Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CI878a

Incident date

March 20, 2019

Location

Anbar, Al Anbar, Iraq

Geolocation

32.559763, 41.919644 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Province/governorate level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

In an incident previously not tracked by Airwars, the Coalition later confirmed the death of one civilian and the injury of another near Anbar, Iraq. This was later confirmed to be a US action.

As CJTFOIR’s June 2019 civilian casualty report noted: “Coalition forces engaged in a small arms fire event. Regrettably, one civilian was unintentionally killed and another one unintentionally wounded in the exchange.”

The Coalition has not provided any further locational information for this incident, and Airwars researchers could not find any reported claims of civilian harm in the area on this day.

In its May 2020 annual report on civilian harm to Congress, the Pentagon confirmed this to be a US action.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Small arms and light weapons
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Known target
    ISIS

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Table of US-only civilian harm events in Iraq and Syria for 2019, declared by the Pentagon to Congress in May 2020.

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
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Previously unknown
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    1
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    1
  • Stated location
    Anbar, Iraq
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jun 27, 2019
  • Mar. 20, 2019, near Anbar, Iraq, via self-report. Coalition forces engaged in a small arms fire event. Regrettably, one civilian was unintentionally killed and another one unintentionally wounded in the exchange.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

Between March 10 - 23, 2019, CJTF-OIR conducted 250 strikes consisting of 398 engagements against Daesh
targets in Syria and Iraq.

In Iraq, CJTF-OIR conducted 57 strikes consisting of 60 engagements, engaged 44 Daesh tactical units, and destroyed 14 supply routes, three buildings, two fighting position, one weapons cache, and one cave.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Small arms and light weapons
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Known target
    ISIS

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS1908

Incident date

March 13, 2019

Location

الباغوز, Al Baghouz, Deir Ezzor, Syria

Geolocation

34.44758, 40.95342 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (via Coalition) level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Local sources reported that an alleged Coalition airstrike struck Al-Baghouz camp on the night of March 13th. Sources reported varying numbers of civilian deaths.

Several sources reported that up to 100 civilians were killed in the airstrike. One source, Christian Turner, tweeted that 20 civilians were killed. All sources reported that most of the victims were women and children.

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 camp. Regrettably, four civilians were unintentionally killed due to their proximity to the strike.”

Three victims were identified, one of whom seems to have been involved with ISIS. Baladi News reported that Mu’adh Muhammad al-Ali al-Daham was one of the most prominent journalists of ISIS. “He covered several battles during the organization’s control over large areas in the area. He also described many executions and releases carried out by the organization in the cities of al-Boukamal and al-Mayadin.” His nickname was “Abu Amer Zer” and he was reported to be the eldest brother of the military commander in “the organization” that Deir Ezzor 24 referred to as “Abu Dajana Abu Daqana”.

The second victim identified is a French child. A tweet by @Idriss Sihamedi reads that “This French child is seriously injured. He is between life and death in Syria. He claims someone named “Marianne” may be his grandmother” and calls for people to search for his family back home in France. According to a tweet by @annakkachi, his mother was killed in the bombing.

No other details are known at this time.

In their monthly civilian casualty reports, the US-led Coalition has indicated that the credibility of this civilian harm allegation is in the process of being assessed.

The incident occured around midnight.

The victims were named as:

Family members (2)

Adult female killed
Child male killed

The victims were named as:

Adult male Reportedly one of the most prominent journalists of ISIS killed

Geolocation notes

Prior to the Coalition releasing the MGRS for this incident, Airwars had geolocated it to 34.447579, 40.953426 to the nearest city.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    20 – 100
  • (2–3 children2–3 women1 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-led Coalition
  • Known target
    ISIS

Sources (11) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • Video depicting violent clashes in Al Baghouz on March 13th 2017 (via AJA).
  • Tweet from @IdrissSihamedi that reads: "This French child is seriously injured he is between life and death in Syria. He claims some "Marianne" may be his grandmother. Thank you for sharing to find his family in France or to proceed with his identification in emergency!"

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Open incident
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    4
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    near al Baghouz, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SFU7945513515
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Mar 10, 2022
  • Mar. 13, 2019, near al Baghouz, Syria, via Airwars report. Coalition aircraft conducted a strike on ISIS terrorists in a camp. Regrettably, four civilians were unintentionally killed due to their proximity to the strike. 2682/CS1908 37SFU7945513515

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

"Between March 10 - 23 2019, CJTF-OIR conducted 250 strikes consisting of 398 engagements against Daesh targets in Syria and Iraq.

In Syria, CJTF-OIR conducted 193 strikes consisting of 338 engagements, engaged 346 Daesh tactical units, and destroyed 104 vehicles, 63 supply routes, 39 fighting positions, 31 vehicle borne improvised explosive devices, nine tactical vehicles, six fuel tankers, four weapons caches, two command and control nodes, one tunnel, one tanker for petroleum oil and lubricants, one mortar system, and one checkpoint."

French Military
  • English
    /
    Original

For March 13th-19th, France report that Task Force Wagram did not carry out any artillery missions. Aircraft carried out 57 sorties and there was one strike. It also provides a review of the four years of training of TF Narvik and Monsabert

CHAMMALSITUATION MILITAIRE DU THÉÂTREOffensive contre les dernières poches de Daech en SyrieEn moyenne vallée de l’Euphrate, les combats menés par les Forces démocratiquessyriennes, appuyés par la coalition, pour reconquérir le réduit de Baghouz continuent. Les combats sont intenses, la progression effective, mais lente, en raison de l’évacuation de nombreux civils, et de l’imbrication des combattants et des non combattants.Poursuite des actions en IrakLa situation sécuritaire est stable en Irak, et reste sous contrôle des Forces de sécurité intérieures qui poursuivent leur effort dans la lutte contre Daech.ACTIVITÉ DE LA FORCELe dispositif français déployé au Levant n’a pas évolué depuis la semaine dernière. Le groupe aéronaval participe toujours à l’opération Chammal : une frappe aérienne a été réalisée par ses Rafale cette semaine en appui des forces démocratiques syriennes.En parallèle, le groupement naval est intégré, en soutien associé, à l’opération Sea Gardian, opération maritime de l’OTAN qui accomplit actuellement trois tâches de sûreté maritime en Méditerranée : la constitution de capacités de sûreté maritime, la connaissance de la situation maritime, et la lutte contre le terrorisme.Enfin, la frégate britannique HMS Duncan a rejoint le groupe aéronaval cette semaine.Bilan des quatre ans de formation des TF Narvik et MonsabertDepuis mars 2015, en complément de l’appui feu aux troupes engagées au sol contre Daech, la France a déployé à Bagdad des militaires dont la mission est d’améliorer les capacités de commandement et les savoir-faire des troupes irakiennes. Deux Task Force (TF), Narvik et Monsabert, aux périmètres différents, ont été mises en place pour assurer cette mission.La TF Narvik prend part à la formation des forces spéciales de l’Iraki Counter Terrorism Service (ICTS), dans des domaines d’expertise immédiatement exploitables dans la lutte contre Daech : le combat en zone urbaine, le renseignement, le tir aux armes collectives et armes lourdes, la lutte contre les engins explosifs ou le sauvetage au combat.Les premiers mandats proposaient des instructions générales et spécialisées aux jeunes recrues et aux soldats expérimentés. L’ICTS est progressivement devenue autonome dans ces domaines et la TF Narvik porte désormais ses efforts sur la formation des cadres et des opérateurs spécialisés tout en perfectionnant à travers des stages dédiés des bataillons opérationnels de l’ICTS.Au bilan, la TF Narvik a formé plus de 8000 soldats et 300 instructeurs, et a mené des stages de perfectionnement au profit de plus de 3000 soldats, ce qui représente 25 % des actions de formation menées par la coalition pour l’ICTS.De son côté, la TF Monsabert fournit assistance et conseil (Advise and Assist — A2) à l’État-major et aux soldats de la 6e division d’infanterie, responsable notamment de la sécurisation de Bagdad.Dans le cadre de son partenariat avec la 6e division, la TF Monsabert a formé depuis sa création plus de 3300 soldats irakiens, et plus de 1700 formateurs.En constante évolution pour répondre aux besoins de ses partenaires irakiens, la TF Monsabert a récemment mis en place des cycles d’évaluation des savoir-faire fondamentaux des soldats de la 6e division. Plus de 4000 soldats irakiens ont déjà été passés au crible, permettant aux experts de la TF et au commandement de la 6è division de disposer d’une appréciation globale du niveau des différents régiments.Enfin, depuis 6 mois, dans le cadre de son partenariat avec l’école d’artillerie irakienne la TF Monsabert a formé 330 officiers et sous-officiers irakiens.Depuis quatre ans, ce sont au bilan plus de 20 000 soldats irakiens qui ont bénéficié de l’expertise de 1400 instructeurs français qui se sont relayés au sein de l’opération Chammal, dispensant 150 stages et participant à plus de 200 missions de conseil et d’appui.La Task Force Wagram en appui de l’offensive contre les dernières poches de Daech présentes dans la vallée de l’EuphrateLa Task Force (TF) Wagram continue d’appuyer les forces démocratiques syriennes contre Daech au sud de la ville d’Hajin.La TF Wagram n’a pas réalisé de missions de tir, depuis le territoire irakien, cette semaine (bilan du 13 au 19 mars inclus).Sorties air hebdomadaires (bilan du 13 au 19 mars inclus)Les aéronefs français basés en Jordanie et aux Émirats arabes unis, et projetés depuis le groupe aéronaval poursuivent leurs actions contre Daech, au sein de la coalition.Cette semaine, les aéronefs de l’opération Chammal ont réalisé 57 sorties aériennes (bilan du 13 au 19 mars inclus). Les Rafale français ont conduit 01 frappe cette semaine, réalisée par les aéronefs du groupe aeronaval.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    20 – 100
  • (2–3 children2–3 women1 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-led Coalition
  • Known target
    ISIS

Sources (11) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI877a

Incident date

March 10, 2019

Location

near Qayyarah-West Airfield, Iraq, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

35.74559, 43.1553 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Within 100m (via Coalition) level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

In an event previously not tracked by Airwars, the Coalition later confirmed the injury of one civilian in an event near Qayyarah-West Airfield, Iraq. The Pentagon later confirmed this as a US action.

In its May 2019 civilian casualty report, the Coalition noted: “Regrettably, one civilian was unintentionally injured by Coalition small arms fire.”

The Coalition provided Airwars with the location of this incident, accurate to within a 100 metre box. Airwars researchers could not find any reported claims of civilian harm in the area on this day.

In May 2020, in its annual civilian harm report to Congress, the Department of Defense declared this to be a US action.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Known target
    ISIS

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Table of US-only civilian harm events in Iraq and Syria for 2019, declared by the Pentagon to Congress in May 2020.

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
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Previously unknown
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    1
  • Stated location
    near Qayyarah-West Airfield, Iraq
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    38SLE332573
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • May 31, 2019
  • Mar. 10, 2019, near Qayyarah-West Airfield, Iraq, via media-report. Regrettably, one civilian was unintentionally injured by Coalition small arms fire.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

Between March 10 - 23, 2019, CJTF-OIR conducted 250 strikes consisting of 398 engagements against Daesh
targets in Syria and Iraq.
In Iraq, CJTF-OIR conducted 57 strikes consisting of 60 engagements, engaged 44 Daesh tactical units, and
destroyed 14 supply routes, three buildings, two fighting position, one weapons cache, and one cave.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Known target
    ISIS

Incident Code

CS1901a

Incident date

March 2, 2019

Location

مخيم الباغوز, Al Baghouz Fawqani, Deir Ezzor, Syria

Geolocation

34.44932, 40.94851 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Within 100m (via Coalition) level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

In its monthly civilian harm report issued January 3rd 2020, the US-led Coalition conceded a self-reported civilian harm event in al Baghouz Fawqani on this date which killed one civilian. The event was previously untracked by Airwars.

As the CJTFOIR report noted, “March 2, 2019, in Baghouz Faqwani, Syria, via self-report. Coalition aircraft conducted an airstrike against Daesh fighters. Regrettably, one civilian was unintentionally killed as a result of the strike. 2671 37SFU790137”.

Coalition officials confirmed to Airwars by email that this was separate to an incident already listed for this date [CS1901] in which three named members of the Mu’az family were killed: “This appears to be a separate event and will be assessed that way going forward.”

In its May 2020 annual report to Congress, the Pentagon confirmed this to be a US-only civilian harm event.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Known target
    ISIS

Sources (8) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Table of US-only civilian harm events in Iraq and Syria for 2019, declared by the Pentagon to Congress in May 2020.

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
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Previously unknown
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    1
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    in Baghouz Fawqani, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SFU790137
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jan 3, 2020
  • March 2, 2019, in Baghouz Faqwani, Syria, via self-report. Coalition aircraft conducted an airstrike against Daesh fighters. Regrettably, one civilian was unintentionally killed as a result of the strike. 2671 37SFU790137

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

Between Feb. 24 - March 9, 2019, CJTF-OIR conducted 99 strikes consisting of 139 engagements against Daesh targets in Syria and Iraq.In Syria, CJTF-OIR conducted 97 strikes consisting of 137 engagements, engaged 228 Daesh tactical units, and destroyed 71 tactical vehicles, 35 vehicle borne improvised explosive devices, 17 supply routes, 11 fighting positions, 10 weapons caches, eight staging areas, four command and control nodes, two tunnels, two heavy machine guns, one anti-aircraft gun, one fuel tanker, and one boat.

UK Military
  • English
    /
    Original

Saturday 2 March – a Reaper killed a small group of terrorists around Baghuz Fawqani in eastern Syria...A Reaper provided close air support to the Syrian Democratic Forces as they fought Daesh around Baghuz Fawqani on Saturday 2 March. The Reaper’s crew observed a rocket-propelled grenade being fired from a building, and shortly afterwards a small group of armed terrorists emerged. They were tracked by the Reaper, whilst careful checks were made that no SDF or otherwise unidentified individuals were too close to them, then successfully engaged with a single Hellfire missile.

French Military
  • English
    /
    Original

For February 27th to March 5th, French MoD report 4 firing missions from the Iraqi territory by Task Force Wagram. Aircraft carried out 18 sorties. There was one strike.

CHAMMALSituation militaire du théâtreOffensive contre les dernières poches de Daech en SyrieEn moyenne vallée de l’Euphrate, les combats menés par les Forces démocratiques syriennes, appuyées par la coalition, se poursuivent autour de la ville de Baghouz.Poursuite des actions en IrakLa situation sécuritaire reste stable. Les Forces de sécurité intérieures poursuivent leur effort dans la lutte contre Daech.ACTIVITÉ DE LA FORCELe dispositif français déployé au Levant n’a pas évolué.La Task Force Wagram en appui de l’offensive contre les dernières poches de Daech présentes dans la vallée de l’EuphrateLa Task Force (TF) Wagram continue d’appuyer les forces démocratiques syriennes contre Daech au sud de la ville d’Hajin.La TF Wagram a réalisé, depuis le territoire irakien 4 missions de tir (soit 1 mission d’aveuglement et 3 missions de certification – bilan du 27 février au 05 mars inclus).Les bases aériennes en Jordanie et aux EAU en appui des opérationsLes aéronefs français basés en Jordanie et aux Émirats arabes unis poursuivent leurs actions contre Daech, au sein de la coalition.Cette semaine, les aéronefs de l’opération Chammal ont réalisé 18 sorties aériennes (bilan du 27 février au 05 mars inclus). Les Rafale français ont conduit une frappe cette semaine.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Known target
    ISIS

Sources (8) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM195-C

Incident date

February 23, 2019

Location

حرمك, Kunya Barrow, Middle Juba, Somalia

Geolocation

0.798211, 43.385648 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (via Airwars) level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

A father and young child were reported killed in a US airstrike on the al Shabaab-occupied town of Kunyo Barrow. AFRICOM later admitted the deaths of two civilians along with three injuries in the event in its first quarterly civilian harm report of April 2020.

US Africa Command first reported on February 24th 2019 that a day earlier it had conducted four actions in Somalia, including “Two airstrikes (…) in the vicinity of Kunyow Barrow.”

According to local reports, the four strikes targeted Da’araha; Kunya Barrow (where two civilians died and at least two more were injured, it was reported); the vicinity of Janaale and Qoryoley (where one additional adult female civilian was said to have died); and Awdhegle. The Da’araha action appears to be the second event cited by AFRICOM for that day near Kunya Barrow.

AFRICOM initially stated that “it is assessed these airstrikes killed two terrorists” and the Bureau of Investigative journalism confirmed through email with AFRICOM that they were killed during the two strikes in the vicinity of Kunyow Barrow. The official statement added that “At this time, it is assessed no civilians were injured or killed in these airstrikes.”

Mareeg nevertheless reported on February 24th that two civilians, including one “20 day old child” and the child’s father, had in fact been killed in airstrikes carried out in “rebel-held areas of Da’araha, Janaale, Kunya Barow,  Awdhegle”. The article stated that “it is unclear who carried out the raid,” and gave no further details on which of the four strikes had harmed civilians.

Horn News – which published graphic photographs released by al Shabaab – said the two had died during a strike on Kunyo Barrow town itself. SomaliMemo described the victims as “a two-year-old boy and a Quran school teacher.”

Mogadishu update tweeted four images it said had been released by al Shabaab, including one showing a woman and child reportedly injured in the attack. It also said the fatal victims were father and son.

When approached by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism for clarification, AFRICOM first said that it still assessed that no civilian harm had occurred as a result of this strike, stating: “US Africa Command is aware the article alleging civilian casualties resulting from the February 23, 2019 airstrikes in Kunyow Barrow, Awdeegle, and Janaale, Somalia.

“As with any allegation of civilian casualties we receive, U.S. Africa Command will review any information it has about the incident, including any relevant information provided by third parties. If the information supporting the allegation is determined to be credible, USAFRICOM will then determine the next appropriate step. USAFRICOM complies with the law of armed conflict and takes all feasible precautions during the targeting process to minimize civilian casualties and other collateral damage.
At this time, we still assess no civilians were injured or killed in these airstrikes.”

In September 2019, TRT World Research Centre alleged that a woman was also killed that night in another US strike, in the vicinity of Janaale and Qoryoley villlages.

Each of the four confirmed US strikes on this date has been assigned a separate incident report by Airwars.

In autumn 2019, US investigative journalist Nick Turse obtained via FOIA a declassified document listing recent locally-alleged civilian harm from US actions, which AFRICOM was reviewing. The second entry notes for the date February 23rd 2019 that “[redacted source] alleges that U.S. airstrikes were responsible for civilian casualties… Outcome PENDING.”

In January 2020, Airwars submitted to AFRICOM a comprehensive dossier on this civilian casualty event, including a precise geolocate. Three months later in its first quarterly civilian casualty report, US Africa Command conceded the incident, noting that “AFRICOM received a follow-on allegation of this incident on January 21, 2020, from a foreign non-government organization. After thorough review, several of the allegations were assessed to be substantiated. Regrettably, two (2) civilians were likely and unintentionally killed and three (3) injured as a result of the airstrike. It is assessed the deaths and injuries occurred due to the effects of U.S. munitions or secondary explosions caused by explosives stored by al-Shabaab at the location of the strike.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (2)

Quranic teacher
Adult male killed
Child of teacher
1 years old male 20 months old killed

Geolocation notes (3) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention that the strike took place in the vicinity of the village Kunya Barrow (حرمك), for which the coordinates are: 0.7928186, 43.3841839. Images published by Al Shabaab show damage to a residential area in the vicinity of 4 radio towers. Based on these images we think that the strike took place in this area: 0.798211, 43.385648.

  • Original photo published by Al Shabaab with the radio towers and trees marked

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

  • Location of these landmarks in a satellite image of Kunya Barrow, indicating the likely location of the strike impact in black

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

  • Direction in which the photo was likely taken

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (1 child1 man)
  • 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
    2

Sources (11) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (13) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Graphic photograph of a 20-month old baby, killed in a reported US airstrike on Kunyo Barrow on February 24th 2019 (via Horn News)
  • Damage, reportedly at Kunyo Barrow, following a US airstrike on February 24th 2019 (via Horn News)
  • A father and child reportedly killed at Kunyo Barrow, February 23rd 2019, by a US airstrike (via Mareeg)
  • A woman and child reportedly injured at Kunyo Barrow, February 23rd 2019, by a US airstrike (Mareeg via al Shabaab)
  • Reported damage at Kunyo Barrow following a US airstrike on February 23rd 2019 (Image via Al Shabaab propaganda)
  • Reported damage at Kunyo Barrow following a US airstrike on February 23rd 2019 (Image via Al Shabaab propaganda)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

  • Wrapped body of a child victim of a reported US strike on Kunyo Barrow, Somalia on February 23rd 2019 (Image via al Shabaab propaganda release)
  • Reported damage at Kunyo Barrow following a lethal US airstrike on February 23rd 2019 (via Gundhig)
  • Reported damage at Kunyo Barrow following a lethal US airstrike on February 23rd 2019 (via Gundhig)
  • Reported damage at Kunyo Barrow following a lethal US airstrike on February 23rd 2019 (via Gundhig)

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
    Killed by secondary explosion(s)
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    2
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    3
  • Stated location
    Vicinity of Kunyo Barrow
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US Forces
  • Apr 27, 2020
  • February 24, 2019, the command received allegations from online media sources claiming two (2) civilians were killed and two (2) civilians injured as a result of a U.S. airstrike in the vicinity of Kunyo Barrow, Somalia, on February 23, 2019. The initial allegation claimed dozens were alleged to have been killed but only provided specific information regarding four alleged civilian casualties. AFRICOM received a follow-on allegation of this incident on January 21, 2020, from a foreign non-government organization. After review, several of the allegations were assessed to be substantiated. Regrettably, two (2) civilians were likely and unintentionally killed and three (3) injured as a result of the airstrike.// Regarding the February 23, 2019 strike, we assess that it is likely that two civilians were regrettably and unintentionally killed and three were injured as a result of the airstrike that also killed two al-Shabaab terrorists who were the intended targets. “While we follow very precise and rigorous standards, in instances where we fail to meet our expectations, we will admit the mistake,” said Townsend. “Regrettably two civilians were killed and three others injured in a February 2019 airstrike. We have the highest respect for our Somali friends and we are deeply sorry this occurred.” On February 24, 2019, the command received allegations from online media sources claiming two (2) civilians were killed and two (2) civilians injured as a result of a U.S. airstrike in the vicinity of Kunyo Barrow, Somalia, on February 23, 2019. An initial allegation claimed dozens were alleged to have been killed but only provided specific information regarding four alleged civilian casualties. AFRICOM received a follow-on allegation of this incident on January 21, 2020, from a foreign non-government organization. After thorough review, several of the allegations were assessed to be substantiated. Regrettably, two (2) civilians were likely and unintentionally killed and three (3) injured as a result of the airstrike. It is assessed the deaths and injuries occurred due to the effects of U.S. munitions or secondary explosions caused by explosives stored by al-Shabaab at the location of the strike. The February 23, 2019, airstrike was designed to degrade the al-Shabaab terrorist group and the command’s assessment is that two terrorists, the intended targets, were also killed as a result of this airstrike. In adherence to established procedures, the command has notified the Federal Government of Somalia and appropriate U.S. authorities verifying the credibility of the allegations and the fact that two civilians were unintentionally killed and three were injured as a result of an airstrike.

Original strike reports

US Forces

In support of the Federal Government of Somalia's increased efforts to degrade al-Shabaab, U.S. Africa Command conducted four airstrikes on February 23, 2019.

"Somali-led operations continue to place pressure on the al-Shabaab network, creating conditions for enhanced stability and security," said Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Gregg Olson, U.S. Africa Command director of operations. "In addition to creating enhanced security, airstrikes help to disrupt al-Shabaab operations and the network while preventing future attacks by this terrorist group."

Two airstrikes on February 23 occurred in the vicinity of Kunyow Barrow, Somalia, which is approximately 250 kilometers southwest of Mogadishu. One airstrike occurred in the vicinity of Awdeegle, Somalia, which is approximately 50 kilometers west of Mogadishu. One airstrike occurred in the vicinity of Janaale, Somalia, which is approximately 75 kilometers southwest of Mogadishu.

Airstrikes such as these complement our Somali partners’ successes against al-Shabaab, and are one component of our combined efforts to protect the Somali people from terrorism. Somali security forces continue to effectively target al-Shabaab forces in order to increase the span of governance of the Federal Government of Somalia.

These four airstrikes eliminated checkpoints and facilities used by al-Shabaab to collect illegal taxes to fund terrorist activities and to oppress the innocent people of Somalia.

"Degrading various facilities and checkpoints impacts al-Shabaab’s ability to finance operations, recruit, and execute operations," said Olson. "The Federal Government of Somalia continues to place persistent pressure on the network."

At this time, it is assessed these airstrikes killed two terrorists.

At this time, it is assessed no civilians were injured or killed in these airstrikes.

U.S. Africa Command will continue to work with its partners to transfer the responsibility for long-term security in Somalia from AMISOM 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 counter-terror operations with the Federal Government of Somalia, AMISOM and Somali National Army forces.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (1 child1 man)
  • 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
    2

Sources (11) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS1896

Incident date

February 6–7, 2019

Location

الشحيل, Al Shahil - possibly Al-Khayasah neighborhood, Deir Ezzor, Syria

Geolocation

35.08742, 40.45023 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Within 100m (via Coalition) level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Local sources reported that an alleged Coalition airstrike targeted the house of Majid al-Salama in Al Shahil on the night of February 6th-7th. Baladi News blamed “US helicopters from the International Alliance, backed by high-flying jet fighters” for the airstrike. Other sources claim he was killed by gunfire. Three civilians were later admitted to have been wounded by US fire.

The house was reportedly inhabited by displaced people from the town of Al Baghouz. A man was reportedly killed and his wife and two children arrested by SDF forces. However US officials later insisted the dead man was a “combatant.”

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed at the time that a man ‘in the second decade of his life’ was shot dead and found near an irrigation canal in the town of Al Shahil, while other sources reported the man was killed in the airstrike and found “near the landing site used by international coalition forces”.

Mena Monitor – which cited no civilian casualties – reported that “international coalition forces on Thursday [February 7th] carried out an air landing on the house of Majid al-Salama in Al-Khayasah neighborhood in Al Shahil city in the suburb of Deir Ezzor. Field sources said that the operation resulted in the arrest of three people displaced from the town of Al Baghouz, which is governed by Daesh.”

In its monthly civilian casualty report published in November 2019, the Coalition confirmed injuring three civilians in the vicinity of this locale around this time, noting that “February 6, 2019, near Al Busayrah, Syria, via self-report. Coalition ground forces conducted an assault against a Daesh facility. Regrettably three civilians were unintentionally wounded as a result of the action.”

Following an email exchange, Coalition officials accepted that this was the same event – asserting that ” In light of that information and your notes, we have confirmed that these are directly related events, however we have also confirmed that the individual in this allegation was a combatant.”

In May 2020 in its annual report on civilian harm to Congress, the Pentagon declared this to be a US-only action.

In their monthly civilian casualty reports, the US-led Coalition has indicated that the credibility of this civilian harm allegation, possibly referring to the reported civilian fatality, is in the process of being assessed.

The incident occured during the night.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (0–1 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    3
  • Causes of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions, Small arms and light weapons
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Known target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–1

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (4) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Man alleged killed in a Coalition airstrike on Al Shahil (via Euphrates Post).
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Man alleged killed in a Coalition airstrike on Al Shahil (via Euphrates Post).
  • Man alleged killed a Coalition airstrike on Al Shahil (via Basam Ali).
  • Table of US-only civilian harm events in Iraq and Syria for 2019, declared by the Pentagon to Congress in May 2020.

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
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    3
  • Stated location
    near Al Busayrah, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SFU322837
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Nov 15, 2019
  • February 6, 2019, near Al Busayrah, Syria, via self-report. Coalition ground forces conducted an assault against a Daesh facility. Regrettably three civilians were unintentionally wounded as a result of the action.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

Between Jan. 27 - Feb. 9, 2019, CJTF-OIR conducted 199 strikes consisting of 326 engagements against ISIS targets in Syria and Iraq.In Syria, CJTF-OIR conducted 179 strikes consisting of 303 engagements, engaged 146 ISIS tactical units, and destroyed 131 supply routes, 53 fighting positions, 31 staging areas, 14 vehicle borne improvised explosive devices, 13 engineering equipment, 11 explosive belts, nine tankers for petroleum oil and lubricants, eight tactical vehicles, five command and control nodes, four buildings, three aircrafts operations areas, three tunnels, two petroleum oil and lubricant storage facilities, two manufacturing facilities for improvised explosive devices, two artilleries, two weapons caches and one armored vehicle.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (0–1 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    3
  • Causes of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions, Small arms and light weapons
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Known target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–1

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS1891a

Incident date

January 25–26, 2019

Location

الباغوز, Between Al-Baghuz Fawqani town and Al-Marashdah village, Deir Ezzor, Syria

Geolocation

34.47381, 40.93928 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Within 100m (via Coalition) level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

In its monthly civilian casualty report for October 2019 – published on December 5th of that year – the Coalition conceded the killing of three civilians and the injuring of a fourth in a strike near Marashdah. The Pentagon later declared this as a US-only civilian harm event.

According to the report, “January 25, 2019, near Marashidah, Syria, via self-report. Coalition aircraft conducted an airstrike against a Daesh vehicle. Regrettably, three civilians were unintentionally killed and one civilian was unintentionally wounded as a result of the strike. 2664 37SFU781164”.

An alleged Coalition airstrike in the vicinity on this date also killed a total of 42 people, including 13 civilians in addition to 29 members of ISIS according to local reports [see CS1891].

Asked whether CS1891 might be a match for this incident, a Coalition official told Airwars: “Looking at the two reports, there is a chance these two are related as your report mentions some corroborating information, however it appears that this [Airwars] report is an aggregate of incidents and thus it is difficult to single out specific incidents with any certainty.”

Because of our inability to disaggregate these events, Airwars has created a separate civilian harm assessment for the confirmed Coalition event. We have also modified the civilian casualty range of CS1891 to avoid double counting.

In May 2020 in its annual civilian harm report to Congress, the Pentagon declared this to be a US-only action.

The incident occured between 12:00 am and 6:00 am local time.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • 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
    US-led Coalition
  • Known target
    ISIS

Sources (14) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Table of US-only civilian harm events in Iraq and Syria for 2019, declared by the Pentagon to Congress in May 2020.

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
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    3
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    1
  • Stated location
    near Marashidah, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SFU781164
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Dec 5, 2019
  • January 25, 2019, near Marashidah, Syria, via self-report. Coalition aircraft conducted an airstrike against a Daesh vehicle. Regrettably, three civilians were unintentionally killed and one civilian was unintentionally wounded as a result of the strike. 2664 37SFU781164

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

Between Jan. 13 - 26, 2019, CJTF-OIR conducted 645 strikes consisting of 1,360 engagements in Syria, and conducted nine strikes consisting of 12 engagements in Iraq.

In Syria, 645 strikes engaged 394 ISIS tactical units, and destroyed 244 fighting positions, 172 supply routes, 85 staging areas, 21 vehicles, 17 buildings, 15 vehicle borne improvised explosive devices, 14 mortar launching sites, 13 manufacturing facilities for improvised explosive devices, 12 command and control nodes, nine tunnels, eight weapons catches, seven pieces of engineering equipment, five launching sites for unmanned aircraft systems, two weapons storage facilities, two mortar tubes, two improvised explosive devices, one unmanned aircraft system, one machine gun, one logistic node and one check point.

French Military
  • English
    /
    Original

For Jan 23rd-29th, France report that French Rafales conducted 7 strikes south of Hajin on ISIS fighters in the mid-Euphrates Valley.

CHAMMAL SITUATION MILITAIRE DU THEATRE Offensive contre les dernières poches de Daech en Syrie Les Forces démocratiques syriennes, dont l’offensive est appuyée par les forces aériennes d’une part et l’artillerie de la Task Force Wagram d’autre part, ont poursuivi leur progression dans la moyenne vallée de l’Euphrate. Après la reprise et la libération de Marashida, les opérations de reconquête des territoires occupés par Daech, menées par les FDS, entrent dans leur dernière phase, avant une période de sécurisation qui lui succèdera. Poursuite des actions en Irak La situation sécuritaire en Irak est stable, et les Forces de Sécurité irakiennes maintiennent un rythme opérationnel élevé. Elles poursuivent leurs efforts visant les flux et ressources logistiques, ce qui se concrétise par des prises de quantités importantes d’explosifs, de munitions et d’armement aux dépends de Daesh, dont il faut rappeler le régime de semi-clandestinité, notamment dans la région du plateau d’Hawija, entre Bagdad et Mossoul. ACTIVITE DE LA FORCE Le dispositif français déployé au Levant n’a pas évolué. La Task Force Wagram en appui de l’offensive contre les dernières poches de Daech présentes dans la vallée de l’Euphrate La Task Force (TF) Wagram appuie les forces démocratiques syriennes contre Daech dans la région d’Hajine. La TF Wagram a réalisé, depuis le territoire irakien, 33 missions de tir (7 éclairements, 4 appuis, 22 aveuglements – bilan du 23 au 29 janvier inclus). Les bases aériennes en Jordanie et aux EAU en appui des operations Les aéronefs français basés en Jordanie et aux Émirats arabes unis poursuivent leurs actions contre Daech, au sein de la coalition. Cette semaine, les aéronefs de l’opération Chammal ont réalisé 26 sorties aériennes (bilan du 23 au 29 janvier inclus). Les Rafale français ont conduit 07 frappes cette semaine au sud de la ville d’Hajine sur des combattants de Daech, dans la moyenne vallée de l’Euphrate, là où les Forces démocratiques syriennes produisent leur principal effort. La phase de transition entre le départ du groupe aéronaval américain « USS Stennis » et l’arrivée de renfort d’avions de chasse américains explique l’augmentation du volume des sorties aériennes dont certaines ont été  effectuées depuis la Base aérienne des Emirats Arabes Unis. Les Task Forces Monsabert et Narvik poursuivent leurs missions de formation La Task Force (TF) Monsabert poursuit sa mission d’assistance et de conseil de l’état-major de la 6ème division irakienne, qui est en charge de la sécurisation de l’ouest du grand Bagdad. Elle conseille également ponctuellement les brigades qui lui sont subordonnées. La Task Force Narvik quant à elle continue sa participation à l’instruction opérationnelle de l’ICTS (Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service).

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • 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
    US-led Coalition
  • Known target
    ISIS

Sources (14) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS1892a

Incident date

January 25, 2019

Location

الباغوز, near al Baghouz, Deir Ezzor, Syria

Geolocation

34.45445, 40.96604 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Within 100m (via Coalition) level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

In its monthly civilian casualty report for October 2019 – published on December 5th of that year – the Coalition conceded the injuring of a civilian in a strike near Baghouz.

According to the report, “January 25, 2019, near Baghouz, Syria, via self-report. Coalition aircraft conducted an airstrike against a Daesh tunnel entrance. Regrettably, one civilian was unintentionally wounded as a result of a strike.
2663 37SFU806143”.

Asked by Airwars whether this might be a match for an al Baghouz allegation already listed for this date (CS1891) Coalition officials stated that “This does not appear to be the same incident.”

We have therefore created a new entry for this previously untracked event.

In May 2020 in its annual report to Congress, the Pentagon noted this to be a US civilian harm event – giving the location as Baghouz Fawqani.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • 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
    US-led Coalition
  • Known target
    ISIS

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Table of US-only civilian harm events in Iraq and Syria for 2019, declared by the Pentagon to Congress in May 2020.

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
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Previously unknown
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    near Baghouz/ Baghouz Fawqani, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SFU806143
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Dec 5, 2019
  • January 25, 2019, near Baghouz, Syria, via self-report. Coalition aircraft conducted an airstrike against a Daesh tunnel entrance. Regrettably, one civilian was unintentionally wounded as a result of a strike.2663 37SFU806143

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • 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
    US-led Coalition
  • Known target
    ISIS