Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

PALIS009

Incident date

May 11, 2021

Location

شارع رامبام ، كوخاف حتصفون ، عسقلان , Rambam St., Kochav Hatzafon, Ashkelon, Israel

Airwars assessment

Up to eight civilians, including two children, were reported injured when a rocket struck a residential apartment building on Rambam Street in the city of Ashkelon, southern Israel at 6am on May 11th, 2021.

Sources differ regarding the number of civilians injured in the attack and the severity of their injuries. Amongst the injured were a family of four.

A 40-year-old man was described as having sustained injuries ranging from moderate to severe. The sources Mariv and Kan Darom said this was the result of a head wound, while Magen David Adom said he sustained cuts to his limbs from broken glass.

A woman, 39, named Marina, was described as having sustained light to moderate injuries. Two children aged 12 and 6, were described as having been lightly injured. A 63-year-old man was described as in a light to moderate condition and an 82-year-old was described as having sustained light injuries. Paramedic Israel Lugsi told the source Kan Darom that “this is a direct hit on a residential building. When we arrived at the scene we conducted searches in the apartments and located a number of wounded who were hit by shattered glass fragments, 2 men were moderately injured and 4 lightly. We took them to ambulances and vehicles to the intensive care unit, provided them with medical treatment that included dressing and stopping bleeding and evacuated them to the hospital when their condition was stable. Two victims of anxiety who suffered from breathing difficulties were also treated and evacuated to the hospital.”

Marina, a resident of Ashkelon whose husband and children were injured, described the attack to WallaNews: “The ceiling collapsed, I saw my husband crawling and all blood. It was six in the morning, there was an alarm and we put the children on mattresses in the hallway. I left the bedroom and my husband did not have enough, there were many explosions.” The strikes also caused the plaster ceiling to fall, injuring the children.

All the patients were transferred to Barzilai Hospital for treatment.

The mayor of Ashkelon, Tomer Glam, arrived at the scene of the fall and talked to the residents, according to Kan Darom. “A difficult morning in Ashkelon due to a heavy barrage of rockets towards the city that cause direct damage to two buildings in the city and to casualties of varying degrees of difficulty,” said Glam. “The security reality in which we live and how important it is to obey the Home Front Command’s guidelines that have been proven to save lives.”

France24 quoted residents as saying “The sirens woke us up around five in the morning (0200 GMT),” said Israeli Shelly Belyaev, whose apartment building was severely damaged and its facade turned black. “We had to hide in the wardrobe because there was no shelter in the house,” she says. Belyaev recalls how “there was a very powerful explosion, I had never heard such a sound before, but I quickly realized that a missile had landed here. I went out and was in shock,” she continued.

Al Qassam posted in their Telegram group “Al-Qassam Brigades is now directing a major missile strike on the occupied city of Ashkelon, in response to targeting the safe house on the heads of its residents west of Gaza City, and if the enemy repeats targeting civilian safe houses, we will make Ashkelon a hell. The enemy admits that 7 of its [settlers] were wounded, and electricity was cut off in large areas as a result of the intensive Qassam bombardment of Ashkelon.”

Images from the scene show extensive damage to at least one apartment as well as other apartments in the building and a vehicle.

The incident occured at approximately 6:00 am local time.

The victims were named as:

Family members

The victims were named as:

Marina
39 years old female injured
Name unknown
40 years old male injured
Name unknown
64 years old male injured
Name unknown
12 years old injured
Name unknown
6 years old injured
Name unknown
82 years old injured

Geolocation notes (4) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention an apartment building on Rambam Street (רח’ רמב”ם) in Ashkelon (אשקלון) being struck. Analyzing audio-visual material from sources we have narrowed down the location to these exact coordinates: 31.672725, 34.586305.

  • Reports of the incident mention an apartment building on Rambam Street (شارع رامبام) in Ashkelon (عسقلان) being struck.

    Imagery:
    Google Maps

  • Distribution of tags in available Google Street View imagery.

    Imagery:
    Google Street View

  • Tagged visual material from sources.

    Date taken:
    May 11, 2021

    Imagery:
    Yossi Fartouk

  • Tagged visual material from sources.

    Date taken:
    May 11, 2021

    Imagery:
    Yossi Fartouk

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    6–8
  • 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 (12) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (19) [ collapse]

  • Image caption: Update on the missile hit Ashkelon area: MDA medics and paramedics provide medical treatment and evacuate 6 injured to Barzilai Hospital, including 2 in moderate condition, a 40-year-old man and a 63-year-old man with shattered glass to their limbs and 4 in mild condition (via @Mdais)
  • Image reportedly showing the inside of an apartment damaged in a rocket attack in the Israeli city of Ashkelon on May 11th, 2021 (image via @AviMayer)
  • Image caption: As non-stop barrages of rockets continue to be fired toward southern Israel, an apartment building in Ashkelon was hit. 6 civilians were injured (image via @IDF)
  • Image showing damage to a vehicle shared in relation to the May 11th, 2021 rocket attack on an apartment in Askelon (image via kan-ashkelon)
  • Image showing damage to an apartment shared in relation to the May 11th, 2021 rocket attack on an apartment in Askelon (image via kan-ashkelon)
  • The scene of the incident in Ashkelon on May 11, 2021. Photo: MDA Spokeswoman
  • The second house was damaged in Ashkelon on May 11, 2021. Photo: Ashkelon Municipality Spokeswoman
  • Damage to a home in Ashkelon from Hamas rockets on May 11, 2021. (Image posted in Al Qassam Telegram)
  • Damage to a home in Ashkelon from Hamas rockets on May 11, 2021. (Image posted in Al Qassam Telegram)
  • Damage to a home in Ashkelon from Hamas rockets on May 11, 2021. (Image posted in Al Qassam Telegram)
  • Damage to a home in Ashkelon from Hamas rockets on May 11, 2021. (Image posted in Al Qassam Telegram)
  • Damage to a home in Ashkelon from Hamas rockets on May 11, 2021. (Image posted in Al Qassam Telegram)
  • Damage to a home in Ashkelon from Hamas rockets on May 11, 2021. (Image posted in Al Qassam Telegram)
  • Damage to a home in Ashkelon from Hamas rockets on May 11, 2021. (Image posted in Al Qassam Telegram)
  • Damage to a home in Ashkelon from Hamas rockets on May 11, 2021. (Image posted in Al Qassam Telegram)
  • Rescue crews work to put out a car on fire following strikes on Ashkelon on May 11, 2021. (Image taken by Reuters)

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
    6–8

Original strike reports

Palestinian Militants

03:38
Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades
Al-Qassam Brigades is now directing a major missile strike on the occupied city of Ashkelon, in response to targeting the safe house on the heads of its residents west of Gaza City, and if the enemy repeats targeting civilian safe houses, we will make Ashkelon a hell

04:02
Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades
#Urgently
Sirens sound in the city of Ashkelon without stopping... and rocket fire continues from the Gaza Strip

04:37
Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades
The enemy admits that 7 of its [settlers] were wounded, and electricity was cut off in large areas as a result of the intensive Qassam bombardment of Ashkelon.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    6–8
  • 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 (12) [ collapse]

Incident Code

PALIS011

Incident date

May 11, 2021

Location

عسقلان, Ashkelon, Israel, Southern, Israel

Geolocation

31.667186, 34.557510 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (via Airwars) level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Two women were killed when a Hamas militant rocket struck an apartment building on Sderot David Ben Gurion street in the city of Ashkelon, southern Israel on May 11th, 2021, according to several sources.

The Times of Israel said, “the deadly rocket attack directly struck a home where an elderly woman and her caregiver, 32-year-old Soumya Santosh, lived. Santosh was killed while her elderly charge, 80, was hospitalized in serious condition, according to Hebrew media reports”.

On February 6, 2022, the elderly woman injured in the attack, Naomi Perlman, a 91-year-old Holocaust survivor who was seriously wounded at her Ashkelon home by shrapnel, died from her injuries.

According to several sources Santosh from Kerala had been living in Israel for seven years. She was survived by a husband and nine-year-old son.

Mrs Santosh’s brother-in-law told The Week India, “she was talking to her husband Santosh over a video call in the evening when the incident took place. My brother heard a huge sound during the video call. Suddenly the phone got disconnected. Then we immediately contacted fellow Malayalees working there. Thus, we came to know about the incident.”

The Washington Post reported that Naomi Pearlman was a “a Holocaust survivor originally from Poland” and that the blast had caused both of her legs to be amputated. Her son, Shuki, was quoted as saying “She survived the Holocaust, raised a wonderful family. If there was anyone who deserved to be called the ultimate survivor, it was her.”

Jerusalem Post added that Pearlman was being treated at Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon for the injuries she sustained in May 2021 and that she is survived by her son, her daughter, Tzipi, eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren, including one who was born last month. At the time of the shelling, her home did not have a shelter and the closest was a minute’s run away.

The incident was part of a series of rocket strikes on the morning of May 11th.
Channel 12 reported that the rocket shelter was at least a minute’s run away from the woman’s home and the did not manage to reach it in time.

Al-Qassam Brigades confirmed they carried out the strikes that resulted in casualties, posting in their Telegram channel that “A while ago, Al-Qassam Brigades bombarded occupied Ashkelon with a salvo of S40 missiles” and a bit later “The occupation officially acknowledges the killing of 2 of its [settlers] as a result of the recent Qassam bombing of Ashkelon.”

The incident is believed to have occurred between 05:00 and 13:40 local time.

The incident occured at approximately 6:00 am local time.

The victims were named as:

Soumya Santosh
32 years old female killed
Naomi Perlman
91 years old female killed

Geolocation notes (3) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention an apartment building being struck in Ashkelon (אַשְׁקְלוֹן). Analyzing audio-visual material from sources, we have narrowed down the location of the strike to these exact coordinates: 31.667186, 34.557510.

  • Reports of the incident mention an apartment building being struck in Ashkelon (אַשְׁקְלוֹן).

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

  • Tagged visual material from sources.

    Imagery:
    Ynet

  • Distribution of tags in available Google Street View imagery.

    Imagery:
    Google Maps

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 women)
  • 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 (41) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (12) [ collapse]

  • This image reportedly shows Sumaya Santosh who died in a strike in Askelon, Israel, on May 11th, 2021 (image via @alqudsnewspaper)
  • Image reportedly showing the son of Soumya Santosh holding a pin of the Israeli and Indian flags at her funeral (image via Asaf Pozailov)
  • Image caption: The damage to the building where the woman who was killed in Ashkelon lived, today the photo (via Ofer Vaknin)
  • Rescue crews helping a victim of the strikes on Ashkelon on May 11, 2021. (Image posted by Arabic RT)
  • Rescue crews at a home affected by airstrikes on May 11, 2021. (Image posted by Shihab Post)
  • Damage to a home affected by airstrikes in Ashkelon on May 11, 2021. (Image posted by @PalinfoAr)
  • Damage to a home affected by airstrikes in Ashkelon on May 11, 2021. (Image posted by @PalinfoAr)
  • Damage to a home affected by airstrikes in Ashkelon on May 11, 2021. (Image posted by @PalinfoAr)
  • A heavily damaged house is pictured at a targeted residential neighbourhood in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon on May 11, 2021, as rockets are fired by the Hamas movement from the Gaza Strip towards Israel. - Rockets fired from Gaza killed two women in the southern Israeli city of Asheklon, the Magen David Adom emergency service told AFP, after Palestinians militants unleashed a massive barrage. (Photo by JACK GUEZ / AFP)
  • Israeli security forces at the scene where a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip hit a house in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, on May 11, 2021. Photo by Tomer Neuberg/Flash90
  • A heavily damaged house is pictured at a targeted residential neighbourhood in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon on May 11, 2021, as rockets are fired by the Hamas movement from the Gaza Strip towards Israel. - Rockets fired from Gaza killed two women in the southern Israeli city of Asheklon, the Magen David Adom emergency service told AFP, after Palestinians militants unleashed a massive barrage. (Photo by JACK GUEZ / AFP)

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
    1

Original strike reports

Palestinian Militants

12:46
A while ago, Al-Qassam Brigades bombarded occupied Ashkelon with a salvo of S40 missiles

12:58
The enemy admits that a building in Ashkelon was hit and several injuries occurred, including serious cases, as a result of the recent Qassamese bombing with Sejil missiles

13:14
Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades
The occupation officially acknowledges the killing of 2 of its [settlers] as a result of the recent Qassam bombing of Ashkelon

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 women)
  • 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 (41) [ collapse]

Incident Code

PALIS010

Incident date

May 11, 2021

Location

عسقلان, Ashkelon, Southern, Israel

Geolocation

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

Airwars assessment

One Israeli civilian was killed and as many as seven injured when alleged Hamas militants fired a rocket struck the city of Ashkelon southern Israel on the 11th May, 2021, according to local reports.

Nella Gurevitz (between 52 and 57 years old) was killed and her husband injured, when a rocket reportedly fired by Hamas struck their apartment according to Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Israeli media outlet Ynet named Mrs Gurevitz husband as Gregory, and described his injuries as light.

BelarusFeed reported that Nella and her husband were from Belarus and “the mayor’s office also clarified that Nella Gurevich was 57 years old and that the couple immigrated to Israel in 1990. The journalist of the Israel Segodnya newspaper contacted the neighbours of the family, who said that the couple was always friendly with them, but led a rather secluded life, the spouses did not have children. They confirmed that the couple came to Israel from Belarus.”

“I know Nellie as a very sympathetic person, she always tried to support me and other people. We shared interests in music, we both once graduated from a music school. It was a shock for me to find out that she was dead, I will miss her,” said Nella’s friend Anna Litrovnik.

As many as five other people were lightly injured by shrapnel, according to Haaretz.

Al-Qassam Brigades confirmed they carried out the strikes that resulted in casualties, posting in their Telegram channel that “A while ago, Al-Qassam Brigades bombarded occupied Ashkelon with a salvo of S40 missiles” and a bit later “The occupation officially acknowledges the killing of 2 of its [settlers] as a result of the recent Qassam bombing of Ashkelon.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (2)

Nella Gurevitz
52 years old female killed
Gregory
male Husband of Nella injured

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the city Ashkelon (عسقلان), 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
    1
  • (1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • 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 (7) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Nella Gurevitz (52) of Ashkelon, was killed in the Hamas rocket attack on Ashkelon May 11, 2021. She was in her apartment together with her husband when a rocket hit her building. (Image posted by Ynet)

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
    1

Original strike reports

Palestinian Militants

12:46
A while ago, Al-Qassam Brigades bombarded occupied Ashkelon with a salvo of S40 missiles

12:58
The enemy admits that a building in Ashkelon was hit and several injuries occurred, including serious cases, as a result of the recent Qassamese bombing with Sejil missiles

13:14
Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades
The occupation officially acknowledges the killing of 2 of its [settlers] as a result of the recent Qassam bombing of Ashkelon

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • 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 (7) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM326-C

Incident date

January 1, 2021

Location

حرمك, Kunya Barrow, Middle Juba, Somalia

Geolocation

0.794763, 43.384756 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (other) level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Two civilians were initially reported wounded in two US airstrikes on Kunya Barrow, local reports claimed. AFRICOM later confirmed that three civilians were in fact injured in the attack.

Radio Al Furqaan, the Al Shabaab-affiliated radio station bombed in the incident, said at the time: “On Friday afternoon, January 1, 2021, US warplanes bombed the headquarters of Al-Furqan Islamic Radio in Kunya Barrow, Lower Shabelle region, destroying the station’s building and equipment.

There were no casualties among the staff and staff of the station who were absent from the station at the time of the evening prayers, but civilians were injured in the vicinity of the station, especially an elderly man who was critically injured and a woman.”

In a press release the station added: “Al-Furqan is an independent media organization that was established in 2009 and has always been the voice of the oppressed people of Somalia, reporting objectively and impartially on the decades-old conflict in Somalia. Since our first broadcast, we have had to endure the challenges of working in a conflict zone and worked under extremely difficult circumstances in order to reveal the harsh realities of the U.S-led war in Somalia to the world.

Our offices in Southern Somalia are well known to the public and are not affiliated with or connected to Al-Shabaab. Our offices do not serve as training camps or headquarters for Al-Shabaab, rather they are public venues, easily accessible to the general public.”

However, other sources such as Radio Dalsan contest that view and say that Al Shabaab and Radio Al Furqaan are closely connected.

AFRICOM said in its initial press release: “In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted two airstrikes in Somalia on Jan. 1, 2021. Both strikes targeted al-Shabaab compounds in the vicinity of Qunyo Barrow, Somalia. Current assessments indicate the strikes killed three and wounded one al-Shabaab members and destroyed six and damaged one al-Shabaab compound buildings. The command’s initial assessment is that no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this operation.”

Halgan Media and Garowe both said the strikes were conducted by a drone.

In its first quarterly assessment in 2021 AFRICOM said the incident was under review. In July 2021, it confirmed civilian harm, noting: “After a thorough assessment of the information and circumstances following the Jan. 1, 2021, airstrike, U.S. Africa Command assessed that more likely than not, the airstrike inadvertently injured three (3) civilians.”

The second strike noted on this date is reflected in USSOM327.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention a compound being struck within the city of Kunya Barrow (حرمك). According to one source, @esj_news, the exact coordinates for this strike are: 0.794763, 43.384756. Analyzing audio-visual material from sources, we can confirm this location to be accurate.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • 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
  • Known target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported injured
    1

Sources (13) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (26) [ collapse]

  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
    Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
    Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Radio Al Furqaan radio station, allegedly destroyed by a US drone strike on Kunya Barrow on January 21st, 2021 (via Radio Al Furqaan)
  • Footage of the strike on Kunya Barrow on January 1st, 2021 (via AFRICOM)

US Forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US Forces
  • US Forces 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.
  • Given reason for civilian harm
    No reason given
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    3
  • Stated location
    Vicinity of Qunyo Barrow
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US Forces
  • Aug 20, 2021
  • Mar 5, 2021
  • Aug 20, 2021
  • (Substantiated) Jan. 2, 2021, U.S. Africa Command received one (1) report from an online media source claiming three (3) civilians were injured as a result of a U.S. airstrike in the vicinity of Qunyo Barrow, Somalia, on Jan. 1, 2021. After a thorough assessment of the information and circumstances following the Jan. 1, 2021, airstrike, U.S. Africa Command assessed that more likely than not, the airstrike inadvertently injured three (3) civilians.

  • Jan. 2, 2021, U.S. Africa Command received one (1) report from an online media source claiming three (3) civilians were injured as a result of a U.S. airstrike in the vicinity of Qunyo Barrow, Somalia, on Jan. 1, 2021. U.S. Africa Command’s assessment of this report is ongoing.

  • Substantiated) Jan. 2, 2021, U.S. Africa Command received one (1) report from an online media source claiming three (3) civilians were injured as a result of a U.S. airstrike in the vicinity of Qunyo Barrow, Somalia, on Jan. 1, 2021. After a thorough assessment of the information and circumstances following the Jan. 1, 2021, airstrike, U.S. Africa Command assessed that more likely than not, the airstrike inadvertently injured three (3) civilians.

Original strike reports

US Forces

Editor’s note: This release has been updated to include additional assessment.

In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted two airstrikes in Somalia on Jan. 1, 2021.

Both strikes targeted al-Shabaab compounds in the vicinity of Qunyo Barrow, Somalia. Current assessments indicate the strikes killed three and wounded one al-Shabaab members and destroyed six and damaged one al-Shabaab compound buildings.

The command’s initial assessment is that no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this operation. We take significant measures to comply with the principles of the Law of Armed Conflict during the course of our operations while we continue to disrupt and apply pressure to the al-Shabaab terrorist network.

"This action clearly demonstrates our continuing commitment to Somalia and our regional partners," said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Joel Tyler, director of operations for U.S. Africa Command. "We retain the means and the will to strike the al-Shabaab terrorist network when necessary to protect the region and ultimately, our own nation.”

U.S. Africa Command and its international partners recognize the importance of stability in Somalia. Violent extremist organizations like al-Shabaab present long-term threats to U.S. and regional security interests.

"Al-Shabaab remains a threat to Somalia’s future and U.S. interests, and we will continue to disrupt their efforts to terrorize innocents,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Dagvin Anderson, Joint Task Force-Quartz commander. “Our strikes help keep these terrorists off balance to help our partners then address deeper problems such as governance and development.”

U.S. Africa Command remains committed to working with East African countries to help provide political, economic, and physical stability in the region and to work with international and African partners to achieve long-term security goals in Somalia for the Federal Government of Somalia and its Member States.

A video of the mission strike has been posted at: https://go.usa.gov/xA9ZV

____

Original release: In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted two airstrikes in Somalia on Jan. 1, 2021.



Both strikes targeted al-Shabaab compounds in the vicinity of Qunyo Barrow, Somalia. Final assessments are ongoing, however the initial assessment concluded the strikes resulted in the destruction of both targeted compounds.



The command’s initial assessment is that no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this operation. We take significant measures to comply with the principles of the Law of Armed Conflict during the course of our operations while we continue to disrupt and apply pressure to the al-Shabaab terrorist network.



"This action clearly demonstrates our continuing commitment to Somalia and our regional partners," said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Joel Tyler, director of operations for U.S. Africa Command. "We retain the means and the will to strike the al-Shabaab terrorist network when necessary to protect the region and ultimately, our own nation.”



U.S. Africa Command and its international partners recognize the importance of stability in Somalia. Violent extremist organizations like al-Shabaab present long-term threats to U.S. and regional security interests.



“Al-Shabaab remains a threat to Somalia’s future and U.S. interests, and we will continue to disrupt their efforts to terrorize civilians,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Dagvin Anderson, Joint Task Force-Quartz commander. “Our strikes help keep these terrorist off balance to help our partners then address deeper problems such as governance and development.”



U.S. Africa Command remains committed to working with East African countries to help provide political, economic, and physical stability in the region and to work with international and African partners to achieve long-term security goals in Somalia for the Federal Government of Somalia and its Member States.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • 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
  • Known target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported injured
    1

Sources (13) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS1950

Incident date

October 15, 2020

Location

عرب سعيد, Arab Saeed, Idlib, Syria

Geolocation

35.960982, 36.529044 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (other) level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

A child and a humanitarian worker were reported killed, in addition to two leaders from Al Qaeda affiliated Hurras Addin group, and other civilians reported injured after a US drone allegedly struck two cars simultaneously in Arab Sa’eed town, west of Idlib in Syria on October 15th, 2020. On October 29th, the organisation Bonyan announced that one of their volunteers died of her injuries sustained in the attack.

Amnesty International senior crises advisor Donatella Rovera (@DRovera) tweeted a statement by the UN that two humanitarian workers and their driver were injured by shrapnel caused by the attack.

On March 10, 2022 in the CJTF-OIR Civilian Casualty Report, the Coalition deemed this incident credible and assessed that “Coalition aircraft conducted a strike on ISIS terrorists in a vehicle. Regrettably, one civilian was unintentionally wounded due to their proximity to the strike.”

Euphrates Post named the two Jihadi leaders killed as Abu Tharr Al Masri – possibly the main target of the attack – and Abu Yousuf Al Maghribi. The child has not been identified. A local source said the two men, and their companions, were killed in the attack but it is unclear if that refers to the child or to other people.

Shaam News Network said that the car was struck with a guided missile which completely burned the car.

Local sources blamed the Coalition for the incident. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said: “Two Arab jihadists and a child were killed this evening, after their car, Santa Fe, was targeted by a drone believed to be affiliated to the International Coalition on the road to Arab Said [Saeed], west of Idlib city. The fatalities’ bodies have been burned almost completely.”

However, Fox News reported from Maj. Beth Riordan, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command in a statement to that “U.S. forces conducted a strike against Al Qaeda in Syria in the vicinity of Idlib, Syria, Oct. 15. AQ-S continues to present a threat to America and our allies”, which means the attack was a unilateral US action.

On October 29th, Bonyan organisation announced in a Facebook post that one of their volunteers Dima Abdan died of her injuries sustained in the strike: “It’s with deep sadness we share that this morning our colleague, Dima, has passed of her injuries at a hospital in Turkey. Dima was seriously injured while she, and her colleagues, were on their way back from her humanitarian project location in Salqin city on 15th of Oct. The car was hit by shrapnel in Arab Saeed area.”

Shaam News Network also reported the death of the woman, writing that “she was seriously injured while returning and her colleagues from their work site in the city of Salqin to their homes in the city of Idlib on Wednesday morning. Thursday 10/15/2020 at 4:45 pm, as the vehicle of the organization that was carrying them in the Arab Saeed area was hit by many shrapnel.”

Also the Syrian Network for Human Rights said on October 19th that “Deema Mohammad Najdat Abdan, aged 25, and a member of the awareness team in Bunyan Organization, from Idlib City, died in a Turkish hospital due to severe wounds sustained on October 15th, 2020, when what we believe is a US-led Coalition drone fired a missile on a army vehicle transporting leaders of Huras al Din on Arab Saeed Road West of Idlib city,  as the van transporting the employees of Bunyan Organization passed by the vehicle, causing various levels of wounds for 5 members of the organization.”

The incident occured at approximately 4:45 pm local time.

The victims were named as:

25 years old female killed

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention a vehicle being struck at an intersection in the vicinity of Arab Saeed (عرب سعيد) town. According to one source, @obretix, the exact coordinates for this incident are: 35.960982, 36.529044. Reviewing audio-visual material from the case we can confirm this location to be accurate.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (1 child1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2–5
  • 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-led Coalition
  • Known targets
    Al Qaeda/HTS, ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    2

Sources (13) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (8) [ collapse]

  • Caption: A Coalition's drone strike kills two leaders of Hurras Addin group.
  • Caption: Three unidentified persons were killed and some civilians were wounded as a result of the an international coalition drone strike on a car near the town of Arab Saeed, west of Idlib."
  • The car allegedly targeted by a US-led coalition drone in Arab Saeed in Idlib on October 15th, 2020 was totally burned and all those on board killed. (via EMC)
  • The car allegedly targeted by a US-led coalition drone in Arab Saeed in Idlib on October 15th, 2020 was totally burned and all those on board killed. (via EMC)
  • A SCD member seen trying to extinguish fire that broke out after an alleged US-led coalition drone strike in Arab Saeed in Idlib on October 15th, 2020. (via EMC)
  • Three people were killed as a result of the US-led coalition drone strike on a car near the town of Arab Saeed, west of Idlib on October 15th. (Via MMC)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Caption: "The death of the leaders of Hurras Addin Organization Abu Dhar al-Masri, Abu Yusuf al-Maghribi and their companions as a result of the targeting of their car by the coalition drone in Arab Said area a short while ago."
  • UN statement

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (1 child1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2–5
  • 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-led Coalition
  • Known targets
    Al Qaeda/HTS, ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    2

Sources (13) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI880

Incident date

March 13, 2020

Location

مطار كربلاء الدولي, Karbala International Airport, Karbala, Iraq

Geolocation

32.348172, 44.214648 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Within 100m (via Coalition) level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Three civilians were reportedly killed and two others injured in alleged American airstrikes in on Karbala International Airport which was under construction in Karbala governorate on March 13th, 2020, according to local sources. The incident is also believed to have killed three belligerents and the injury of nine, two of whom are in critical condition. In September 2020, the Coalition admitted that a strike had been conducted on March 13th “against a Kata’ib Hizbolla facility”, killing one civilian.

US officials had told Reuters that American “retaliatory strikes are underway in Iraq after the Taji camp attack north of Baghdad”.

Step News Agency reported that “on Thursday night-Friday night, the United States launched airstrikes targeting sites belonging to the Iranian militias in Iraq, amid reports that the general was killed in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard militia, Siamand Mashhadani, in the Jurf Al Sakhr region.” The Pentagon confirmed that strikes targeted five weapon storage units of Iranian-backed militias.

One of the victims was identified by New York Times as “Karrar Sabbar, aged 23, who left behind a wife and two children. He worked as a guard, sleeping in one of the airport’s halls or one of the administrative buildings.”

@Nz0FT8c0yti5CxG tweeted that Karrar (1995, full name unknown) was killed in American airstrikes around 1 AM. The source added that the young man was from Karbala governorate, and he worked as a night security guard at an airport that had been under construction. Four missiles were reportedly fired by American warplanes. Also continued to say that “two of his brothers are martyrs.”

NYTimes said that the airstrikes launched overnight “killed three Iraqi soldiers, two police officers and a civilian worker, and damaged an unfinished civilian airport.”

NYTimes said the Pentagon said the American strikes were in self-defense to destroy rockets and other weapons that he said had been supplied by Iran and one of the five sites attacked was a weapons storage site at an airfield in Karbala, but the Iraqi military statement said the airport that was hit was “totally civilian” and all workers there were civilians. Witnesses including a New York Times reporter noted that while the damage from the strikes was clear nothing appeared to have been burned, not even the papers that were in one of the administrative office areas that were hit. If the facility had been used for ammunition storage, it would have been likely to have caused a fire.

Shiite News said that “An airport under construction in Iraq’s central Karbala province was hit in a US bombing raid on militias, with photos showing debris scattered across the site. The US said earlier the strikes were “precise” and defensive.”

Tasnim News said “Unconfirmed reports suggest a construction worker may have been killed in the raid, which the Pentagon insisted earlier was conducted with precision and for purely defensive purposes. ”

Anadolu Agency said “The Iraqi army announced that three soldiers from its forces, two policemen and one civilian were killed as a result of the American strikes Friday night in the southern province of Babel.”

The Joint Operations Command (affiliated to the army) said in a statement on Friday: “At dawn today, Iraq was subjected to a blatant attack by American combat aircraft targeting the army units of the 19th Division and the headquarters of the 46th Popular Mobilization and the third Babylon Police Regiment in Babil Province (Jurf Al-Nasr, Al-Saeedat, Behbehani, The former Ashtar military manufacturing facility, Karbala Airport, is under construction located on the road between Karbala and Najaf). The statement stated that the attack resulted in the death of 3 soldiers and the injury of 4 others, the killing of 2 policemen and the injury of 2 others. In turn, “Al-Husayniya Threshold” in the city of Karbala, southern Iraq, reported that a civilian was killed during the American air strikes at Karbala International Airport.”

The Washington post reported from the Iraqi authorities that “three soldiers and two policemen were killed in the attacks, along with a civilian who was working in an airport that was under construction.”

The Shiite supreme leadership in Iraq condemned the attack and said in a statement that “the bombing had caused the death of a civilian and the wounding of others who were working in the construction of the airport, in addition to significant damage to administrative and service facilities. The statement clearly states that “this airport is purely civilian, and its construction is supervised by the Husseiniya threshold, in agreement with several Iraqi companies and by Iraqi civilian cadres.”

According to Youm7, the Iraqi president condemned the attack and described it “a violation to national sovereignty.”

A statement by the Joint Operations Command said that the attack led to “the killing of three fighters from the nineteenth division, and the injury of four, two of them in critical condition, and the killing of two and the injury of two from the employees of the Babylon third emergency police regiment, and the injury of five of the 46 fighters of the PMF and the death of a civilian worker in Karbala airport, which is under construction, and the wounding of another.”

According to Aleba’a, the Iraqi MP Karim Alaiwi considered the US attack on Karabala airport a message to the Iraqi Shiite Supreme Leadership which pushed the Parliament to take a decision asking the US forces to withdraw from Iraq. He said: “Everyone knows that Karbala airport is a purely civil project and has nothing to do with military objectives, but the United States wanted to send a message to the Shiite decision center that led Parliament to take the decision to remove foreign forces from Iraq.”

In the first of their September 2020 civilian casualty reports, the US-led Coalition stated: “Coalition forces conducted an airstrike against a Kata’ib Hizbolla facility. Regrettably, one civilian was unintentionally killed as a result of the strike”.

The incident occured at approximately 1:00 am local time.

The victims were named as:

23 years old male killed

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention multiple strikes on alleged weapon caches, some of which struck a civilian from Karbala (كربلاء), who sources suggest that he was employed as night security at the Karbala International Airport (مطار كربلاء الدولي) that is currently under construction. Since the strikes happened during the night and assuming that the individual was at work, we suggest that the location of the strike is the airport, for which coordinates are: 32.347736, 44.214334. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. Prior to the Coalition releasing the MGRS for this incident, Airwars had geolocated it to the nearest neighbourhood/area at 32.347736, 44.214334.

  • Google Earth imagery dating back from 2010 does not show the current progress of the Karbala International Airport (مطار كربلاء الدولي) which is currently under construction. Instead, here is an image from the Sentinel-2 L1C data, from the 9th of March, 2020.

    Imagery:
    Sentinel-2, ESA

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • (3 men)
  • 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.
  • Suspected attacker
    US Forces
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Known target
    Iraqi militias (PMUs)
  • Belligerents reported killed
    3
  • Belligerents reported injured
    9

Sources (20) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (32) [ collapse]

  • Aftermath of a deadly US airstrike on Karbala Airport on March 13th, 2020 which the Pentagon admits killed a civilian.
  • Destruction at Karbala airport in the Iraqi shrine city, one of the areas targeted by US military air strikes on March 13th, 2020 (via Vox)
  • A US military PowerPoint slide released to reporters shows the five targets of the airstrikes on March 13th, 2020 (via Vox.com)
  • Damage to Karbala international airport which was under construction after a US airstrike on March 13th, 2020. (via shiitenews).
  • Damage to Karbala international airport which was under construction after a US airstrike on March 13th, 2020. (via shiitenews).
  • Damage to Karbala international airport which was under construction after a US airstrike on March 13th, 2020. (via shiitenews).
  • Damage to Karbala international airport which was under construction after a US airstrike on March 13th, 2020. (via shiitenews).
  • Image showing the damage caused to Karabala International Airport project which was still under construction when attacked by the US in an airstrike on March 13th, 2020 (via imamhussain)
  • Image showing the damage caused to Karabala International Airport project which was still under construction when attacked by the US in an airstrike on March 13th, 2020 (via imamhussain)
  • Image showing the damage caused to Karabala International Airport project which was still under construction when attacked by the US in an airstrike on March 13th, 2020 (via imamhussain)
  • Image showing the damage caused to Karabala International Airport project which was still under construction when attacked by the US in an airstrike on March 13th, 2020 (via imamhussain)
  • Image showing the damage caused to Karabala International Airport project which was still under construction when attacked by the US in an airstrike on March 13th, 2020 (via imamhussain)
  • Image showing the damage caused to Karabala International Airport project which was still under construction when attacked by the US in an airstrike on March 13th, 2020 (via imamhussain)
  • Image showing the damage caused to Karabala International Airport project which was still under construction when attacked by the US in an airstrike on March 13th, 2020 (via imamhussain)
  • Image showing the damage caused to Karabala International Airport project which was still under construction when attacked by the US in an airstrike on March 13th, 2020 (via imamhussain)
  • Image showing the damage caused to Karabala International Airport project which was still under construction when attacked by the US in an airstrike on March 13th, 2020 (via imamhussain)
  • A US airstrike on Karabala international airport caused huge damage to the building which was under construction (via Shafaq)
  • Fighters from the Kataeb Hezbollah, or Hezbollah Brigades militia, inspect the destruction at their headquarters in the aftermath of a U.S. airstrike in Qaim, Iraq, Monday, Dec. 30, 2019. The Iranian-backed militia said Monday that the death toll from U.S. military strikes in Iraq and Syria against its fighters has risen to 25, vowing to exact revenge for the "aggression of evil American ravens." (AP Photo)
  • Aftermath of an American airstrike on Karabala international airport project on March 13th, 2020 (via youm7)
  • Aftermath of an American airstrike on Karabala international airport project on March 13th, 2020 (via youm7)
  • Aftermath of an American airstrike on Karabala international airport project on March 13th, 2020 (via youm7)
  • Aftermath of an American airstrike on Karabala international airport project on March 13th, 2020 (via youm7)
  • Aftermath of an American airstrike on Karabala international airport project on March 13th, 2020 (via youm7)
  • Aftermath of an American airstrike on Karabala international airport project on March 13th, 2020 (via youm7)
  • Aftermath of an American airstrike on Karabala international airport project on March 13th, 2020 (via youm7)
  • Image via Alghadeer in the aftermath of the American airstrike that hit Karabala international airport project that was still under construction bordering Najaf province on March 13th, 2020.
  • Image via Alghadeer in the aftermath of the American airstrike that hit Karabala international airport project that was still under construction bordering Najaf province on March 13th, 2020.
  • Image via Alghadeer in the aftermath of the American airstrike that hit Karabala international airport project that was still under construction bordering Najaf province on March 13th, 2020.
  • Image via Alghadeer in the aftermath of the American airstrike that hit Karabala international airport project that was still under construction bordering Najaf province on March 13th, 2020.
  • Aftermath of an American airstrike on Karabala international airport project on March 13th, 2020 (via youm7)
  • Destruction of parts of Karbala international airport by a US airstirke on March 13th, 2020 (via Alebaa).

US Forces Assessment:

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

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition 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.
  • Given reason for civilian harm
    No reason given
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    1
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    in Karbala, Iraq
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    38SMA261793
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Sep 9, 2020
  • Mar. 13, 2020, in Karbala, Iraq, via media report. Coalition forces conducted an airstrike against a Kata’ib Hizbolla facility. Regrettably, one civilian was unintentionally killed as a result of the strike. 3047 38SMA261793

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • (3 men)
  • 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.
  • Suspected attacker
    US Forces
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Known target
    Iraqi militias (PMUs)
  • Belligerents reported killed
    3
  • Belligerents reported injured
    9

Sources (20) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM278-C

Incident date

February 17, 2020

Location

Jilib, Middle Juba, Somalia

Geolocation

0.494527, 42.777868 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Two civilians, including a child, were reportedly injured in a US airstrike on Jilib. AFRICOM later admitted that the strike led to civilian harm.

Somali Memo, a news site close to Al Shabaab, wrote: “Reports from Jilib district say that a drone crashed into a civilian residence yesterday, killing no one but injuring two civilians, including a minor. Residents said the missiles fired at the buildings destroyed them, and that an elderly man and a minor were injured.”

The Somali Guardian noted that “At least two civilians have been wounded in a US drone strike in Somalia’s Middle Juba region, AFRICOM has claimed responsibility. Reports from the town of Jilib in the Middle Juba region of Somalia say two civilians have been injured in an air bombardment carried out by unmanned drone. A young girl and an elderly man sustained injuries after missiles hit their home in the middle of a residential area, family members have confirmed to local Somali media outlets.”

AFRICOM itself confirmed conducting the strike but said no civilians were harmed: “In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike targeting an al-Shabaab compound in the vicinity of Jilib, Somalia, Feb. 17. Initial assessments conclude one (1) al-Shabaab facility was destroyed as a result of this airstrike. We currently assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike.”

SONNA said the strike took place inside the city of Jilib.

Other sources either referred to the AFRICOM, or to the Somali Memo report.

In its civilian casualty assessment third quarter report AFRICOM said the incident was currently under review.

The subsequent fourth quarter civilian casualty assessment confirmed that the incident resulted in civilian harm: “USAFRICOM received three reports from an online media source and social media account claiming two (2) civilians were injured as a result of a U.S. airstrike in the vicinity of Jilib, Somalia, on Feb. 17, 2020. After a thorough inquiry into the facts and circumstances following the Feb. 17, 2020 airstrike, USAFRICOM assessed the airstrike resulted in the injury of two (2) civilians.”

The incident occured in the afternoon.

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention a strike on a compound within Jilib (جيليب) town, for which due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The coordinates for Jilib are: 0.494527, 42.777868

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • 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
    US Forces
  • Known target
    Al-Shabaab

Sources (24) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (3) [ collapse]

  • AFRICOM press release
  • Ministry of Infromation press release
  • Approximate location in Somalia

US Forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US Forces
  • US Forces 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.
  • Given reason for civilian harm
    No reason given
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    2
  • Stated location
    Jilib
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US Forces
  • Nov 6, 2020
  • Jul 28, 2020
  • February 18, 2020, USAFRICOM received three allegations from an online media source and social media account claiming two (2) civilians were injured as a result of a U.S. airstrike in the vicinity of Jilib, Somalia, on February 17, 2020.

  • Feb. 18, 2020, (Substantiated) USAFRICOM received three reports from an online media source and social media account claiming two (2) civilians were injured as a result of a U.S. airstrike in the vicinity of Jilib, Somalia, on Feb. 17, 2020. After a thorough inquiry into the facts and circumstances following the Feb. 17, 2020 airstrike, USAFRICOM assessed the airstrike resulted in the injury of two (2) civilians.

Original strike reports

US Forces

In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike targeting an al-Shabaab compound in the vicinity of Jilib, Somalia, Feb. 17.

“We’re working with our partners to adversely impact al-Shabaab’s operations and ability to attack our Somali and East African partners,” said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Miguel Castellanos, deputy director of operations, U.S. Africa Command. “It is important to counter this al-Qaeda-aligned group’s ability and intent to plan and carry out attacks in Somalia and more broadly. This precision strike does just that.”

Initial assessments conclude one (1) al-Shabaab facility was destroyed as a result of this airstrike.

We currently assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike.

Somalia remains key to the security environment of East Africa, and its long-term stability is important to advancing U.S. interests in the region. We will continue to work together on our support of the Federal Government of Somalia in its effort to bring improved governance, development and stability to the Somali people.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • 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
    US Forces
  • Known target
    Al-Shabaab

Sources (24) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM274-C

Incident date

February 2, 2020

Location

Jilib, Middle Juba, Somalia

Geolocation

0.494527, 42.777868 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

US Africa Command declared on the same day that it had conducted an airstrike “in the vicinity of Jilib” which it said had killed “one (1) terrorist.” However local reports said that one young woman was killed and two or three other women injured in the event in Jilib town, which AFRICOM later acknowledged.

According to AFRICOM’s original press release, “In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike targeting an al-Shabaab terrorist in the vicinity of Jilib, Somalia, Feb. 2. Initial assessment concluded the airstrike killed one (1) terrorist. We currently assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike.”

However the day after the attack, Somali reporter Mohamed Osman Ali tweeted: “Very sad to learn that an airstrike on Sunday evening killed my brother-in-law’s daughter, and injured two of his daughters and his mother who is also my aunt and my mother-in-law in Jilib town, 380 KM south of Mogadishu. surprised to those saying no civilian casualties!”.

Naming three victims on February 4th, Radio Morad said that one civilian woman had been killed and two others injured: “#AFRICOM claimed killing 1 #AlShabaab fighter & no civilians harmed. But locals reporting 3 civilian casualties, all women.”

According to the Somali Guardian, “Residents told Somali media outlets that a US drone carried out the strike on Monday night which fired several missiles to a residential area inside Jilib town. Several missiles hit a civilian home killing a 17-year-old mentally ill girl, wounding her mother and younger sister who were then rushed to a hospital.”

According to the Defence Post, an AFRICOM official was informed by a relative of the civilian deaths prior to its announcement of no harm: “Abdi said his family was unable to obtain photo evidence of the incident because Shabaab does not allow smartphones in its territory, but confirmed the identity of his relatives in photos posted on Twitter, and provided The Defense Post with other family photos for comparison. Abdi is not sure who took the photos that were posted online, but the experienced journalist said it may have been members of al-Shabaab. He said it was possible the strike may have been targeting Shabaab militants outside the house because the group fully controls Jilib, about 110 km north of Kismayo in Somalia’s Middle Juba region.

“Abdi said he approached an American military officer from AFRICOM’s communications office during a conference in Mogadishu and detailed his story hours before the command released a statement assessing that no civilians were killed. ‘He only said sorry about your relatives,’ Abdi told The Defense Post. ‘He did not tell me anything further, or ask me. He said we try our best not to damage or hit civilian areas,’ he recalled. Ismael Mukhtar Omar, the Somalia Federal Government’s official spokesperson, corroborated Abdi’s account, saying he was present for the conversation with the AFRICOM officer.”

In April 2020, Amnesty International reported that 18-year-old Nurto Kusow Omar Abukar had been killed in the airstrike after she was struck in the head by a heavy metal fragment. The strike injured Nurto’s younger sisters. Fatuma (12) was struck in the clavicle and chest, and remains in the hospital as of April 2020. 7-year-old Adey was hit in the ear. The sister’s grandmother Khadija Mohamed Gedow (around 70 years old) was hit in the knee and is still unable to walk.

According to a weapon expert’s analysis of photographs of the munitions used, it was “likely a US GBU-69/B Small Glide Munition with a 16-kilogramme warhead” that hit the family’s house around 8pm on February 2nd. The report states that “the family of five, who lived in the home, had just sat down for dinner after the Isha prayer, about 8pm, when at least one munition struck their residence. The cariish home, made of wood, sticks and mud, was significantly damaged in the blast.”

The girls’ father, Kusow Omar Abukar (50) was also present in the house during the airstrike, but made it out without injuries. He told Amnesty: “I never imagined it was going to hit us. I suddenly heard a huge sound. It felt like our house had collapsed. There was a huge sound and a bright flash and a huge smoke. The sand and the smoke filled my eyes.” Mr. Omar Akubar is a farmer and, according to his relatives, not a member of Al Shabaab.

According to the report, “prior to the strike, witnesses heard the sound of an aircraft above Jilib, but reported that there was no sign of fighting in the area at that time.”

According to Amnesty International, neither the US or Somalian authorities have reached out to the Kusow family for compensations or medical assistance.

Responding to the Amnesty report, US Air Force Major Karl Wiest told the Defense Post on April 1st that an assessment of the incident is ongoing: “Our in-depth post-strike analysis relies on intelligence methods that are not available to non-military organizations, including Amnesty International.”

Al Jazeera interviewed Kusaw Omar Abukar via telephone, revealing more details about the incident. Abukar confirmed that his daughter Nurto had been disabled and that his surviving daughter Fadumo’s situation remained critical, stating that the girl had undergone two surgeries and is in desperate need of further medical assistance. “We don’t have good hospitals here. And we can’t afford to take her anywhere else”, her father told Al Jazeera.

Marine Corps Times reported that, following the Amnesty report, AFRICOM officials “said they intend to issue a new quarterly report on the status of ongoing civilian casualty allegations and assessments starting at the end of April [2020].”

Human Rights Watch published a detailed investigation into the incident saying: ” Human Rights Watch investigations indicate that 1 civilian, a woman, was killed, and 3 others were injured, including 2 girls.”

The NGO also interviewed the victims: “Nurto’s aunt, who reached the family’s home the following morning, recounted what family members told her: ‘Nurto was standing along the gate, and my mum was also near the gate. The airstrike hit the ground, the pieces went up and hit Nurto in the head and killed her.’

Nurto’s and the two girls’ father, Kusow Omar Abukar, told a relative that he heard a huge sound and then couldn’t see anything for about 30 minutes, just a lot of smoke and dust. He said he could not understand what was happening to him. He told the relative, ‘I was so worried about my daughters but couldn’t see them.'”

The New York Times reported that “Fatima, then 14, indicated during an interview where a missile fragment pierced her body. She wakes up screaming from nightmares. “I don’t want to say what I see,” she said.”

In its second quarterly civilian casualty report, published on July 28th 2020, AFRICOM accepted responsibility for civilian harm in this event: “Between Feb. 3 and June 17, 2020 USAFRICOM received eight total allegations as a result of a U.S. airstrike in the vicinity of Jilib, Somalia, on February 2, 2020. After a thorough assessment into the facts and circumstances following the Feb. 2, 2020 airstrike, USAFRICOM substantiates the death of one (1) civilian and three (3) injured.”

The incident occured at approximately 8:00 pm local time.

The victims were named as:

Family members (4)

18 years old female killed
12 years old female struck in the clavicle and the chest injured
7 years old female hit in the ear injured
70 years old female hit in the knee, still unable to walk injured

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the town of Jilib, for which the coordinates are: 0.494527, 42.777868.

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
  • Known target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1

Sources (22) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (11) [ collapse]

  • Apparent missile fragment from a February 2nd 2020 strike on Jilib (via Radio Morad)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    The body of 18 year old Nurto Kusow, reportedly killed in a US strike on Jilib on February 2nd 2020 (via Radio Morad).
  • 12-year-old Fatima Kusow, reportedly injured in a US strike on Jilib on February 2nd 2020 (via Radio Morad).
  • 70 year old Khadija Mohamed, reportedly injured in a US strike on Jilib on February 2nd 2020 (via Radio Morad)

US Forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US Forces
  • US Forces 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.
  • Given reason for civilian harm
    No reason given
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    1
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    3
  • Stated location
    in the vicinity of Jilib
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US Forces
  • Jul 28, 2020
  • February 3, 2020 (Substantiated) Between Feb. 3 and June 17, 2020 USAFRICOM received eight total allegations as a result of a U.S. airstrike in the vicinity of Jilib, Somalia, on February 2, 2020. After a thorough assessment into the facts and circumstances following the Feb. 2, 2020 airstrike, USAFRICOM substantiates the death of one (1) civilian and three (3) injured.

Original strike reports

US Forces

In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike targeting an al-Shabaab terrorist in the vicinity of Jilib, Somalia, Feb. 2.
"Al-Shabaab is an al-Qaeda affiliate seeking to further its jihadist agenda," said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. William Gayler, director of operations, U.S. Africa Command. "Removal of even one terrorist makes the region and the U.S. safer. Continuous pressure on the network is necessary to prevent al-Shabaab from building a safe haven and exporting violence."
Initial assessment concluded the airstrike killed one (1) terrorist.
We currently assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrike.
U.S. Africa Command will continue to work with its partners to transfer the responsibility for long-term security in Somalia to the Federal Government of Somalia and its Member States. In support of the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces will use all effective and appropriate methods to assist in the protection of the Somali people, including partnered military counterterrorism operations with the Federal Government of Somalia and Somali National Army forces.

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
  • Known target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1

Sources (22) [ collapse]