Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

RS3959

Incident date

July 25, 2019

Location

اليعقوبية, Al Yakoubiya, Idlib , Syria

Airwars assessment

Armin Yaqoub Khalilo, a man from the Christian community, died in the village of Al Yaqoubia in Idlib, on July 25th, 2019, due to the explosion of cluster bomb remnants from an alleged previous Russian or Syrian regime bombing.

According to various local sources such as Shaam News Network, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, and a Syrian journalist named Khalid Al Homsey, the Assad regime was responsible for this attack, which was an explosion of a cluster bomb that was a remnant of an earlier bombing by the Assad regime.

However, Justice Organization reported that the killing of Armin Yacoub Khalilo in the village of Yakoubiya, west the rural Idlib, was due to an explosion of a cluster bomb that exploded on his land from the remnants of the bombing of Russian warplanes and the Assad air forces. According to Al Hamama Village Everyday, the bombing had targeted the village of Al Qunya and its surroundings.

The incident occured around midday.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Planted explosives and unexploded ordnance (UXO)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Military, Syrian Regime
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (3) [ collapse]

  • Remnants of the bombing that targeted the village of Al Qunya and its surroundings on the July 25th, 2019 (via Shaam News Network).
  • The aftermath of the cluster bomb explosion that killed civilian Armin Yakoub Khalilo in Al Yaqoubia on July 25th, 2019 (via Al Hamama Village Everyday on Facebook).
  • The remnants of the cluster bomb in Al Yakoubiya town on July 25th, 2019 (via Al Hamama Village Everyday on Facebook).

Russian Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Military
  • Russian Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Syrian Regime Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Syrian Regime
  • Syrian Regime position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Planted explosives and unexploded ordnance (UXO)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Military, Syrian Regime
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS3857

Incident date

June 29, 2019

Location

حيان, Hayyan, Aleppo , Syria

Airwars assessment

One child was reported injured in the explosion of a remnant of a cluster munition in Hayyan, Aleppo, on June 29th.

Step News agency alleged that “a child was seriously injured by a cluster bomb left behind by a former Russian military attack on the town of Hayyan, north of Aleppo.”

Shaam News claimed that he was hospitalised as a result of the explosion.

All sources stated that the cluster munition was a remnant from a previous attack by Russian forces. It is unknown when the munition was dropped.

Step News, JisrTV and other sources reported Syrian regime artillery shelling on Hayyan on the same day, resulting in civilian harm in a likely unrelated incident.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Planted explosives and unexploded ordnance (UXO)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Military
  • Suspected target
    Other

Sources (11) [ collapse]

Russian Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Military
  • Russian Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Planted explosives and unexploded ordnance (UXO)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Military
  • Suspected target
    Other

Sources (11) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS3817

Incident date

June 18, 2019

Location

اللطامنة, Al Latamina, Hama, Syria

Airwars assessment

A civilian was reported killed in the explosion of a remnant from an alleged Russian or Syrian regime fired cluster munition in Al Latamina, Hama, on June 18th, 2019, according to local sources. It is unclear when the airstrike firing the munition took place.

@HalabTodayTV correspondent reported that “a civilian was killed due to the explosion of bombs leftover from a previous cluster bombing of the regime forces on the city of Al-Lataminah in the northern Hama countryside.”

Syrian Network for Human Rights named Khaled Rajab al Sejnawi as the civilian killed in an “explosion of cluster munition remnants from a previous shelling by Syrian- Russian Alliance forces on Al Latamina town.”

Shahba Press also reported the incident, stating that “a civilian was martyred by a cluster bomb left behind by Russian raids” on the town.

@shabablatamni reported airstrikes on June 18th by Russian warplanes, posting a photo of the event. It is unclear if this specific airstrike is related to the civilian harm reported by other sources.

Syrian Network for Human Rights wrote that “the remnants of weapons constitute a real threat to civilians in the areas controlled by factions of armed opposition. We have issued a number of reports on cluster munitions and their remnants, and we urged for special equipment to help civilians through the removal of the explosive remnants.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Planted explosives and unexploded ordnance (UXO)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Military, Syrian Regime
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • Translation: “Russian air strikes target the western outskirts of the city of Al-Lataminah in the northern Hama countryside” (via @shabablatamni).
  • Alleged Russian airstrikes on Al Latamina on June 18th, 2019, but it is unclear if this airstrike is linked to the civilian harm other sources reported as the result of unexploded ordnance on June 18th (via @shabablatamni).

Russian Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Military
  • Russian Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Syrian Regime Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Syrian Regime
  • Syrian Regime position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Planted explosives and unexploded ordnance (UXO)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Military, Syrian Regime
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS3565

Incident date

October 20, 2018

Location

جسر الشغور, Jisr Al Shougur, Idlib, Syria

Geolocation

35.81425, 36.319812 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

A boy was killed and his sister injured when a cluster bomb from a previous alleged Russian raid on the city of Jisr Al Shughour exploded on October 20th, 2018, according to local sources. It is unclear when the bomb was fired.

@maraya404 tweeted that “a child is martyred and his sister is injured due to the explosion of a cluster bomb from the remnants of the previous bombing of the Russian aggression in the city of #Jisr Al Shughour, west of Idlib.”

The Facebook page Jisr Al Shoughour deaths identified the victim as Najdat Saroat Hilal. According to @haber822, his sister was “moderately wounded”.

It is unclear when the bomb was fired. All sources pointed to Russia as responsible for the unexploded ordnance.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (2)

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 child)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Planted explosives and unexploded ordnance (UXO)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Military
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Russian Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Military
  • Russian Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 child)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Planted explosives and unexploded ordnance (UXO)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Military
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS3564

Incident date

October 12, 2018

Location

عندان, Anadan, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.29353, 37.04466 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

A child was killed in the explosion of the remnants of a cluster bomb from earlier alleged Russian airstrikes on the city of Adanan, Aleppo governorate, on October 12th, 2018, according to local sources. It is unclear when the raid took place.

@MasarPressNet tweeted that “a child was martyred when a cluster bomb exploded from the remnants of the Russian shelling in the city of Andan.”

Anadan Martyrs identified the victim as the boy Amer Hamza Mudlaj.

It is unclear when the air raid took place. All sources pointed to Russia as responsible for the unexploded ordnance.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 child)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Planted explosives and unexploded ordnance (UXO)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Military
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Translation: "Aamir Hamza Mudlaj, a child, was killed in the city of Andan due to the explosion of a cluster bomb" (via @gahnnamm).
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    The child Amer Hamza Mudlaj was killed when a cluster bomb from previous alleged Russian airstrikes exploded on October 12th, 2018 (via @gahnnamm).

Russian Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Military
  • Russian Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 child)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Planted explosives and unexploded ordnance (UXO)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Military
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS3428

Incident date

May 6, 2018

Location

بلدة حيان, Hayan, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.32417, 37.05886 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Two children were locally reported killed when a bomb exploded in the town of Hayan, Aleppo Governorate.

According to the Syrian Civil Defence, the cluster bomb that exploded was allegedly a remnant of earlier airstrikes, for which multiple sources blame Russian warplanes. The victims, two young brothers, were named as Firas Amor Orso and Amor Ahmed Orso.

It is unclear when the munition was initially dropped, though sources reported the explosion of the remnants on May 6th 2018.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (2)

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 children)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Planted explosives and unexploded ordnance (UXO)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Military
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (5) [ collapse]

  • Firas Amor Oso was one of two brothers killed when an unexploded bomb exploded in the town of Hayan on May 6th 2017. (via @HalabTodayTV and @SyriaCivilDefe)
  • Translation: Firas Amor Oso, aged 12, was killed by the explosion of a cluster bomb remnants of a previous aerial bombardment on the town of Hayan in Aleppo's northern countryside.
  • Translation: Our correspondent reported that two brothers (children) were killed by a cluster bomb that was left behind by a previous aerial bombardment on the town of Hayan in the northern countryside of Aleppo.
  • Translation: "The death of the children Amor Ahmed Oslo aged 10, and Firas Amor Oslo aged 12 in the explosion of cluster bomb remnants from a previous bombing on the city of Hayan in Aleppo's northern countryside. (picture of the child Firas)
  • Translation: "Death of two children Amor Ahmad Amor Oso and Firas Amor Oso as a result of the explosion of a cluster bomb left behind by the bombing of a former Russian warplane on the town of Hayyan in Aleppo's northern countryside.

Russian Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Military
  • Russian Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 children)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Planted explosives and unexploded ordnance (UXO)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Military
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USYEMTr163-C

Incident date

April 22–23, 2018

Location

مفقه ,الحزم, Mafqa, Al Hazma, Shabwa, Yemen

Geolocation

14.79049, 45.71084 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Two young men, who pro-AQAP feeds indicated may have been civilians, were reportedly killed by a US drone strike in Al Hazm, in the Beihan area on the borders of Shabwa and Bayda governorates, overnight from April 22nd-23rd 2018. It was later suggested that they were instead killed by a Houthi landmine.

Local language news outlet @HdrmutAlhadath named the dead as Ammar Yasser Al-Duwail aged 22, and Abdullah Mohammed Farid, aged 30.  A local security official told Al-Masdar Online that the two “suspected” AQAP members were killed by a US drone, which targeted them as they travelled through the area on a motorcycle.

According to Dr Elisabeth Kendall, however, pro-AQAP feeds instead described them as “citizens”, not “brothers”, and suggested that they were workers at a livestock market. Some other sources were ambivalent about the status of the dead; @HdrmutAlhadath identified those killed as “youths”.

“The plane was flying at low altitude in the skies of Beihan city before it hit the two men, allegedly belonging to al-Qaeda, in one of the sandy roads in Mafqa area in west of the city”, eyewitnesses told YP Agency.

While only one source (@Dr_E_Kendall) explicitly indicated that the dead were potentially civilians, the ambivalence of other sources has led Airwars to assess the claim of civilian harm as “fair”.

A Reprieve caseworker, Baraa Shiban, later tweeted that the two were not killed by a US drone, but by a Houthi landmine planted earlier in 2018. However, a later US Central Command press release stated that an airstrike in Bayda governorate on April 23rd had targeted “an AQAP checkpoint for asserting regional control and raising illegal revenue”, which the Long War Journal was told was in Bayda. Since there were no other known reports of a US strike in either Shabwa or Bayda on April 23rd, and given that reports indicated that a strike took place in the border region, this event is treated as declared.

In its annual civilian casualty report to Congress issued in April 2019, the US Department of Defense stated that it had assessed “no credible reports of civilian casualties resulting from US military actions in Yemen during 2018″.

Responding to Airwars’ publication of its Yemen dataset and accompanying report in October 2020, CENTCOM dismissed all but two civilian harm claims under President Trump, asserting that “USCENTCOM conducted a thorough review of the information AirWars provided regarding allegations of potential civilian harm caused by USCENTCOM strikes in Yemen from 2017-2020… The bulk of the information asserted by AirWars, however, did not correspond with dates and locations of U.S. military strikes or raids in Yemen.   Other AirWars allegations either did not allege civilian harm or were not assessed as credible upon our review.”

The incident occured during the night.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 men)
  • Causes of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions, Planted explosives and unexploded ordnance (UXO)
  • 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 Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
  • Belligerents reported killed
    2

Sources (15) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (4) [ collapse]

  • A US drone strike reportedly killed two men in Beihan area, Shabwa/Bayda border area, overnight from April 22nd-23rd (@Dr_E_Kendall, April 23rd 2018)

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention the Mafqa (مفقه) area, west of the village of Al Hazm (الحزم), for which the generic coordinates are: 14.79049, 45.71084. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

  • Reports of the incident mention the Mafqa (مفقه) area, west of the village of Al Hazm (الحزم).

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

US Forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US Forces
  • US Forces position on incident
    Non credible / Unsubstantiated
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    No reason given
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None

Civilian casualty statements

US Forces
  • Nov 5, 2020
  • Apr 29, 2019
  • C. U.S. military action in Yemen against al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and ISIS During 2018, U.S. forces deployed to Yemen continued to work towards disrupting and degrading the terrorist threat posed by AQAP and ISIS. U.S. forces conducted 36 airstrikes against AQAP and ISIS operatives and facilities in Yemen and supported United Arab Emirates and Yemen-led efforts to clear AQAP from Shabwah Governorate. DoD has no credible reports of civilian casualties resulting from U.S. military actions in Yemen during 2018.

  • Via email to Airwars: U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) continues to focus on ways to minimize civilian casualties during its military operations. We assess or review all reports of civilian casualties because such assessments or reviews help us identify ways to improve our operations and counter misinformation and propaganda. We routinely share the results of every one of our assessments in Department of Defense (DoD) reports to Congress, including annual reports, many of which are publicly available. We also share the results of our assessments or reviews with the public via the USCENTCOM website and our statements to the media. Individuals wishing to understand U.S. military operations in Yemen more fully should consult these official sources of information. USCENTCOM conducted a thorough review of the information AirWars provided regarding allegations of potential civilian harm caused by USCENTCOM strikes in Yemen from 2017-2020. Of the information AirWars provided, one strike on September 14, 2017, was assessed to have caused injuries to two civilians. Also, as previously released by USCENTCOM to the public in February 2017, USCENTCOM acknowledged there may have been civilian casualties during a raid on January 29, 2017. The bulk of the information asserted by AirWars, however, did not correspond with dates and locations of U.S. military strikes or raids in Yemen. Other AirWars allegations either did not allege civilian harm or were not assessed as credible upon our review. Consistent with our mission, our authorities, and our obligations under the law of war, USCENTCOM will continue to conduct military actions in Yemen when required to protect the Nation and our allies and partners from al Qa’ida and ISIS terror cells that are committed to inflicting terror. In every strike and raid, we take careful measures to minimize civilian harm and take responsibility for our actions. When our military operations result in reports of civilian harm, we will continue to assess the credibility of such reports to help us identify ways to improve our operations and respond as appropriate.

Original strike reports

US Forces

TAMPA, Fla. – In the past three months, U.S. forces have targeted and disrupted the al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula terrorist network in Yemen through 17 counter-terrorism airstrikes in four separate governorates. These include six air strikes against AQAP terrorists in February, seven air strikes against AQAP terrorists in March and four airstrikes against AQAP terrorists in April.

The April airstrikes included an AQAP training camp in western Hadramawt governorate April 11 and an AQAP checkpoint for asserting regional control and raising illegal revenue in al Bayda governorate April 23.

Other air strikes took place in al Bayda, Hadramawt, Zamakh and Shabwah governorates.

U.S. Central Command is aware of reports of alleged civilian casualties following the March 29 air strike against AQAP in al Bayda governorate. A credibility assessment is being conducted.

Intelligence and defense communities have assessed AQAP as one of the terrorist groups most committed to and capable of conducting attacks in the United States. AQAP has taken advantage of ungoverned spaces in Yemen to plot, direct and inspire terror attacks against the United States, its citizens and its allies around the world.

In early 2018, senior AQAP figure Khalid Batarfi called on the group’s supporters to “rise and attack” Americans “everywhere.” Last month, Osama Bin Laden’s son Hamza, an influential al-Qaeda figure, called on aspiring terrorists to join and support AQAP’s terrorist efforts in Yemen.

The United States is committed to finding and striking AQAP’s terrorist network in Yemen.

“In coordination with the government of Yemen, U.S. forces are conducting a series of counter-terrorism operations against AQAP and ISIS-Yemen,” said Lt. Col. Earl Brown, a U.S. Central Command spokesman. “We will continue to disrupt and degrade the ability of AQAP to plan attacks, confronting threats before they reach our borders.”

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 men)
  • Causes of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions, Planted explosives and unexploded ordnance (UXO)
  • 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 Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
  • Belligerents reported killed
    2

Sources (15) [ collapse]