Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

USSOM418

Incident date

February 15, 2024

Location

Jilib, Middle Juba, Somalia

Airwars assessment

Two Cuban doctors, general medicine specialist Assel Herrera and surgeon Landy Rodriguez, were reportedly killed in a declared U.S. airstrike (possibly drone strike) conducted around 12:05am on the 15th of February 2024 in the town of Jilib, in the region of Middle Juba, Somalia. The militant group Al-Shabaab stated via Telegram that it had captured the two doctors on the 12th of April, 2019 in Kenya and further claimed that they were killed in an airstrike conducted by AFRICOM (United States Africa Command) which had struck a house in Jilib. The statement from Al-Shabaab also contained two photos which claimed to show the dead body of one of the two doctors.

A CNN report on the incident, dated the 17th of February, quoted a response from AFRICOM spokeswoman Lennea Montandon who said that “the command will continue to assess the results of this operation and will provide additional information as available”. VOA News (Voice of America) reported on the 19th of February that Montandon did confirm that “an airstrike was conducted against Al-Shabaab on February 15th near Jilib”. Montandon also acknowledged that AFRICOM was “aware of reports of a strike alleged to have killed two civilians”. However, she added that there was “no further information” regarding the allegations. Furthermore, the report from CNN quoted an unnamed ‘U.S. defense official’ who “said that there was no credible evidence that there were any civilian casualties in the strike”.

AFRICOM released an official statement on the 28th of February that “In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command carried out an airstrike against the al-Shabaab terrorist group near Jilib, Somalia, on Feb. 15. U.S. Africa Command has assessed that one al-Shabaab militant was injured in this operation. The command is aware of the reports made by al-Shabaab of civilian casualties related to this strike. The command takes all reports of civilian casualties seriously. The command is conducting a review and will provide additional information as available.”

The strike was widely reported by a variety of media outlets. These included Anadolu Agency whose reporting, on the 17th of February, focused on the initial statement released by Al-Shabaab and the response from the Somali Ministry of Defense. Anadolu Agency’s report included the claim by Al-Shabaab that the US had been “deliberately targeting the prisoners for several months”.

Moreover, a series of online posts quoting the contents of the Al-Shabaab statement were made online by the Somali Guardian via X/Twitter, Caribbean News UK, and independent journalist Zakeriye Axmed, in addition to CTNSIS: a strategic counter-terrorism intelligence briefing service with a focus on East and Central Africa.

One article on the strike by Kenyans.co.ke, dated February 18th, reported the reaction of the Cuban President Miguel Diaz Canel and the Cuban Foreign Affairs Ministry, who initially stressed the fact that the deaths of Assel Herrera and Landy Rodriguez, at the time, remained unconfirmed – a sentiment also repeated in a tweet posted by the Cuban embassy on February 18th. However, a tweet from @SomaliGuardian reported that “Cuban Ministry of Health contacts of families of two doctors held hostage by Al-Shabaab in #Somalia to inform them that they have been killed in an aerial bombardment”.

The report by Kenyans.co.ke contextually noted that the two doctors “came to Kenya following a 2017 health exchange programme where Cuban doctors arrived in the country to help fill gaps in county hospitals”. On the 17th of February, Garowe Online observed that there had been “concerted efforts to rescue the doctors including behind-the-scenes meetings involving government officials in Somalia, clan elders, Al-Shabaab, and the governments of Cuba and Kenya”.

In their Civilian Casualty Assessment Report; 2nd Quarter, FY2024, released in June 2024 US AFRICOM denied that their strike resulted in civilian harm, stating that “On Feb. 17, 2024, the command received one (1) report from an online media source stating two (2) civilians were killed as a result of a U.S. military operation in the vicinity of Jilib, Somalia, on Feb. 15, 2024. The command completed a review of available information and assessed that the U.S. airstrike conducted on Feb 15, 2024 did not result in civilian harm.”

In reaction to AFRICOM denying the civilian harm, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said on X/Twitter that the US report “adds nothing new,”and that officials in Cuba have been waiting since April “for an inquiry that #Cuba officially requested about AFRICOM attacks” elsewhere in Somalia.

The incident occured at approximately 12:05 am local time.

The victims were named as:

Assel Herrera
Adult male killed
Landy Rodriguez
Adult male killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 men2 healthcare_personnel)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Impact
    Healthcare
    Impact on services or infrastructure relating to education, health or food supply. See methodology note for details.
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported injured
    1

Sources (21) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (5) [ collapse]

  • Source: @GaroweOnline
  • Source: Kenyans News
  • Source: Kenyans News
  • Source: @ZakeriyeAxmed
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: @CTNSIS

US Forces Assessment:

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

Civilian casualty statements

US Forces
  • Jun 11, 2024
  • On Feb. 17, 2024, the command received one (1) report from an online media source stating two (2) civilians were killed as a result of a U.S. military operation in the vicinity of Jilib, Somalia, on Feb. 15, 2024. The command completed a review of available information and assessed that the U.S. airstrike conducted on Feb 15, 2024 did not result in civilian harm.

Original strike reports

US Forces

Federal Government of Somalia, AFRICOM target al-Shabaab

In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command carried out an airstrike against the al-Shabaab terrorist group near Jilib, Somalia, on Feb. 15.

U.S. Africa Command has assessed that one al-Shabaab militant was injured in this operation.

The command is aware of the reports made by al-Shabaab of civilian casualties related to this strike. The command takes all reports of civilian casualties seriously. The command is conducting a review and will provide additional information as available.

The command takes great measures to prevent civilian casualties. Protecting civilians remains a vital part of the command's operations to promote a more secure and stable Africa.

U.S. Africa Command, alongside its partners, continues to take action to prevent this malicious terrorist group from planning and conducting attacks on civilians.

Somalia remains key to the security environment in East Africa. U.S. Africa Command's forces will continue training, advising, and equipping partner forces to give them the tools that they need to degrade al-Shabaab.

U.S. Africa Command, headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, with partners, counters malign actors and transnational threats, responds to crises, and strengthens security forces in order to advance U.S. national interests and promote regional security, stability and prosperity.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 men2 healthcare_personnel)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Impact
    Healthcare
    Impact on services or infrastructure relating to education, health or food supply. See methodology note for details.
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported injured
    1

Sources (21) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM413

Incident date

January 24, 2024

Location

the town of Gal Hareri, Galguduud, Somalia

Airwars assessment

On the 25th of January, 2024, an alleged Somali or US drone or air strike was conducted against the Al-Shabaab militant group in the town of Gal Hereri, in the Galgaduud region of Central Somalia, killing at least 20 militants, according to Somali regional and military officials. One woman, Maido Yusuf Abdulle, was reported to have been fatally injured in the drone strike, and was one of ten civilians killed or injured, according to Mogadishu News.

On the 25th of January, VOA News (Voice of America) quoted the Galmudug Regional Security Minister, Mohamed Aden Gaboobe who announced that “Somali military forces, supported by international partners, conducted the strike in the town of Gal Hareri, targeting sites used by militants to manufacture improvised firearms, bombs and other explosives”. According to Uzalendo News, a Kenyan online newspaper, Mohamed Aden Gaboobe had also stated that the strike had additionally “targeted Radio Andalus, Al-Shabaab’s mouthpiece in Somalia.”

VOA News noted that no details were provided regarding which international partners’ “drones were involved in the strike”. VOA News further emphasized that U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) had “often conducted such strikes in Somalia at the request of Somalia’s federal government”. However, one Somali security official, who had requested anonymity, told VOA News that Turkish drones “were also providing air support to Somali forces”.

M.M. Dhoore, a former BBC journalist and current managing editor of SNTV London stated that the number of militants killed in the strike was higher, quoting Somalia’s National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) which claimed that 30 militants had been killed, including 11 “top commanders”. The released list of the 11 commanders killed included Abdi Jarin Shan-Bogolle and Abdullahi Maalim Bashir. Haberler.com reported that Abdi Jarin Shan-Bogolle was known as one of the ‘Khawrij’ founders in the Galgaduud region. ‘Khawrij’ is the preferred term recently used by the Somali government to refer to the Al-Shabaab militant group.

On the 27th of January, Mogadishu News posted a tweet on X/Twitter regarding the attack, stating that 10 civilians had been killed or injured, including women and children. Mogadishu News also referred to unnamed pro-Al-Shabaab media sources who, they said, had “released photos of the victims of the airstrike”.

The Mogadishu News X/Twitter post also referred to reporting that Maido Yusuf Abdulle, a mother of two children, had “succumbed to her injuries” on the 27th of January, following the strike, which they attributed to the US. The claim that 10 civilians were killed or injured by the strike was repeated by independent Somali journalist Huda Farhan, who tweeted a statement which was identical to that of Mogadishu News.

On the 26th of January, one user of the social media platform Telegram, Ololaha la dagaalanka Argagixisada, posted a series of very graphic photos showing the dead bodies of individuals allegedly killed or injured in the strike.

In their Civilian Casualty Assessment Report; 2nd Quarter, FY2024, US AFRICOM denied their involvement in the strike, stating that ” On Jan. 25, 2024, the command received one (1) report from an online media source stating multiple civilians were killed as a result of a U.S. military operation in the vicinity of Galhareri, Somalia, on Jan. 24, 2024. USAFRICOM completed a review of all available information and determined that there were no U.S. military operations at the time and place reported.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Maido Yusuf Abdulle
Adult female killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 10
  • (1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    0–10
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Somali Military Forces, US Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    20–30

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (17) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: @dhoorebbc
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: @dhoorebbc
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: @Mogadishu_News
  • Source: @dhoorebbc
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: @UzalendoNews_KE
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Ololaha la dagaalanka Argagixisada Telegram
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Ololaha la dagaalanka Argagixisada Telegram
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Ololaha la dagaalanka Argagixisada Telegram
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Ololaha la dagaalanka Argagixisada Telegram
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Ololaha la dagaalanka Argagixisada Telegram
  • Source: Ololaha la dagaalanka Argagixisada Telegram
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Ololaha la dagaalanka Argagixisada Telegram
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Ololaha la dagaalanka Argagixisada Telegram
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Ololaha la dagaalanka Argagixisada Telegram
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Ololaha la dagaalanka Argagixisada Telegram
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Ololaha la dagaalanka Argagixisada Telegram
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Source: Ololaha la dagaalanka Argagixisada Telegram

Somali Military Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Somali Military Forces
  • Somali Military Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Media
from belligerent (2) [ collapse]

  • Source: @dhoorebbc
  • Source: @dhoorebbc

US Forces Assessment:

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

Civilian casualty statements

US Forces
  • Jun 11, 2024
  • On Jan. 25, 2024, the command received one (1) report from an online media source stating multiple civilians were killed as a result of a U.S. military operation in the vicinity of Galhareri, Somalia, on Jan. 24, 2024. USAFRICOM completed a review of all available information and determined that there were no U.S. military operations at the time and place reported.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 10
  • (1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    0–10
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Somali Military Forces, US Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    20–30

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS1995

Incident date

July 19, 2023

Location

تل الذهب, Tal Al Thahb in Al Dashisha, Deir Ezzor, Syria

Airwars assessment

Two brothers were killed by an operation declared by the SDF and involving the US-led Coalition in Tal Al Thahb, Al Dashisha on July 19, 2023. Sources are conflicted as to whether the men killed were civilians or members of ISIS.

Euphrates Post reported that two people, Muhammad Salem Al-Nazal (28 years old) and his brother Hammoud (25 years old), were killed during a raid carried out by the SDF and Coalition and their cousin Saleh Ahmed Al-Nazal was arrested.

Syria News quoted the local “Al-Khabour” website which stated that an SDF military force consisting of 20 vehicles raided a house in the the village of Abu Hamda in the Dashisha area, with the support of the international coalition aircraft, and clashed with a number of the villagers as well as damaging items in the house. Euphrates post gave an account that about 30 SDF vehicles participated in the operation which lasted for three areas and included drones.

The SDF announced that “On July 19, the Anti-Terrorism Units (YAT) of the Syrian Democratic Forces, with the support and participation of the Anti-Terrorism Forces in Southern Kurdistan (CTG) and the International Coalition, carried out an effective operation against a cell belonging to the terrorist organization ISIS in the town of Al-Dashisha, affiliated to Al-Shadada, where the cell was dismantled…The operation resulted in the killing of 2 members of the cell, the arrest of one of its members alive, and the seizure of a quantity of weapons and ammunition, which are as follows: 2 AK-47 weapons, 2 phones, 1 pistol, 1 bomb, 8 AK-47 magazines, 3 pistol stores, 1 quiver, 1 hunting rifle.” The US has not released a statement acknowledging their role in the operation.

Al Jazeera referred to both of the brothers, Hamoud and Muhammad, as civilians and Syria News, quoting Al-Khabour, reported that the two brothers killed worked in sheep rearing.

In a civilian casualty assessment released on November 30th 2023, the Coalition classed this event as ‘non credible’, claiming that “Based on a thorough review of all available information, the allegation was found not credible because any potentially corroborating operation affected only legitimate military targets, with no civilian casualties attributable to U.S. or Coalition Forces.”

The incident occured around dawn.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground), Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 2
  • Causes of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions, Small arms and light weapons
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–2

Sources (14) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (3) [ collapse]

  • Muhammad Salem Al-Nazal (28 years old) and his brother Hammoud (25 years old), killed by SDF/Coalition operations in Deir Ezzor on July 19, 2023. (Image posted by Rasd News)
  • One of the victims killed by SDF/Coalition operations in Deir Ezzor on July 19, 2023. (Image posted by @Sharqya_reporte)
  • One of the victims killed by SDF/Coalition operations in Deir Ezzor on July 19, 2023. (Image posted by @Sharqya_reporte)

US-led Coalition Assessment:

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

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Nov 30, 2023
  • July 19, 2023, near Deir Ezzor, Syria, via Airwars report. Based on a thorough review of all available information, the allegation was found not credible because any potentially corroborating operation affected only legitimate military targets, with no civilian casualties attributable to U.S. or Coalition Forces. 3339 / CS1995 / 37SFV9349481454.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground), Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 2
  • Causes of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions, Small arms and light weapons
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–2

Sources (14) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS1994

Incident date

July 7, 2023

Location

بزاعة, Bza’a, Idlib, Syria

Airwars assessment

A civilian was injured by declared US drone strikes which killed an ISIS member on July 7, 2023 on the road between Al Bab and Bza’a, Syria.

The @SyriaCivilDefe reported that a person was killed while driving a motorcycle on the road between Al Bab and Bza’a and a civilian was slightly injured while passing through the location when unknown drones carried out strikes on the motorcycle. The civil defense volunteers transferred the remains of the person killed to Al-Bab Hospital.

Local source @mzmgr941 identified the person killed as Hammam Abu Anas al-Shami, born in 1993, who was originally from the Levant, lived in Al-Hasakah, and resided near the post office in the security square of al-Hamzat in Bza’a. The source added that Hammam’s wife is Kurdish and works at Al-Farabi Hospital in Al-Bab, and his parent’s names are Yasser and Zahia. @mzmgr941 identified the person injured as Adnan Al-Dari’i.

A tweet from @a1lsharqiapost added that the person on the motorcycle was killed immediately, and that the injured civilian Adnan is from the city of Al-Hasakah.

Two days after the incident, on July 9th, CENTCOM released a statement taking responsibility for the strike: “On July 7, U.S. Central Command conducted a strike in Syria that resulted in the death of Usamah al-Muhajir, an ISIS leader in eastern Syria.” CENTCOM also acknowledged the reporting that a civilian was injured but did not admit the civilian harm: “There are no indications that any civilians were killed in this strike, and the coalition is assessing reports of a civilian injury.”

Researchers told Sky News Arabia that Osama Al-Muhajir, also known as “Anas Al-Shami” and “Hammam Al-Shami” (the name referred to above by local sources), is a prominent security cadre in ISIS who has held several important positions, including “Wali of Al-Khair Province”, which is the Deir ez-Zor region. He was among those tasked with rebuilding ISIS networks and he resided in Idlib for nearly two years, after which he moved to the “Bza’a” area near the Syrian Al-Bab region.

Both CENTCOM and local source pointed out that the drone that carried out the strike is a MQ-9s, and that earlier in the day the same drone had been harassed by Russian aircraft.

In a civilian casualty assessment released on November 30th 2023, the Coalition classed this event as ‘non credible’, claiming that “Based on a thorough review of all available information, the allegation was found not credible because the actions were not attributable to U.S. or Coalition Forces.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Adnan Al-Dari'i عدنان الدريعي
Age unknown injured

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Known target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1

Sources (23) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (19) [ collapse]

  • Remnants of a US drone strike in Bza’a on July 7, 2023. (Image posted by Waleed Post via Facebook)
  • Remnants of a US drone strike in Bza’a on July 7, 2023. (Image posted by @bolad_h)
  • Civil Defense volunteers with the victim of a US drone strike in Bza’a on July 7, 2023. (Image posted by @SyriaCivilDefe)
  • Remnants of a US drone strike in Bza’a on July 7, 2023. (Image posted by @bolad_h)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    ISIS leader killed by a US drone strike in Bza’a on July 7, 2023. (Image posted by @bolad_h)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    ISIS leader killed by a US drone strike in Bza’a on July 7, 2023. (Image posted by @bolad_h)
  • Remnants of a US drone strike in Bza’a on July 7, 2023. (Image posted by @alkhabour21)
  • Remnants of a US drone strike in Bza’a on July 7, 2023. (Image posted by @mzmgr941)
  • Remnants of a US drone strike in Bza’a on July 7, 2023. (Image posted by @a1lsharqiapost)
  • Remnants of a US drone strike in Bza’a on July 7, 2023. (Image posted by @HalabTodayTV)
  • Remnants of a US drone strike in Bza’a on July 7, 2023. (Image posted by @HalabTodayTV)
  • Remnants of a US drone strike in Bza’a on July 7, 2023. (Image posted by @HalabTodayTV)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    ISIS leader killed by a US drone strike in Bza’a on July 7, 2023. (Image posted by @DeirEzzore)
  • Remnants of a US drone strike in Bza’a on July 7, 2023. (Image posted by Waleed Post via Facebook)
  • Remnants of a US drone strike in Bza’a on July 7, 2023. (Image posted by Waleed Post via Facebook)
  • Victim of a US drone strike in Bza’a on July 7, 2023. (Image posted by Waleed Post via Facebook)
  • Remnants of a US drone strike in Bza’a on July 7, 2023. (Image posted by Waleed Post via Facebook)
  • Remnants of a US drone strike in Bza’a on July 7, 2023. (Image posted by Waleed Post via Facebook)
  • Remnants of a US drone strike in Bza’a on July 7, 2023. (Image posted by Waleed Post via Facebook)

US-led Coalition Assessment:

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

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Nov 30, 2023
  • July 07, 2023, near Al-Bab, Syria, via White Helmets and Associated Press. Based on a thorough review of all available information, the allegation was found not credible because the actions were not attributable to U.S. or Coalition Forces.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

Release Number 20230709-01

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TAMPA, Fla. – On July 7, U.S. Central Command conducted a strike in Syria that resulted in the death of Usamah al-Muhajir, an ISIS leader in eastern Syria.

“We have made it clear that we remain committed to the defeat of ISIS throughout the region,” said Gen. Michael “Erik” Kurilla, commander of U.S. Central Command. “ISIS remains a threat, not only to the region but well beyond.”

There are no indications that any civilians were killed in this strike, and the coalition is assessing reports of a civilian injury.

This will disrupt and degrade ISIS’s ability to plan and conduct terror attacks. However, CENTCOM’s operations against ISIS, alongside partner forces in Iraq and Syria, will continue in order to achieve the group’s enduring defeat.

The strike on Friday was conducted by the same MQ-9s that had, earlier in the day, been harassed by Russian aircraft in an encounter that had lasted almost two hours.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Known target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1

Sources (23) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS1993

Incident date

June 11, 2023

Location

صلهام, Salham, Al Hassakah, Syria

Airwars assessment

A young man was killed and others were injured during an alleged Syrian Democratic Forces and US airdrop operation in the village of Salham on June 11, 2023. Sources were conflicted as to whether the young man was a member of ISIS or a civilian.

The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), the Syrian-regime news organization, reported that one civilian was killed and others were injured during a US forces airdrop operation at dawn in the village of Salham. The source added that US forces and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) blocked off the area and opened fire, which led to the death of a civilian and injury of others.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, one person accused of being a member of ISIS was killed after resisting and clashing with the SDF and Coalition forces, while one other person was arrested. A tweet from @DeirEzzore identified a young man named Faraj Mutlaq Al-Nazal Al-Suhaili as the one who was killed, adding that he worked as a smuggler between Syria and Iraq. Euphrates Post added that Faraj was a resident of the town of Tal Hamis.

Euphrates Post stated that several of the houses in the village of Salham were searched during the operation.

Athr Press pointed out that the operation occurred the morning of the same day that an American helicopter crashed in northeastern Syria, resulting in the injury of 22 soldiers.

In a civilian casualty assessment released on November 30th 2023, the Coalition classed this event as ‘non credible’, claiming that “Based on a thorough review of all available information, the allegation was found not credible because the actions were not attributable to U.S. or Coalition Forces.”

The incident occured around dawn.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (0–1 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Cause of injury / death
    Small arms and light weapons
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–1

Sources (16) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • A young man named Faraj Mutlaq Al-Nazal Al-Suhaili who was killed by an alleged SDF and Coalition operation carried out on June 11, 2023. (Image posted by @DeirEzzore)

US-led Coalition Assessment:

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

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Nov 30, 2023
  • June 10, 2023, near Selham, Syria, via Shammar Tribe. Based on a thorough review of all available information, the allegation was found not credible because the actions were not attributable to U.S. or Coalition Forces. 3337 / CS1993 / 37SGV0048882717.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (0–1 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Cause of injury / death
    Small arms and light weapons
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–1

Sources (16) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS1991

Incident date

February 22, 2023

Location

جديد عكيدات, Jaded Akidat, Deir Ezzor, Syria

Geolocation

35.255089, 40.354540 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

One to two men were reportedly killed and up to two other men were reportedly injured on February 22nd 2023 in Jaded Akidat, Deir Ezzor, Syria, as a result of a US-led Coalition backed SDF / QSD militia air raid.  The air drop happened “after midnight.”   Euphrates Post reported that the two injured men were civilians named Diaa al-Barghash and Tareq al-Rashou, who were wounded by bullets during the raid.

The man who was reportedly killed was identified as Fadi Rafi Al-Daoud, whose house was also targeted, but it is unclear whether he is a member or associated with ISIS in any way. Various sources report him as a “civilian”, but others, including @humam__isa tweeted that he was arrested “on charges of belonging to ISIS.”

Al Arab and Al Modon both indicated that two men were killed in the raid, who were “likely to be members of the ISIS organisation” and that they were “armed.”

Deir Ezzor 24 reportedly the incident slightly differently. It said that “the force raided a house near the house of Fadi Rafi Al-Daoud so that the owner of the raided house fled with Fadi from their homes, and the Internatinal Coalition pusued them near the Euphrates River by means of drones and police dogs.”

SANA reported that the house was searched, whilst the owner was killed and two others were wounded.  It wrote that “the militia kidnapped the two injured persons along with three other citizens and transferred them to one of its military heaquarters in the area.”  These reports differ from source to source, as Deir Ezzor 24 reported, alongside the death of Al-Daoud, the arrest of “another person”, and the injury of Diaa al-Barghash and Tareq al-Rashou, while those that were arrested were identified as Moayad Al-Hammadi and Ayham Al-Shaheen. It is unclear as to whether they are members of the Islamic State or cells.

In a civilian casualty assessment released November 30th 2023, the Coalition classed this event as ‘non credible’, claiming that “Based on a thorough review of all available information, it was determined that any potentially corroborating operation affected only legitimate military targets, with no civilian casualties. “

The incident occured at approximately 12:00 am local time.

The victims were named as:

Fadi Rafi Al-Daoud
Age unknown male killed
Diaa al-Barghash
Age unknown male injured
Tareq al-Rashou
Age unknown male injured

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the town of Jaded Akidat (جديد عكيدات), for which the generic coordinates are: 35.255089, 40.354540. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (0–1 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    0–2
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–1
  • Belligerents reported injured
    0–2

Sources (16) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • Fadi Rafi Al-Daoud reportedly killed by a US-led Coalition supported air drop on February 22nd 2023 (Image via Deirezzor24)
  • "While on February 22, SDF-backed Counter-terrorism Units, backed by Coalition helicopters, stormed a house in Jadid Ekaydat town in the east of Deir Ezzor, searching for ISIS cells." (Image via SOHR)

US-led Coalition Assessment:

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

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Nov 30, 2023
  • Based on a thorough review of all available information, it was determined that any potentially corroborating operation affected only legitimate military targets, with no civilian casualties. 3331 / CS1991 / 37S FV 2380601397

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (0–1 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    0–2
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–1
  • Belligerents reported injured
    0–2

Sources (16) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS1988

Incident date

November 22, 2022

Location

الزر, Al Zar, Deir Ezzor, Syria

Geolocation

35.124387, 40.432541 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

A young man was either injured or killed during a raid allegedly carried out by the Coalition and Syrian Democratic Forces in the village of al-Zar the evening/morning of November 22, 2022.

According to @euphratspost, a young man named Ahmed Hussein Ali al-Qubbah was severely injured and a 13 year old named Ahmad Mahmoud al-Hilu was arrest during a raid carried out by the SDF in the village of al-Zar around 2am.

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that units affiliated with the SDF, with the support of “International Coalition” aircraft, carried out a raid and arrested a person alleged to be a member of ISIS. At the time of reporting, SOHR did not have information on human losses or material damage.

Nedaa Post referred to the raid as being carried out against “a number of civilian homes” and added that armed clashes between the people in the homes and the SDF resulted in the injury of the young man Ahmed Hussein Ali al-Qubbah when he tried to leave his house.

Baladi News reported that Ahmed Hussein was killed during the raid and Chamtimes referred to the person killed as being a civilian, indicating that Ahmed later died from his injuries. @DeirEzzore identified Ahmed Hussein as being 37 years old and added that he was wounded by a bullet that penetrated his back, paralyzing him.

In a civilian casualty assessment released November 3, 2023, the Coalition classed this event as ‘non credible’, claiming that “After a thorough review of all CJTF-OIR’s strike and operation history, no strike or operation was identified +/-24 hours, in the vicinity of the allegation.”

The incident occured at approximately 2:00 am local time.

The victims were named as:

Ahmed Hussein Ali al-Qubbah أحمد حسين علي القبة
37 years old male Possibly killed injured

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the village of Al Zar (الزر), for which the generic coordinates are: 35.124387, 40.432541. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (0–1 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    0–1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Small arms and light weapons
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS

Sources (14) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • The young man, "Ahmed Hussein Ali al-Qubba," who was injured or killed by alleged Coalition and SDF raids on November 22, 2022. (Image posted by @DeirEzzore)

US-led Coalition Assessment:

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

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Nov 3, 2023
  • November 22, 2022, near Al Zar, Syria, via Airwars report. After a thorough review of all CJTF-OIR’s strike and operation history, no strike or operation was identified +/-24 hours, in the vicinity of the allegation. 3326/CS1988 37SFU3052887776

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (0–1 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    0–1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Small arms and light weapons
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS

Sources (14) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM353-C

Incident date

October 1, 2022

Location

near Haramka, Middle Juba, Somalia

Geolocation

0.793681, 43.383796 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

One high ranking al-Shabaab leader was killed by declared US and Somali airstrikes near Haramka in Middle Juba on October 1, 2022. Local sources also reported that another man named Ibrahim Hassan Dahir was also killed but are conflicted as to his status as a militant or civilian.

According to AFP, a top al-Shabaab leader named Abdullahi Yare who had a $3.0 million US bounty on his head was killed by a joint airstrike near Haramka. AFP described Yare as a co-founder of the group who was believed to be next in line to take over the leadership of the movement from the current chief Ahmed Diriye, who has been in charge since 2015. Garowe Online added that Yare had been in hiding and the Long War Journal quoted the Somali government in noting that he was acting as the head of al-Shabaab’s da’wah (proselytizing) department at the time of his death.

The Somali Ministry of Information said that “this leader… was the head preacher of the group and one of the most notorious members of the Shabab group. He was former head of the Shura council and the group’s director for finances.” @MOISOMALIA (Twitter for the Ministry of Information) posted that “Abdullahi Nadir, a top leader of #Alshabab terrorists” was killed by “Somali National Army and international security partners.”

Local sources, including @dhoorebbc, reported that in addition to Yare, the airstrike also killed Ibrahim Hassan Dahir. @InsightInstitue tweeted that Ibrahim is the son of Hassan Dahir Aweys, a former extremist leader who is currently under house arrest and that Hassan is the brother in law of Yare.

Sources were conflicted as to whether Ibrahim Hassan Dahir was a militant or a civilians. Various posts on Somalispot reported about Ibrahim, with one stating that Yare and Ibrahim were traveling together and “Dahir Aweys son was called by Shabaab from Muqdisho to treat injured terrorists” while another stated that “Ibrahim Hassan was a professor and known to be a relatively normal guy who just owned farms and wasn’t known to be affiliated with Shabaab that went about his business.” Another post wrote that because “Abudullahi Nadir guy – who was reported to be married to the sister of Sheekh Hassan Dahir Aweys – the son of Hassan Dahir Aweys was under surveillance for both American and Somali intelligence services” and that “it doesn’t look like the son of Hassan Dahir Aweys was the target himself.”

@OmarKiyow tweeted that Ibrahim had recently graduated from university and owned farmland in the area of the strike. A tweet from @Lowkey0nline also refers to Ibrahim as being a civilian and lists his title as “Dr. Ibrahim Hassan”.

AFRICOM released a statement October 3rd, two days after the incident, that “In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike against the al-Shabaab militant network in Somalia on October 1. The strike occurred near Jilib, about 370 kilometers southwest of Mogadishu. The command’s initial assessment is that the strike killed an al-Shabaab leader and that no civilians were injured or killed.” The majority of other sources that reported on the incident identified the location as near Haramka, which is about 50 miles from Jilib.

The Long War Journal noted that al-Shabaab has not yet commented on Yare’s reported death.

On March 10, 2023, in their quarterly civilian harm report, AFRICOM deemed this incident “unsubstantiated,” stating that “On Oct. 1, 2022, U.S. Africa Command received one (1) report from an online media source stating two (2) civilians were killed and as a result of a U.S. military operation in the vicinity of Jilib, Somalia on Oct. 1, 2022. After review, the report was assessed as unsubstantiated. On Oct. 1, 2022 an airstrike was conducted against two al-Shabaab members. The airstrike on Oct. 1, 2022 targeted Abdullah Yare, an al-Shabaab commander who planned and coordinated attacks against partner forces in the region. Multiple U.S. intelligence reports, compiled over the course of several years, confirmed the individual was an al-Shabaab commander. The airstrike occurred in an open area where the effects of the strike were limited to the targeted individual and the al-Shabaab associate in the vehicle.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention strikes in the vicinity of the town of Haramka, for which the generic coordinates are: 0.793681, 43.383796. 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
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (0–1 men)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1–2

Sources (22) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (4) [ collapse]

  • Wanted posted for Abdullahi Yare, leader of al-Shabaab allegedly killed by a US-Somali airstrike near Haramka on October 3, 2022. (Image posted by Long War Journal)
  • Ibrahim Hassan Dahir Aweys was reportedly killed in a declared US airstrike in Lower Shabelle on October 1, 2022. (Image posted by @InsightInstitue)
  • Ibrahim Hassan Dahir Aweys (left) and his father Hassan Dahir Awerys (right). Ibrahim was reportedly killed in a declared US airstrike in Lower Shabelle on October 1, 2022. (Image posted by @InsightInstitue)

US Forces Assessment:

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

Civilian casualty statements

US Forces
  • Mar 10, 2023
  • Oct. 1, 2022 (Unsubstantiated) On Oct. 1, 2022, U.S. Africa Command received one (1) report from an online media source stating two (2) civilians were killed and as a result of a U.S. military operation in the vicinity of Jilib, Somalia on Oct. 1, 2022. After review, the report was assessed as unsubstantiated. On Oct. 1, 2022 an airstrike was conducted against two al-Shabaab members. The airstrike on Oct. 1, 2022 targeted Abdullah Yare, an al-Shabaab commander who planned and coordinated attacks against partner forces in the region. Multiple U.S. intelligence reports, compiled over the course of several years, confirmed the individual was an al-Shabaab commander. The airstrike occurred in an open area where the effects of the strike were limited to the targeted individual and the al-Shabaab associate in the vehicle.

Original strike reports

US Forces

In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike against the al-Shabaab militant network in Somalia on October 1. The strike occurred near Jilib, about 370 kilometers southwest of Mogadishu.
The command’s initial assessment is that the strike killed an al-Shabaab leader and that no civilians were injured or killed.
U.S. Africa Command takes great measures to prevent civilian casualties. Protecting innocent civilians remains a vital part of the command’s operations to promote a more secure and stable Africa.
Al-Shabaab is the largest and most kinetically active al-Qaeda network in the world and has proved both its will and capability to attack U.S. forces and threaten U.S. security interests. U.S. Africa Command, alongside its partners, continues to take action to prevent this malicious terrorist group from planning and conducting attacks on civilians.
Somalia remains key to the security environment in East Africa. U.S. Africa Command’s forces will continue training, advising, and equipping partner forces to give them the tools that they need to degrade al-Shabaab.
U.S. Africa Command will continue to assess the results of the operation and will provide additional information as appropriate. Specific details about the units involved and assets used will not be released in order to ensure operations security.

U.S. Africa Command, headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, with partners, counters malign actors and transnational threats, responds to crises, and strengthens security forces in order to advance U.S. national interests and promote regional security, stability and prosperity.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (0–1 men)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1–2

Sources (22) [ collapse]