US-led Coalition in Iraq & Syria

Civilians in the ruins of Mosul city. (Maranie R. Staab)

Belligerent
US-led Coalition
Country
Iraq
Syria
start date
end date
Airwars Grading
Belligerent Assessment

Incident Code

CI001

Incident date

August 16, 2014

Location

سنجار, Sinjar, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.3206914, 41.8641115 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

According to the German news agency DPA, the first known civilian victims of US bombing in the campaign occurred on August 16th, eight days into the air war. According to DPA, witnesses informed the agency’s reporter that “11 civilian were killed by a US airstrike when they chased [ISIL] fighters in Sinjar but its rockets missed them, targeting civilian houses and killing 11 persons west of Mosul.”

Al Jazeera also reported that 11 non-combatants had died, adding that additional civilians may also have been killed on US strikes after August 8th: “Medical sources from the city’s hospital in Mosul said that the bodies of more than two dozen people from IS killed by US raids on northern Iraq were received.”

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    11
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Local reports of the incident only mention residental buildings in Sinjar ( سنجار ) district, Nineveh province. The coordinates for Sinjar town are: 36.3206914, 41.8641115  

  • Sinjar ( سنجار ) district outlined in red

    Imagery:
    © 2018 Google

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    a:1:{i:0;s:20:"no_coalition_strikes";}
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    near Sinjar, Iraq
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jun 28, 2018
  • After a review of available information it was assessed that no Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area that correspond to the report of civilian casualties.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

A single US airstrike was confirmed in Sinjar August 15th, with six in the vicinity of Mosul Dam the following day. For August 15th-16th 2014: “U.S. military forces continued to attack ISIL terrorists in Iraq yesterday, with remotely piloted aircraft successfully conducting airstrikes on two armed vehicles south of the village of Sinjar. After receiving reports from Kurdish forces that ISIL terrorists were attacking civilians in Kawju, a village located south of Sinjar, U.S. aircraft identified and followed an ISIL armed vehicle to a roadside area. At approximately 10:10 a.m. EDT [1910 local], U.S. aircraft struck and destroyed two vehicles in the area.”

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    11
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI002

Incident date

August 24, 2014

Location

القيارة, Qayyarah, Al Shuhadaa, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

35.7977836, 43.2935143 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

Local news service Al Sumaria claimed that “11 civilians from one family” died after coalition airstrikes hit the village of al Qayyarah south of Mosul on the morning of August 24th.

Other sources, placing the death count slightly lower at 8-9 killed, reported that the attack had been carried out by a helicopter, possibly a Chinook, suggesting that the Iraq Army may have been responsible. Local MP Abdul Rahman Allowaizi later complained that “there is no difference between detonating car bombs in the regions and governorates of Iraq and the dumping of barrels explosive on the role of residential neighborhoods in Nineveh.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    8 – 11
  • Airwars grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected belligerents
    US-led Coalition, Iraq government forces

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Local reports mentioned Al Shuhadaa neighbourhood ( حي الشهداء ) in the town of ( القيارة ) Qayyarah, southern Nineveh. The coordinates for ( القيارة ) Qayyarah are: 35.7977836, 43.2935143 We were unable to locate Al Shuhadaa neighbourhood ( حي الشهداء ) on maps. However we suspect the neighbourhood is located in North Qayyarah ( القيارة ) as the news outlet rudaw.net, reported that people from this neighbourhood complained about oil fires between August to September 2016. The oil fires are clearly visible in available satellite imagery from time period, potentially identifying the neighbourhood.

  • Fires in 2016 potentially mark the location of Al Shuhadaa neighbourhood ( حي الشهداء ), which is not marked on any maps.

    Date taken:
    September 2, 2016

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    No Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    near al Qayyarah, Iraq
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jun 28, 2018
  • After a review of available information it was assessed that no Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area that correspond to the report of civilian casualties.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

The coalition has reported two strikes in the vicinity of Mosul for August 23rd-24th 2014, both of which it says targeted vehicles: “U.S. military forces continued to attack ISIL terrorists in support of Iraqi security force operations, using fighter aircraft to conduct an airstrike in the vicinity of Mosul Dam. The strike destroyed an ISIL vehicle and all aircraft exited the strike area safely.“

Iraq government forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Iraq government forces
  • Iraq government forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    8 – 11
  • Airwars grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected belligerents
    US-led Coalition, Iraq government forces

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI003

Incident date

September 3, 2014

Location

الوحدة, Mosul, Al Wahda, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.3290942, 43.1870842 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

A reported aerial bombardment (at 2200hrs local time) near an ISIL HQ east of Mosul, allegedly left up to seven members of the same family dead and injured in the al-Wadha Street area. At least three women were reported killed and a man and child injured.

While Baghdad TV attributed the strike to US aircraft, other media referred only to unspecified aircraft, or said that Iraqi forces were responsible.

According to local media, residents had earlier been warned of imminent airstrikes: “Iraqi planes dropped leaflets two days ago, in which civilians were warned against mixing with members of IS to avoid harm from any Iraqi security strikes targeting the organisation.” In response, ISIL reportedly evacuated part of its HQ in the city.

In its July 2017 civilian casualty report, the Coalition denied responsibility for the event: “Sep. 3, 2014, near Mosul, Iraq, via Airwars report: After a review of available information it was assessed that no Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographic area that correspond to the report of civilian casualties.”

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

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    3 – 7
  • (3 women)
  • Airwars grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention the neighbourhood Al Wahda (الوحدة) in the east of the city of Mosul. The generic coordinates for this neighbourhood are: 36.3290942, 43.1870842. 

  • The neighbourhood of Al Wahda (الوحدة) in the east of the city of Mosul

    Imagery:
    © 2019 Google

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    No Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    near Mosul, Iraq
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jul 7, 2017
  • After a review of available information it was assessed that no Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographic area that correspond to the report of civilian casualties.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

CENTCOM reported three strikes in the vicinity of Mosul Dam for September 3rd-4th 2014: “U.S. military forces continued to attack ISIL terrorists in Iraq, using fighter aircraft to conduct three airstrikes Wednesday and Thursday, in support of Mosul Dam operations. The strikes destroyed two ISIL armed vehicles and an ISIL observation post. “

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    3 – 7
  • (3 women)
  • Airwars grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI004

Incident date

September 5, 2014

Location

الموصل‎, Mosul, Houses neighboring the Turkish Consulate, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.34585235, 43.09857692 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

Sources in the city claimed that an airstrike carried out at approximately 10pm in the vicinity of the Turkish consulate in Mosul had killed Ridwan Akram, his wife and their child. According to a commemorative Facebook page, the family had only recently returned after three months in Turkey when they died.

While a number of reports attributed the attack to the Coalition, others including Baghdad TV claimed that the Iraqi military (which carried out strikes elsewhere on the city that day) was responsible.

In its July 2017 civilian casualty report, the Coalition denied responsibility for the event: “Sep. 5, 2014, near Mosul, Iraq, via Airwars report: After a review of available information it was assessed that no Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographic area that correspond to the report of civilian casualties.”

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • (1 child1 man)
  • Airwars grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (6) [ collapse]

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    a:1:{i:0;s:20:"no_coalition_strikes";}
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    near Mosul, Iraq
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jul 7, 2017
  • After a review of available information it was assessed that no Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographic area that correspond to the report of civilian casualties.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

CENTCOM reported four airstrikes in the vicinity of both Mosul Dam and Irbil for September 4th-5th 2014. However none were reported for September 5th-6th, when this event appears to have taken place.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • (1 child1 man)
  • Airwars grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI005

Incident date

September 14, 2014

Location

سنجار, Sinjar, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.3206914, 41.8641115 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

An internal CENTCOM review identified potential civilian casualties from a Coalition airstrike in “northern Iraq.” The only location for this date which matches is Sinjar. The incident was not previously tracked by Airwars.

According to a declassified CENTCOM document, “A review of FMV from a RECOIL feed revealed unknown individuals moving into a target area during a strike on PIO ISIL fighters under SROE 001.”

A first stage review concluded “No CIVCAS determined“, citing local peshmerga reports that “all individuals engaged were ISIL forces”.

In an apparent contradiction, the Coalition reported the following in July 2017: “Sep. 14, 2014, near Sinjar, Iraq, via Airwars report: After a review of available information it was assessed that no Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographic area that correspond to the report of civilian casualties.” It is unclear why Airwars was quoted as the source of reporting for this incident.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • Airwars grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (2) [ collapse]

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • Airwars grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS001

Incident date

September 23, 2014

Location

كفردريان, Kafr Daryan, Idlib, Syria

Geolocation

36.176908, 36.668356 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (via Airwars) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Exact location (via Airwars)

Airwars assessment

On the first night of US airstrikes in Syria, the United States carried out a sequence of attacks on the Al Qaeda-affiliated Khorasan Group (part of the al-Nusra Front.) For the only recorded occasion during the allied air war, the US deployed Tomahawk cruise missiles to strike targets in the vicinity of Aleppo. Locals also reported what they described as US combat aircraft participating. Up to fifteen civilians died in the strikes, along with “a large number of mujahideen” according to one Al Qaeda-linked militant at the scene.

Eyewitnesses told SN4HR that all of the civilian deaths occurred when a house collapsed: “The huge pressure from the explosion caused the collapse of a two-storied residential house near the Nusra Front target, less than 100 m from it. This caused the death of 12 people, all civilians, including five children and five women.” SN4HR later added a 13th fatality to its lists.

The civilian victims were later named by various sources.

After examining video evidence of apparent US cruise missile fragments at the village, Human Rights Watch later said that the strikes “should be investigated for possible violations of the laws of war.”

Buzzfeed also spoke with two eyewitnesses to the attack, with one noting: “What we saw with our own eyes was unreal — the [civilian] houses were completely gone. Our job was to collect the body parts. The worst thing was the children. It’s still in my mind.

An internal CENTCOM investigation into alleged civilian deaths swiftly concluded “No further inquiry required,” it was revealed a year later. This was in part based on an assessment that “Open source images presented as casualties from the strikes actually came from previous GoS [Government of Syria] strikes.”

Airwars has since examined all known published images relating to the Kafr Daryan event. As our Syria researcher Kinda Haddad notes, “Every picture but one we are aware of first appears on 23rd September 2014, and in connection with Kafr Daryan.”

The one known exception is a picture which first appeared as a tweet on September 2nd, after a child was killed by the Assad regime. Shortly after the Kafr Daryan attack some three weeks later, that same image was claimed in English by at least one site to have been taken at Kafr Daryan.

However even a rudimentary search by CENTCOM would have identified multiple photographs and videos relating to September 23rd itself. Even when investigators noted new evidence on the strike from the Syrian Network for Human Rights in April 2015, this did not appear to trigger any new inquiry.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (4)

Family members (3)

Family members (2)

  • Mohammed Darwish Adult male Named by Global Post, husband killed
  • Fatima Darwish Adult female Named by Global Post, wife killed

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    13 – 18
  • (5 children5 women4–6 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    15
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (24) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (13) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    GRAPHIC Mahmoud Juma’a Mua’az, slain in a reported US strike Sept 23 2014 (SNHR)
  • Alleged cruise missile fragment recovered from the scene, Sept 2014 (SNHR)
  • Video posted by Salah Fojo, resident of Kafar Daryan village. Shows unidentified victims removed from rubble. Titled ‘Idlib countryside the search for the casualties following the raid by the coalition forces on Kafar Daryan’
  • Video posted by Salah Fojo purporting to show fragments of US missile from attack
  • Video posted by Salah Fojo of victims being rushed for medical treatment at Kafar Daryan
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Video posted by Salah Fojo, resident of Kafar Daryan, showing children reportedly injured in the air raid
  • Video posted by a satellite channel called Sadaa Al-Sham with three eye witness accounts from villagers.
  • Another video of the incident posted by Salah Fojo
  • Video described as “documents the shelling of Jabhat Al Nusra Headquarters” posted by Salah Fojo
  • Video described as “documents the destruction caused by coalition forces airstrikes” posted by Salah Fojo
  • Remnants of the US missile supposedly used in the attack (via Salah Fojo)
  • Basmala Jahjah who was reportedly in the strike (via SN4HR)
  • Mohammad Abd Al-Hameed Jahjah who was reportedly killed in the strike (via SN4HR)

Geolocation notes (2) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention a residential building in Kafr Daryan (كفردريان) village. We identified building destroyed in (كفردريان) Kafr Daryan during the time period are: 36.176908, 36.668356. However, to the limited satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

  • Destroyed building in (كفردريان) Kafr Daryan. Before

    Date taken:
    August 4, 2014

    Imagery:
    © 2018 Google

  • Destroyed building in (كفردريان) Kafr Daryan. After

    Date taken:
    September 10, 2015

    Imagery:
    © 2018 Google

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    No Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    near Kafr Daryan, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SBA903060
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jun 28, 2018
  • After a review of available information it was assessed that no Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area that correspond to the report of civilian casualties.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    13 – 18
  • (5 children5 women4–6 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    15
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (24) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS009

Incident date

September 24–29, 2014

Location

الرقة‎, Ar Raqqah, Syria

Geolocation

35.9505639, 39.0094148 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

A number of sources including the Syrian Martyrs website reported that a woman was killed in a Coalition airstrike on Ar Raqqah. She was reported as being a resident of the city.

The3 Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies also reported her death fropm Coalition actions – though said this occured on September 24th: ” Fawzia al-Jadou, from Raqqa, was martyred by the bombing of the international coalition forces, on 24/9/2014.”

According to Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, “Ms. Fawzia al-Jadou died due to extreme panic which led to an attack that stopped her breathing and killed her.”

A Syrian Network for Human Rights report relating to this event can no longer be traced.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 woman)
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    No Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    near Raqqah, Syria
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jun 28, 2018
  • After a review of available information it was assessed that no Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area that correspond to the report of civilian casualties.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

The coalition has confirmed airstrikes in the vicinity on September 28th-29th 2014: “Two airstrikes were conducted on ISIL compounds near Ar Raqqah.”

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 woman)
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Incident Code

CS002

Incident date

September 25, 2014

Location

الحسكة, Al-Hasakah, Syria

Geolocation

36.5044792, 40.74354 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

The Syrian Martyrs website claimed that six unnamed civilian males were killed in a Coalition airstrike on Al Hassakah. It said it had obtained the news via the Syrian Network for Human Rights, though that original report cannot presently be traced.

In July 2017 the Coalition classed the event as Non-Credible, saying there was too little information for it to make a determination: “Sep. 25, 2014, near Al Hasakah, Syria, via Airwars report: The report contained insufficient information of the time, location and details to assess its credibility.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    6
  • (6 men)
  • Airwars grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (2) [ collapse]

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    Insufficient information on the time and location
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    near Al Hasakah, Syria
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jul 7, 2017
  • The report contained insufficient information on the time, location and details to assess its credibility.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

Strikes in the vicinity were reported by the coalition for September 24th-25th 2014: “U.S. military forces and partner nations, including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, attacked ISIL terrorists in Syria today, using a mix of fighter and remotely piloted aircraft to conduct 13 airstrikes against 12 ISIL-controlled modular oil refineries located in remote areas of eastern Syria in the vicinity of Al Mayadin, Al Hasakah, and Abu Kamal and one ISIL vehicle near Dayr az Zawr, also in eastern Syria.“

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    6
  • (6 men)
  • Airwars grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (2) [ collapse]