assessment released November 3, 2023, the Coalition classed this event as ‘credible’, admitting that ” Strikes on this date targeted an operational and weapons storage facility utilized by militias that engage in unmanned aerial vehicle attacks against U.S. and Coalition personnel and facilities. An assessment found that at least one civilian was killed or wounded given the nature of the target buildings and observable effects of the deployed munitions.”

In the Department of Defense’s 2022 annual report on civilian casualties (1057 report), released April 25, 2024, the US military revised their estimate to “one civilian killed”.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 child)
  • Civilians reported injured
    3
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Belligerents reported killed
    4–11
  • Belligerents reported injured
    12

Sources (29) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (30) [ collapse]

  • Image of the alleged members of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Militia killed in US airstrikes on the Syrian-Iraqi border on June 28, 2021. (Image posted by Euphrates Post)
  • Explosions and smoke caused by the US airstrikes near Al-Bukamal, east of Deir Ezzor, on June 28, 2021. (Image posted by Euphrates Eye)
  • Explosions and smoke caused by the US airstrikes near Al-Bukamal, east of Deir Ezzor, on June 28, 2021. (Image posted by Euphrates Eye)
  • Geolocation of the US airstrikes on the Syrian-Iraqi border on June 28, 2021 done by @obretix.
  • Geolocation of the US airstrikes on the Syrian-Iraqi border on June 28, 2021 done by @obretix.
  • Image of the alleged members of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Militia killed in US airstrikes on the Syrian-Iraqi border on June 28, 2021. (Image posted by @SAMSyria0)
  • According to @SAMSyria0, "one of the American raids targeted a site (the yellow circle) near the site that was targeted in previous raids (the red circle), and the two sites are located on the Syrian-Iraqi border near the crossing Qaim."
  • Images of the "American strikes on the free zone in Al-Bukamal, Syria (on the border with Iraq) targeting sites" (Image posted by @mas2oul1)
  • Images of the "American strikes on the free zone in Al-Bukamal, Syria (on the border with Iraq) targeting sites" (Image posted by @mas2oul1)
  • Images of the "American strikes on the free zone in Al-Bukamal, Syria (on the border with Iraq) targeting sites" (Image posted by @mas2oul1)
  • The before image of a home that allegedly belonged to militias of the "Sayyid Al-Shuhada" as their headquarters and was destroyed by US airstrikes on the Syrian-Iraqi border. (Image posted by @YusufAd76532779)
  • The after image of a home that allegedly belonged to militias of the "Sayyid Al-Shuhada" as their headquarters and was destroyed by US airstrikes on the Syrian-Iraqi border. (Image posted by @YusufAd76532779)
  • One of the headquarters of the "Sayyid al-Shuhada" militia, which was destroyed by US warplanes, in the countryside of Al-Bukamal. #Nahr_media
  • Geolocation of one of the strikes using video footage with coordinates provided. (Images posted by @AuroraIntel)
  • Geolocation of one of the strikes using video footage with coordinates provided. (Images posted by @AuroraIntel)
  • Geolocation of one of the strikes using video footage with coordinates provided. (Images posted by @AuroraIntel)
  • Geolocation of one of the strikes using video footage with coordinates provided. (Images posted by @AuroraIntel)
  • Geolocation of one of the strikes using video footage with coordinates provided. (Images posted by @AuroraIntel)
  • Geolocation of one of the strikes using video footage with coordinates provided. (Images posted by @AuroraIntel)
  • Damage to the Iranian militia headquarters in Al-Hari caused by the US airstrikes on the border areas of Al-Bukamal countryside on June 28, 2021. (Image posted by Eye of Euphrates via Facebook)
  • Damage caused by the US airstrikes on the border areas of Al-Bukamal countryside on June 28, 2021. (Image posted by Eye of Euphrates via Facebook)
  • Damage caused by the US airstrikes on the border areas of Al-Bukamal countryside on June 28, 2021. (Image posted by Eye of Euphrates via Facebook)
  • Damage to a Civilian house caused by the US airstrikes on the border areas of Al-Bukamal countryside on June 28, 2021. (Image posted by Eye of Euphrates via Facebook)
  • Damage to the Afghan headquarters in Al-Hari caused by the US airstrikes on the border areas of Al-Bukamal countryside on June 28, 2021. (Image posted by Eye of Euphrates via Facebook)
  • Damage to the Iranian forces in Al-Hari crossing caused by the US airstrikes on the border areas of Al-Bukamal countryside on June 28, 2021. (Image posted by Eye of Euphrates via Facebook)
  • Area near the US airstrikes on the border areas of Al-Bukamal countryside on June 28, 2021. (Image posted by Eye of Euphrates via Facebook)
  • A crane belonging to the Revolutionary Guard heads to the sites of the raids to remove the rubble and retrieve the bodies following US airstrikes on the border areas of Al-Bukamal countryside on June 28, 2021. (Image posted by Eye of Euphrates via Facebook)

US Forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US Forces
  • US Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Civilian casualty statements

US Forces
  • Apr 27, 2024
  • Nov 3, 2023
  • June 28, 2021, near Al Qaem, on the Iraq-Syria, via Airwars report. Strikes on this date targeted an operational and weapons storage facility utilized by militias that engage in unmanned aerial vehicle attacks against U.S. and Coalition personnel and facilities. An assessment found that at least one civilian was killed or wounded given the nature of the target buildings and observable effects of the deployed munitions.

  • 28 JUN 21 Al Qa’im, Dayr az Zawr Province, Syria, Air, 1 civilian killed

Original strike reports

US Forces

"At President Biden's direction, U.S. military forces earlier this evening conducted defensive precision airstrikes against facilities used by Iran-backed militia groups in the Iraq-Syria border region. The targets were selected because these facilities are utilized by Iran-backed militias that are engaged in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) attacks against U.S. personnel and facilities in Iraq. Specifically, the U.S. strikes targeted operational and weapons storage facilities at two locations in Syria and one location in Iraq, both of which lie close to the border between those countries. Several Iran-backed militia groups, including Kata'ib Hezbollah (KH) and Kata'ib Sayyid al-Shuhada (KSS), used these facilities.

As demonstrated by this evening's strikes, President Biden has been clear that he will act to protect U.S. personnel. Given the ongoing series of attacks by Iran-backed groups targeting U.S. interests in Iraq, the President directed further military action to disrupt and deter such attacks. We are in Iraq at the invitation of the Government of Iraq for the sole purpose of assisting the Iraqi Security Forces in their efforts to defeat ISIS. The United States took necessary, appropriate, and deliberate action designed to limit the risk of escalation - but also to send a clear and unambiguous deterrent message.

As a matter of international law, the United States acted pursuant to its right of self-defense. The strikes were both necessary to address the threat and appropriately limited in scope. As a matter of domestic law, the President took this action pursuant to his Article II authority to protect U.S. personnel in Iraq."

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 child)
  • Civilians reported injured
    3
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Belligerents reported killed
    4–11
  • Belligerents reported injured
    12

Sources (29) [ collapse]

Incident Code

PALIS033

Incident date

May 20, 2021

Location

عسقلان, Ashkelon, Israel

Geolocation

31.666667, 34.566667 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

A rocket fired by Al Qassam directly hit a home in Ashkelon, injuring two civilians and causing damage to the building and surrounding area.

Al Qassam claimed responsibility for the attack in a Telegram post that stated at 12:59 “Al-Qassam Brigades bombard occupied Ashkelon with a missile launch” and added at 13:18 “The enemy admits that a [settler] was injured and a building was damaged after the last Qassam bombing of Ashkelon”.

The injured were reported by multiple sources as a 32 year old male victim who was hit on the head by shrapnel whilst inside the house struck by the missile, and a 26 year old male victim who was moderately injured by shards of glass. Both were reportedly taken to Barzilai Hospital for treatment.

The exact time of the incident was not reported, although an MDA tweet published at 3.21pm local time claimed that ‘following the alarms that were sounded in the last minutes in the Ashkelon sector’ the 26 year old injured civilian was taken to Barzilai Hospital.

The incident occured at approximately 4:21 pm local time.

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the city of Ashkelon (אשקלון), for which the generic coordinates are: 31.666667, 34.566667. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    Palestinian Militants

Sources (25) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (6) [ collapse]

  • Damage caused by strikes on Ashkelon on May 20, 2021. (Image posted by @mL5tf8Rs4role)
  • Damage caused by strikes on Ashkelon on May 20, 2021. (Image posted by @mL5tf8Rs4role)
  • Damage caused by strikes on Ashkelon on May 20, 2021. (Image posted by @mL5tf8Rs4role)
  • A picture of the house that was hit directly in Ashkelon on May 20, 2021. (Image posted by @Lamapal1948)
  • A picture of the house that was hit directly in Ashkelon on May 20, 2021. (Image posted by Saleh via Facebook)
  • A picture of the house that was hit directly in Ashkelon on May 20, 2021. (Image posted by Moaz7 via Facebook)

Palestinian Militants Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    Palestinian Militants
  • Palestinian Militants position on incident
    Credible / Substantiated
    The investigation assessed that although all feasible precautions were taken and the decision to strike complied with the law of armed conflict, unintended civilian casualties regrettably occurred.
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    2

Original strike reports

Palestinian Militants

12:59
Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades
Al-Qassam Brigades bombard occupied Ashkelon with a missile launch

13:18
The enemy admits that a [settler] was injured and a building was damaged after the last Qassam bombing of Ashkelon

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    Palestinian Militants

Sources (25) [ collapse]

Incident Code

PALIS030

Incident date

May 19, 2021

Location

سديروت, Sderot, Israel

Geolocation

31.522778, 34.595278 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Five rockets were fired by Al Qassam into the city of Sderot, injuring at least two civilians on May 19, 2021. Al Qassam confirmed that they had attacked the city of Sderot that day.

The rockets reportedly caused damage to several buildings and cars, according to multiple sources. It was reported that either two or three of the rockets directly hit buildings.

The two civilians were reported injured when one of the rockets hit their house whilst they were in the basement with their family. Those injured were a 65 year old man who sustained minor injuries and a 72 year old man who sustained a head injury. According to two sources the 65 year old was treated at the scene, whilst the 72 year old was taken to Barzilai Hospital. One source also reported that a number of civilians experienced anxiety in relation to the attack.

MDA paramedic Alex Kosinov said: “The wounded man was with his family in the basement of the house that was hit by the RCC. We were told that the force of the hit and the blow fell.”

Whilst the majority of sources reported the weaponry used as rockets, three sources claimed that a rocket propelled grenade was used. Multiple sources reported that the attack caused the electricity to cut out.

No sources reported the time of the incident, although the MDA reported that the injured were treated within the window of 12.00am and 9.55pm.

Al Qassam posted on their Telegram channel at 15:47 and 17:25 that the “Al-Qassam Brigades bombed the usurped “Sderot” with a missile launch” and later posted that “The enemy admits that there were injuries, direct damage to a building, and power outages after the recent Qassam bombing of the usurped “Sderot”.

The incident occured between 1:47 pm and 5:25 pm local time.

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the city of Sderot (שדרות), for which the generic coordinates are: 31.522778, 34.595278 Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    Palestinian Militants

Sources (19) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (8) [ collapse]

  • Site where a Palestinian rocket directly penetrated a building in Sderot on May 19 2021 (image via PalastineNow)
  • Damage to a building hit by a Palestinian rocket in Sderot on May 19 2021 (image via Shihab)
  • Car damaged by a Palestinian rocket that hit Sderot on May 19 2021 (image via Shihab)
  • Car damaged by a Palestinian rocket that hit Sderot on May 19 2021 (image via Shihab)
  • A man who appears to be from the Home Front Command shines a torch in front of a building hit by a Palestinian rocket in Sderot on May 19 2021 (image via Srugim)
  • Car damaged by a Palestinian rocket that hit Sderot on May 19 2021 (image via Aqsa)

Palestinian Militants Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    Palestinian Militants
  • Palestinian Militants position on incident
    Credible / Substantiated
    The investigation assessed that although all feasible precautions were taken and the decision to strike complied with the law of armed conflict, unintended civilian casualties regrettably occurred.
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    2

Original strike reports

Palestinian Militants

19 May 2021
17:25
Al-Qassam Brigades bombed the usurped "Sderot" with a missile launch

15:47
Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades
Al-Qassam Brigades bombard the usurped "Sderot" with a missile launch

17:34
The enemy admits that there were injuries, direct damage to a building, and power outages after the recent Qassam bombing of the usurped "Sderot"

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    Palestinian Militants

Sources (19) [ collapse]

Incident Code

PALIS028

Incident date

May 18, 2021

Location

جنوب اسرائيل, Ohad, Israel

Geolocation

31.237596, 34.431781 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Two Thai nationals were killed, and as many as 20 people injured, when a rocket reportedly fired by the Al-Qassam Brigades struck an agricultural packaging plant in the town of Ohad, in southern Israel on May 18th, 2021, according to local reports.

The Al Qassam Brigade released a statement claiming responsibility for the strike in their Telegram channel: “The missile strike, which led to the death of 2 and the wounding of 20 others, was directed by the Al-Qassam Brigades towards the “Ohad” moshav within the Mtiftim complex in the Eshkol Regional Council, in which Q20 missiles were used.”

Two foreign workers, Weerawat Karunborirak, 44, and Sikharin Sangamram, 24, were on a break with colleagues when their residential compound was struck, said Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Both were killed in the strike.

Police said the strike injured eight others, including one seriously and one moderately, according to the Time of Israel. The Magen David Adom ambulance service said the injured were transferred to Soroka Hospital by ambulance and helicopter. Images published by Ynet show that at least one woman was among the injured. On May 21st, 2021 the Bangkok Post reported that one man, Attarachai Thamkaew, 28, was still in hospital following the incident.

Weerawat Karunborirak arrived in Israel in 2018 with the intention of earning enough money to build a home for his family in Thailand, the construction of which ended before he had a chance to live in it, reported the Bangkok Post. Mr Karunborirak’s wife said her husband would call home twice a day, when he did not call on Tuesday she became worried and subsequently learned of his death through a friend. “I was shocked and I am still confused. I really don’t know what to do,” Ms Ruenrat told the Post.

Sikharin Sangamram, a husband and father of four, had recently arrived in the country; he had worked at the plant in Ohad for three days before he was killed, reported Haaretz.

A spokesperson for the Eshkol Regional Council said the workers had had access to a portable domed bomb shelter but had chosen not to use it, while Haaretz reported the shelters provided were too small to accommodate all of the workers on the site. Walla News quoted a Thai worker, interviewed by the BBC, who said that prior to the strike there had been no warning alarm.

The strike is believed to have taken place at noon.

The incident occured around midday.

The victims were named as:

Weerawat Karunborirak
44 years old male killed
Sikharin Sangamram
24 years old male killed
Attarachai Thamkaew
28 years old male injured

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the town of Ohad (אוהד), for which the generic coordinates are: 31.237596, 34.431781. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    20
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    Palestinian Militants

Sources (49) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (11) [ collapse]

  • ashkubit.com Rescue Union spokesperson via [ashkubit.com]
  • Weerawat Karunborirak's widow is seen with a pictures of her late husband. Image courtesy of Ynet
  • People wounded in the rocket strike on Ohad arrive at Soroka Hospital (Photo: Herzl Yosef visa Ynet)
  • The scene of the strike (Photo: AP via Ynet)
  • Relatives of the two workers killed by a rocket in Moshav Ohad hold their pictures. From Thailand's state television Footage Photograph: Thai PBS World
  • The Q20 missile that was used in the Qassam missile strike on the Moshav "Ohad" within the Muftahim compound in the Eshkol Regional Council, which led to the killing of 2 and the wounding of 20 others. (Image posted by @amansouraja)
  • Damage to vehicles and fire caused by Qassam missile strike on the Moshav "Ohad" within the Muftahim compound in the Eshkol Regional Council. (Image posted by @Abu_Obeida0)
  • The moment the #Qassam Brigades were targeted with missiles, the settlement of Ohad, in the Mfathim complex
  • This led to the death of 2 and the wounding of 20.. The Qassam missile strike with Q20 rockets on Moshav “# Ohad” in the Miftaim complex in Eshkol, which is about 10 km from the fleeting wire
  • #See It led to the killing of 2 and wounding of 20.. The Qassam missile strike with Q20 missiles on the Moshav "Ohad" in the Mtifhim complex in Ashkol, which is about 10 km from the fleeting wire

Palestinian Militants Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    Palestinian Militants
  • Palestinian Militants position on incident
    Credible / Substantiated
    The investigation assessed that although all feasible precautions were taken and the decision to strike complied with the law of armed conflict, unintended civilian casualties regrettably occurred.
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    2
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    20

Original strike reports

Palestinian Militants

13:32
The missile strike, which led to the death of 2 and the wounding of 20 others, was directed by the Al-Qassam Brigades towards the "Ohad" moshav within the Mtiftim complex in the Eshkol Regional Council, in which Q20 missiles were used.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    20
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    Palestinian Militants

Sources (49) [ collapse]

Incident Code

PALIS024

Incident date

May 15, 2021

Location

رمات غان, Ramat Gan, Israel

Geolocation

32.081325, 34.818636 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (via Airwars) level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

A 55-year-old man was killed, and six others wounded when a rocket fired from Gaza struck the Ramat Gan neighbourhood of Tel Aviv in the early afternoon on May 15th, 2021, according to local and international media reports. Al Qassam claimed responsibility for the attack.

The man was named as Gershon Franco by Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which added that he was laid to rest at the Yarn cemetery in Petah Tikva.  On May 28th, 2021 Haaretz reported that Mr Franco had died as a result of wounds to his upper body and neck.

Magen David Adom paramedic, Lior Mermelstein, told Walla News: “When we arrived at the scene, we saw destruction and damage to buildings on the street. We went from door to door with large MDA forces and conducted searches in the apartments, in one of which we located a 50-year-old man unconscious. We performed medical tests to give him medical treatment, but after the resuscitation operations he was pronounced dead.” @Mdais also added that the six people who were injured had “light” injuries.

An article by the Dhi Qar Agency describes four holes in the door of Gershon apartment from the shrapnel that resulted in his death. Channel 12 news reported that the man did not have a protected area in his home and was unable to reach a bomb shelter in time.

Haaretz provided information about the victim, Gershon, that he was sick with cancer and was deemed 100% disabled. At one point, his federal allowance was not enough and he was homeless until his friends found him the apartment he was killed in, referred to as a “shack”, which was previously used for storing tools.

Naftali Cohen, Franco’s friend, told Haaretz, “He lived in it only because he didn’t want to sleep on the street. At least he had a shower and a bed – the rest we were able to arrange. He didn’t interest the welfare authorities. He appealed to them a million times. I told him we would go to the Housing Ministry and he said, ‘Naftali, help me. I have no strength to fight.’ No one listened to him.”

The mayor of Ramat Gan, Carmel Shama HaCohen, told Ynet that “if that resident had followed the Home Front Command’s instructions, even though he did not have a security guard in his housing unit, he would have survived.” However, his sister refuted this claim, saying that “He was 100% disabled with many medical problems, including severe leg pain, and they may have prevented him from running to the shelter during the alarm yesterday. No one cared what he was dealing with.”

According to the Jewish News Syndicate “a rocket landed in the middle of an adjacent street, causing serious damage to surrounding storefronts and dozens of apartments. The blast also caused a car parked on the street to go up in flames”. @Istanbultelaviv added that the rocket attack led 48 families to evacuate to hotels.

Al Qassam claimed responsibility for the rocket attack, posting in their Telegram channel at 11:29 that “Al-Qassam Brigades is now launching a missile strike on Tel Aviv with dozens of missiles in response to the Shati refugee camp massacre against women, children and the safe” and by 12:17 posted that “the enemy admits the killing of an occupier, the wounding of others, and the infliction of great damage in the recent Qassam bombing of Tel Aviv”.

The incident occured around midday.

The victims were named as:

Gershon Franco
55 years old male killed

Geolocation notes (2) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention a residential building being struck in the Ramat Gan (רמת גן) neighbourhood of Tel Aviv (תל אביב). Analyzing visual material from sources, we have narrowed down the location to these exact coordinates: 32.081325, 34.818636.

  • Reports of the incident mention a residential building being struck in the Ramat Gan (רמת גן) neighbourhood of Tel Aviv (תל אביב).

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

  • Image from Google Street view matches those from sources.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    6
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    Palestinian Militants

Sources (44) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (37) [ collapse]

  • Translated caption reads: This is what the rockets did, and the attack in Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv today (via @ShehabAgency)
  • Image shows damage caused by a rocket attack on May 15th, 2021. A man died in the incident (image via @ShehabAgency)
  • A man was killed in the Ramat Gan neighbourhood of Tel Aviv after a rocket struck the area. Image shows some of the damage (image via @ShehabAgency)
  • Image shared in relation to the May 15th, 2021 rocket attack in a Tel Aviv neighbourhood (image via @MohamdNashwan)
  • Rocket attack caused damage in a Tel Aviv neighbourhood. A 55-year-old man identified as Gershon Franco was killed and six others injured (image via @MohamdNashwan)
  • Fires can be seen in the image which was shared in relation to a rocket attack in an Israeli neighbourhood on May 15th, 2021. The neighbourhood sustained damage as a result, a civilian man was killed and up to six civilians injured (image via @qudsn)
  • Translated caption reads: #Photo of the great damage to an apartment in Ramat Gan due to the rockets and missiles fired from Gaza (image via @PalinfoAr)
  • Image appears to show a body covered in material. Shared in relation to the rocket attack in Ramot Gan on May 15th, 2021 that killed Gershon Franco (image via Walid Mohammed Al Hasan)
  • Image caption reads: Got up to my apartment roof where Israeli media are shooting live scenes of the devastation from the Gaza rocket that slammed into the middle of the street in Ramat Gan, killing a 50-year-old man (image via @JoshMarks78)
  • Image caption reads: You can see the strength of the rocket that hit Ramat Gan killing a 55-year old man. 48 families were evacuated to hotels. The rocket hit in middle of the road (via @Istanbultelaviv)
  • A rocket fired from Gaza struck the Ramat Gan neighbourhood of Tel Aviv in the early afternoon on May 15th, 2021. Image shows some of the damage (image via @Stone_SkyNews)
  • Image from the Ramat Gan neighbourhood where a rocket struck killing a civilian and injuring six others (image via @Stone_SkyNews)
  • Image showing the funeral of Gershon Franco who was killed in a May 15th, 2021 rocket attack in Ramot Gan. Caption reads: Four holes in the wooden door to his flat mark where shrapnel from a Hamas rocket hit Gershon Franco’s home & killed him (image via @patrickkingsley)
  • Image shows damage caused by a rocket attack on May 15th, 2021. A man died in the incident (image via @ShehabAgency)
  • Rockets launched from Gaza struck buildings around Ramat Gan in Tel Aviv on May 15, 2021. (Image posted by @MohamdNashwan)
  • Rescue crews work to put out fires caused by strikes on Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv on May 15, 2021. (Image posted by @qudsn)
  • Rescue crews at the scene of strikes on Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv on May 15, 2021. (Image posted by @AlarabyTV)
  • Rescue crews at the scene of strikes on Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv on May 15, 2021. (Image posted by @AlarabyTV)
  • Rescue crews at the scene of strikes on Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv on May 15, 2021. (Image posted by @AlarabyTV)
  • Image appears to show a funeral. Shared in relation to the rocket attack in Ramot Gan on May 15th, 2021 that killed Gershon Franco (image via Walid Mohammed Al Hasan)
  • Rescue crews at the scene of strikes on Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv on May 15, 2021. (Image posted by Dhi Qar Agency)
  • MDA medics are responding to rocket which fell in central Israel Ramat Gan which struck a residential area. (Image posted by @Mdais)
  • MDA medics are responding to rocket which fell in central Israel Ramat Gan which struck a residential area. (Image posted by @Mdais)
  • MDA medics are responding to rocket which fell in central Israel Ramat Gan which struck a residential area. (Image posted by @Mdais)
  • Cleaning up damage from rocket that fell on Ramat Gan just outside Tel Aviv on May 15, 2021. (Image posted by @Stone_SkyNews)
  • Cleaning up damage from rocket that fell on Ramat Gan just outside Tel Aviv on May 15, 2021. (Image posted by Walla News)
  • Gershon Franco, in his 50s, was killed in Hamas rocket attacks on Ramat Gan on May 15, 2021. (Image posted by Ynet)
  • The "shack" that Gershon Franco lived in when he was killed by shrapnel from a rocket on May 15, 2021. (Image posted by Haaretz)

Palestinian Militants Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    Palestinian Militants
  • Palestinian Militants position on incident
    Credible / Substantiated
    The investigation assessed that although all feasible precautions were taken and the decision to strike complied with the law of armed conflict, unintended civilian casualties regrettably occurred.
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    1
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    6

Original strike reports

Palestinian Militants

11:29
Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades
Al-Qassam Brigades is now launching a missile strike on Tel Aviv with dozens of missiles in response to the Shati refugee camp massacre against women, children and the safe.

11:58
The effects of the Qassam bombing on the Ramat Gan area in Tel Aviv

12:12
Al-Qassam Brigades renews its shelling of Tel Aviv with a missile launch

12:17
The enemy admits the killing of a rapist, the wounding of others, and the infliction of great damage in the recent Qassam bombing of Tel Aviv

Media
from belligerent (2) [ collapse]

  • "The effects of the Qassam bombing on the Ramat Gan area in Tel Aviv" (Image posted by Al Qassam on Telegram)
  • "The effects of the Qassam bombing on the Ramat Gan area in Tel Aviv" (Image posted by Al Qassam on Telegram)

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    6
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    Palestinian Militants

Sources (44) [ collapse]