US-led Coalition in Iraq & Syria

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

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

Incident Code

CS598

Incident date

March 20, 2017

Location

المنصورة, Al Mansoura, Al Badiya school, Ar Raqqah, Syria

Geolocation

35.81629, 38.75647 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (via Airwars) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Exact location (via Airwars)

Airwars assessment

In a major casualty incident at least 40 civilians died (and as many as 420 according to some claims) with dozens more injured in an alleged Coalition airstrike on the al Badiya school in Mansoura, which was said to have housed up to 100 displaced families.

Coalition commander Lt General Townsend later denied that the strike had killed civilians, stating prior to the conclusion of the Coalition’s own assessment that: “We had multiple corroborating intelligence sources from various types of intelligence that told us the enemy was using that school. And we observed it. And we saw what we expected to see. We struck it. We saw what we expected to see. Afterwards, we got an allegation that it wasn’t ISIS fighters in there; got a single allegation it wasn’t ISIS fighters in there; it was instead refugees of some sort in the school. Yet, not seeing any corroborating evidence of that. In fact, everything we’ve seen since then suggests that it was the 30 or so ISIS fighters that we expected to be there.”

Local monitors disagreed. In a video Jisr TV said: “Tens of people displaced were in that school and until now we couldn’t reach the school and don’t know what happened to them. Whether they evacuated the school or not is unknown before it was targeted by Coalition warplanes.” Qasioun added that “the Coalition carried out three raids on the school and it’s not clear how many people were killed. The school hosted displaced people from Aleppo.”

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights – also pointing towards the Coalition – put the death toll at 33, reporting: “One of the activists of the Syrian Observatory witnessed 33 bodies being pulled out of the rubble of the school which was destroyed by the Coalition’s warplanes, before members of the Islamic State came and kept people away. Additionally, two people were pulled out alive…Activists at the Observatory were unable to count the number of children and women among the 33 bodies because they were covered while they were pulled out.” Step news agency said that the number of deaths had risen to “more than 50 following Coalition raids targeting the town at noon today”.

The majority of sources stressed that most of the victims were women and children. Smart News was the only outlet providing specific figures, reporting a death toll of seven children and nine women. Smart went on to say that “according to another local source, the Islamic State organization demanded that civilians in the western and southern parts of al-Raqqa evacuate their schools and medical centers because they were being targeted by the coalition ‘for the possibility of being headquarters of the organization.’”

Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently meanwhile reported that the “the international coalition dropped leaflets on Al Mansoura and the surrounding villages warning residents to leae their homes after 9pm”.

There were some claims of much higher casualties. According to Raqqa Post the death toll may have been as high as 100: “The school hosted more than 50 families from Maskanah, Homs and other places and there are reports, which are not yet confirmed, that over 100 were killed and many more were wounded. Rescue operations are still taking place.” Baladi put the number killed still higher at 200 civilians – “mostly women and children” – with dozens more injured, adding that the school was completely destroyed. Al Natek also put the number killed at 200.

Q_Alenzy said that the school held 300 displaced people, of which 50 men were outside the building at the time of the attack. The source said it hadn’t yet managed to document the total number of deaths, though it reported that three families had died. According to Euphrates Post, the school was hosting even more refugees, up to “500 displaced women and children”.

A report by Syria News Desk did not refer to the al Badiya school specifically, but alleged that there had been “four raids on two schools inhabited by displaced people from eastern Aleppo. Two houses near the school were hit.” Additionally, “the media activist Mohammed Osman, quoting civilian sources from inside Mansoura, told the Syrian News Agency that the search for missing persons was still ongoing, especially as the raids caused the complete collapse of the two buildings, extensive destruction to the surrounding houses and the combustion of cars and motorcycles”.

As more reports came in, the claimed death toll continued to rise, with one local Mansoura group alleging that it had reached 275 – and specifically blaming “American warplanes”. Mansoura in its Peoples’ Eyes claimed an even higher figure: “420 martyrs with people still looking for survivors”.

A subsequent report by Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently said that “the initial death toll for the massacre at Al Badiya school in Al Mansoura committed by the international coalition at dawn yesterday is 183. The bodies are still being pulled out and the number is expected to rise as there was 105 families present at the school.”

In its July 2017 civilian casualty report, the Coalition said it found insufficient evidence that civilians were killed: “March 20, 2017, near Al Mansura, Syria, via social media report: After review of available information and strike video it was assessed that there is insufficient evidence to find that civilians were harmed in this strike.”

In September 2017, Human Rights Watch published the findings of a major field investigation into the incident. The report said the Coalition attack took place at around 11pm local time at GPS co-ordinates 35.817220, 38.756306 – and had killed at least 40 named civilians. It said the dead included both IDPs and families of ISIS fighters.

Following Human Right Watch’s report, the Coalition re-opened and re-assessed the Al Mansoura school allegation. In late June 2018 it concluded it was responsible for killing 40 civilians: “(2.) March 20, 2017, near Raqqah, Syria via social media report. The report was reopened after the receipt of new evidence from Human Rights Watch. During a strike on Daesh militant multifunctional center allegedly caused civilian casualties. Forty civilians were unintentionally killed.”

Later on the Coalition provided Airwars with the military grid reference of the strike (37SDV780636), placing it at the al Badiya school in Mansoura.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (1)

  • Khalif Al-Ayto and his entire family Age unknown male killed

Family members (1)

  • Kitan Al’amash and his family Age unknown male killed

Family members (4)

Family members (1)

Family members (1)

  • Mohammed Jum’a Al-Hadid and his family Age unknown male killed

Family members (18)

  • Saleh Mohammad al Jassem family 1 Age unknown displaced from eastern Aleppo killed
  • Saleh Mohammad al Jassem family 2 Age unknown displaced from eastern Aleppo killed
  • Saleh Mohammad al Jassem family 3 Age unknown displaced from eastern Aleppo killed
  • Saleh Mohammad al Jassem family 4 Age unknown displaced from eastern Aleppo killed
  • Saleh Mohammad al Jassem family 5 Age unknown displaced from eastern Aleppo killed
  • Saleh Mohammad al Jassem family 6 Age unknown displaced from eastern Aleppo killed
  • Saleh Mohammad al Jassem family 7 Age unknown displaced from eastern Aleppo killed
  • Saleh Mohammad al Jassem family 8 Age unknown displaced from eastern Aleppo killed
  • Saleh Mohammad al Jassem family 9 Age unknown displaced from eastern Aleppo killed
  • Saleh Mohammad al Jassem family 10 Age unknown displaced from eastern Aleppo killed
  • Saleh Mohammad al Jassem family 11 Age unknown displaced from eastern Aleppo killed
  • Saleh Mohammad al Jassem family 12 Age unknown displaced from eastern Aleppo killed
  • Saleh Mohammad al Jassem family 13 Age unknown displaced from eastern Aleppo killed
  • Saleh Mohammad al Jassem family 14 Age unknown displaced from eastern Aleppo killed
  • Saleh Mohammad al Jassem family 15 Age unknown displaced from eastern Aleppo killed
  • Saleh Mohammad al Jassem family 16 Age unknown displaced from eastern Aleppo killed
  • Saleh Mohammad al Jassem family 17 Age unknown displaced from eastern Aleppo killed
  • Saleh Mohammad al Jassem family 18 Age unknown displaced from eastern Aleppo killed

Family members (5)

  • Jawhara Jomea al-Kharaz Adult female named by the Violations Documentation Center as victims from Palmyra killed
  • Kifae Jomea al-Kharraz Adult female named by the Violations Documentation Center as victims from Palmyra killed
  • Haneen Mowaffak Kharaz Child female named by the Violations Documentation Center as victims from Palmyra killed
  • Ahmad Mowaffak Kharaz Child female named by the Violations Documentation Center as victims from Palmyra killed
  • Malak Mowaffak Kharaz Child female named by the Violations Documentation Center as victims from Palmyra killed

Family members (2)

  • Manaf Hussein al A’thab Adult male named by the Violations Documentation Center as victims from Palmyra killed
  • Wife of Manaf Hussein al A’thab Adult female named by the Violations Documentation Center as victims from Palmyra killed

Family members (4)

  • Ibrahim al-Ibrahim al-Farhoud 40 years old male named by HRW, displaced from the village of Maskanah (information collected from relatives) killed
  • Halima al-Hamdi, wife of Ibrahim Adult female named by HRW, displaced from the village of Maskanah (information collected from relatives) killed
  • Isma’il 2 years old male named by HRW, displaced from the village of Maskanah (information collected from relatives) killed
  • Ahmed 5 years old male named by HRW, displaced from the village of Maskanah (information collected from relatives) killed

Family members (5)

  • Isma’il al-Ibrahim al-Farhoud, (son of Dahiya) 35 years old male named by HRW, displaced from the village of Maskanah (information collected from relatives) killed
  • Ala 7 years old female named by HRW, displaced from the village of Maskanah (information collected from relatives) killed
  • Amal 5 years old female named by HRW, displaced from the village of Maskanah (information collected from relatives) killed
  • Malak 3 years old female named by HRW, displaced from the village of Maskanah (information collected from relatives) killed
  • Adel 2 months years old male named by HRW, displaced from the village of Maskanah (information collected from relatives) killed

Family members (4)

  • Ahmad al-Farhoud Age unknown male named by HRW, displaced from the village of Maskanah (information collected from relatives), Family of Ahmad al-Farhoud (cousin of Ibrahim and Isma’il) killed
  • Nuha al-Farhoud, wife of Ahmad al-Farhoud Adult female named by HRW, displaced from the village of Maskanah (information collected from relatives), Family of Ahmad al-Farhoud (cousin of Ibrahim and Isma’il) killed
  • Alyan Child female under age of 10, named by HRW, displaced from the village of Maskanah (information collected from relatives), Family of Ahmad al-Farhoud (cousin of Ibrahim and Isma’il) killed
  • Lana Child female under age of 8, named by HRW, displaced from the village of Maskanah (information collected from relatives), Family of Ahmad al-Farhoud (cousin of Ibrahim and Isma’il) killed

Family members (7)

  • ‘Idan Ramadan 50 years old male named by HRW, displaced from the village of Maskanah (information collected from relatives) killed
  • Zahra, first wife of ‘Idan Adult female named by HRW, displaced from the village of Maskanah (information collected from relatives) killed
  • Naser Ramadan, son of ‘Idan and Zahra Child male around 13, named by HRW, displaced from the village of Maskanah (information collected from relatives) killed
  • Mansour Ramadan, son of ‘Idan and Zahra 9 years old male named by HRW, displaced from the village of Maskanah (information collected from relatives) killed
  • ‘Alia, second wife of ‘Idan Adult female named by HRW, displaced from the village of Maskanah (information collected from relatives) killed
  • Mohammad, son of ‘Idan and ‘Alia 15 years old male named by HRW, displaced from the village of Maskanah (information collected from relatives) killed
  • Kafa’, daughter of ‘Idan and ‘Alia Child female named by HRW, displaced from the village of Maskanah (information collected from relatives) killed

Family members (3)

  • Maha Khalid al-Salameh 30 years old named by HRW, displaced from the Tadmor (Palmyra) and Sukhna areas (information collected from relatives) killed
  • Ali Zuheir al-Khalid 7 years old male named by HRW, displaced from the Tadmor (Palmyra) and Sukhna areas (information collected from relatives) killed
  • Mohammad Zein Zuhair al-Khalid 5 years old male named by HRW, displaced from the Tadmor (Palmyra) and Sukhna areas (information collected from relatives) killed

Family members (6)

  • Muwaffaq Jum’a al-Kharaz 40 years old male named by HRW, displaced from the Tadmor (Palmyra) and Sukhna areas (information collected from relatives) killed
  • Khitam Khaled Salama al-Du’as 38 years old female named by HRW, displaced from the Tadmor (Palmyra) and Sukhna areas (information collected from relatives) killed
  • Malak Muwafaq al-Kharaz 8 years old female named by HRW, displaced from the Tadmor (Palmyra) and Sukhna areas (information collected from relatives) killed
  • Hanin Muwafaq al-Kharaz 5 years old female named by HRW, displaced from the Tadmor (Palmyra) and Sukhna areas (information collected from relatives) killed
  • Kafa’ Jum’a al-Kharaz 33 years old female named by HRW, displaced from the Tadmor (Palmyra) and Sukhna areas (information collected from relatives) killed
  • Jawhara Jum’a al-Kharaz 30 years old female named by HRW, displaced from the Tadmor (Palmyra) and Sukhna areas (information collected from relatives) killed

Family members (10)

  • Khaled Salama 70 years old male named by HRW, displaced from the Tadmor (Palmyra) and Sukhna areas (information collected from relatives) killed
  • Muna Mahmoud al-Kubba 57 years old female named by HRW, displaced from the Tadmor (Palmyra) and Sukhna areas (information collected from relatives) killed
  • Muhammad Khaled Salama 28 years old male named by HRW, displaced from the Tadmor (Palmyra) and Sukhna areas (information collected from relatives) killed
  • Ahmad Khaled Salama 25 years old male named by HRW, displaced from the Tadmor (Palmyra) and Sukhna areas (information collected from relatives) killed
  • Asma’ Khaled Salama 22 years old female named by HRW, displaced from the Tadmor (Palmyra) and Sukhna areas (information collected from relatives) killed
  • Yasmine Khaled Salama 20 years old female named by HRW, displaced from the Tadmor (Palmyra) and Sukhna areas (information collected from relatives) killed
  • Maha Khaled Salama 18 years old female named by HRW, displaced from the Tadmor (Palmyra) and Sukhna areas (information collected from relatives) killed
  • Nur Khaled Salama 15 years old female named by HRW, displaced from the Tadmor (Palmyra) and Sukhna areas (information collected from relatives) killed
  • Munaf Hussein al-‘azab 35 years old male named by HRW, displaced from the Tadmor (Palmyra) and Sukhna areas (information collected from relatives) killed
  • Fatima Akram Muhammad al-Eid 33 years old female named by HRW, displaced from the Tadmor (Palmyra) and Sukhna areas (information collected from relatives) killed
  • Khitam Khaled Salama al-Daeas Adult female killed
  • Mohammad Zein Suhair Rabiji Child male named by the Violations Documentation Center as victims from Palmyra killed
  • Dahiya Ramadan Adult displaced from the village of Maskanah (information collected from relatives), around 60, wife of Adel al-Farhoud killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    40 – 420
  • (16 children15 women10 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    50–56
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (73) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (19) [ collapse]

  • The aftermath of a confirmed Coalition strike on a school in Al Mansoura, March 21st 2017. (via Mansoura in its People's Eyes)
  • The aftermath of a confirmed Coalition strike on a school in Al Mansoura, March 21st 2017. (via Mansoura in its People's Eyes)
  • Ruins of Badiya School, Mansoura, following an alleged Coalition strike, March 21st 2017. (via Mansoura facebook private messages between Airwars and the pages admin)
  • Ruins of Badiya School, Mansoura, following an alleged Coalition strike, March 21st 2017. (via Mansoura facebook private messages between Airwars and the pages admin)
  • A news bulletin reporting on the alleged Coalition airstrike on Al Mansoura, 20th March 2017. (via JisirTV)
  • The aftermath of a confirmed Coalition strike on a school in Al Mansoura, March 21st 2017. (via RBSS)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Mohammad Zuheir Rabiji, killed in a confirmed Coalition strike on a school in Al Mansoura, March 20th 2017. (via Palmyra Media Centre)
  • Mohammad Zuheir Rabiji, killed in a confirmed Coalition strike on a school in Al Mansoura, March 20th 2017. (via Palmyra Media Centre)
  • A video showing a compilation of photographs from the Coalition airstrike on Al Mansoura, 20th March 2017. (via Palmyra Media Centre)
  • Photo from the opening of the Badia school in Syria in 2009. (via HRW 2017)
  • The aftermath of a confirmed Coalition strike on a school in Al Mansoura, March 21st 2017. (via Human Rights Watch September 2017)
  • The aftermath of a confirmed Coalition strike on a school in Al Mansoura, March 21st 2017. (via Human Rights Watch September 2017)
  • The aftermath of a confirmed Coalition strike on a school in Al Mansoura, March 21st 2017. (via Human Rights Watch September 2017)
  • A report on the US led Coalition airstrike on Al Mansoura, 20th March 2017. (via Human Rights Watch)
  • Amal Ahmed Masri, killed in a confirmed Coalition strike on a school in Al Mansoura, March 20th 2017. (via RBSS)
  • Amal Ahmed Masri, killed in a confirmed Coalition strike on a school in Al Mansoura, March 20th 2017. (via RBSS)
  • Deutscher Bundestag Written question. 7 April 2017.

  • Bundestag written question. 10th April 2017.

  • Bundestag Question: Drucksache 18 / 12185 Answer.

Geolocation notes (2) [ collapse]

The undisputed location for Al Badida School (مدرسة البادية) in the town of Al Mansoura (المنصورة) is: 35.81629, 38.75647

  • Al Badida School compound (مدرسة البادية) before the airstrike.

    Date taken:
    January 4, 2016

    Imagery:
    © 2018 Google

  • Al Badida School compound (مدرسة البادية) after the airstrike.

    Date taken:
    May 30, 2017

    Imagery:
    © 2018 Google

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Credible / Substantiated
    The investigation assessed that although all feasible precautions were taken and the decision to strike complied with the law of armed conflict, unintended civilian casualties regrettably occurred.
  • Given reason for civilian harm
    No reason given
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    40
  • Stated location
    near Raqqah, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SDV780636
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jun 28, 2018
  • March 20, 2017, near Raqqah, Syria via social media report. The report was reopened after the receipt of new evidence from Human Rights Watch. During a strike on Daesh militant multifunctional center allegedly caused civilian casualties. Forty civilians were unintentionally killed.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For March 20th-21st the Coalition stated: “Near Ar Raqqah, 19 strikes engaged eight ISIS tactical units; destroyed four petroleum oil lubricant equipment pieces, three barges, three fighting positions, three ISIS headquarters, two VBIED facilities, two VBIEDs, a VBIED factory, a tunnel, a vehicle, a weapons storage facility, and a command and control node; and damaged two supply routes.”

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    40 – 420
  • (16 children15 women10 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    50–56
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (73) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS1398

Incident date

August 22, 2017

Location

السخاني, Sukhani neighbourhood, near Hani mosque, Ar Raqqah, Syria

Geolocation

35.9522, 39.0164 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (via Airwars) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Exact location (via Airwars)

Airwars assessment

In a major casualty incident, as many as between 33 and 60 civilians, including many women and children, died following US-led Coalition airstrikes on Al-Sakhani, Raqqa. Almost a year later the US-led alliance accepted responsibility for 33 deaths.

According to Baladi, the strike was near the Al-Hani mosque, while Qasioun reported that one of the strikes hit a building in which civilians were sheltering.

Local media reported that the airstrike occurred on the 20th August, however recent up to date Amnesty field research conducted has reported the strike to have occurred on the 22nd at 7pm.

Local media reported that the majority of those killed were from the same family. A Tweet by @AhmadShblii identified eight of the victims as displaced persons from Palmyra.

All sources obtained held the US-led Coalition responsible for the alleged massacre. In addition to the civilians that died, “dozens” were suspected injured.

Albosleh and @LaSyrianNews put the death toll as high as 60.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which also blamed the Coalition, the 42 civilians it said were killed in the strikes included 19 children. This report may have conflated another, however.

A June 2018 report by Amnesty stated that on 20 August 2017 at 7pm, “Coalition forces simultaneously bombed the two neighbouring houses in which the family were staying.” These air strikes reportedly killed 33 Badran family members and other civilians, mostly women and children. A large number of civilians killed in the airstrike were identified in the report.

In its July 2018 civilian casualty report, the Coalition accepted responsibility for the event: “August 20, 2017, near Raqqah, Syria, via Amnesty International report. During a strike on a reported Daesh position near a residential area allegedly caused civilian casualties. Thirty three civilians were unintentionally killed.”

The Coalition provided Airwars with the location of this incident, accurate to within a 100 metre box.

In the Amnesty and Airwars’s joint April 2019 report “War in Raqqa: Rhetoric versus Reality” it was reported that “Thirty-three members of the Badran Family and neighbours, most of them women and children, were killed in the third and most devastating set of four separate air strikes which killed a total of 39 family members and 10 neighbours as they fled from neighbourhood to neighbourhood in search of safety.”

In addition to this, Rasha, a survivor of the strike told Amnesty in a testimony that “Only I, my husband and his brother and cousin survived. In the morning we found Tulip’s body; our baby was dead. We buried her near there, by a tree. I don’t understand why they bombed us. Didn’t the surveillance planes see that we were civilian families?”

The incident occured at 7:00 pm local time.

The victims were named as:

Family members (33)

  • Shamsa al Badran Bint Mustafa 40 years old female killed
  • Sahar Mohammad Ahmad al Badran 17 years old female Mohammad's daughter killed
  • Saja Mohammad Ahmad al Badran 15 years old male Mohammad's daughter killed
  • Ahmad Mohammad Ahmad al Badran 13 years old male Mohammad's son killed
  • Hamza Mohammad Ahmad al Badran 11 years old male Mohammad's son killed
  • Daham Mohammad Ahmad al Badran 4 years old male Mohammad's son killed
  • Saddiqa al Badran Bint Mustafa 38 years old female Shamsa’s sister, Ismael's wife killed
  • Mundher Ismail al Saaid 12 years old male Ismael's and Shamsa's son, twin of Sidra killed
  • Sidra Ismail al Saaid 12 years old female twin of Mundher killed
  • Aseel Ismail al Saaid 6 years old female Ismael's and Shamsa's daughter
  • Sumaya al Badran bint Mustafa 45 years old female widow, no children killed
  • Abta al Badran bint Mustafa 50 years old female widow killed
  • Qays Mohammad al Sahu 24 years old male Abta's son killed
  • Mays Mohammad al Sahu 18 years old female Abta's daughter killed
  • Khud al Badran bint Mustafa 48 years old female divorced killed
  • Rana Hsein al-Shammari 18 years old female Khud's daughter killed
  • Thuraya al Badran bint Mustafa 55 years old female killed
  • Ibrahim early 30s years old male Thuraya's son killed
  • Madonna mid-late 20s years old female Ibrahim's wife killed
  • Thuraya's nephew 1 Child male killed
  • Thuraya's nephew 2 Child male killed
  • Thuraya's niece Child female killed
  • Mohammad Khalil 30 years old male killed
  • Ali al Badran ibn Mustafa 44 years old male no children killed
  • Ibrahim Fahd Ibn Wahab al-Khadr 70 years old male killed
  • Khadija al Sahu 60 years old female Ibrahim's wife killed
  • Tulip Fahd bint AbdulWahab Abbude 1 years old female Rasha's and Abbude's daughter killed
  • Osama Ibrahim Fahd 32 years old male Abbude's brother killed
  • Mohamed Imbrahim Fahd 28 years old male Abbude's brother killed
  • Souad 50 years old female Iraqi national, wife of local man killed
  • Abu Riad 60s years old male Souad's husband killed
  • Maha mid 20s years old female daughter of Souad and Abu Riad killed
  • Amina al Raqim 60s years old female unmarried, was with Souad and Abu Riad killed

Summary

  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    33 – 60
  • (12–19 children12–13 women3–8 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    12–24
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (41) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (31) [ collapse]

  • Khalil Ibrahim Albadran, killed in an alleged Coalition strike near Al-Hini Mosque, (via RBSS)
  • ' Türkçe · Kurdî (Kurmancî) · العربية · English (UK) · Español Gizlilik · Koşullar · Reklamlar · Ad Choices · Çerezler · Diğer Facebook © 2017 Syrian Network for Human Rights - الشبكة السورية لحقوق الإنسان 6 saat · The women Thuraya, Sumayya, Abtta, Khood, Seddiqa, and Shamsa Mustafa al Daham, killed along with 11 members of their family in International Coalition warplanes missiles fired on al Sakhani alley north of Raqqa city, Aug 20.' (via SN4HR)
  • Shahid Abu Aboudabrahim Al Wahab, killed in an alleged Coalition strike on Raqqa (via Sharqiya Voice)
  • Mustafa Al-Badran (via RBSS)
  • Ibrahim Khalil Al-Badran (via RBSS)
  • Qais Mohammed Al-Khader (via RBSS)
  • Sama Ibrahim Al-Badran (via RBSS)
  • Mohammed Ibrahim Abdulwahab Al-Fahed (via RBSS)
  • Ali Ibrahim Al-Badran (via RBSS)
  • Photo of the aftermath of the air strike (via RWB)
  • Tulip Badran (via Amnesty)
  • Aftermath of the air strike (via Amnesty)
  • Members of Al-Badran family killed in the air strike (via Amnesty)
  • Satellite images of the destroyed house in the air strike (via Amnesty)
  • Abta, killed in a mass civilian casualty airstrike by alleged Coalition planes on August 22nd 2017. (via Amnesty)
  • Ahmad, killed in a mass civilian casualty airstrike by alleged Coalition planes on August 22nd 2017. (via Amnesty)
  • Ali al Badran ibn Mustapha, killed in a mass civilian casualty airstrike by alleged Coalition planes on August 22nd 2017. (via Amnesty)
  • Daham, killed in a mass civilian casualty airstrike by alleged Coalition planes on August 22nd 2017. (via Amnesty)
  • Hamza, killed in a mass civilian casualty airstrike by alleged Coalition planes on August 22nd 2017. (via Amnesty)
  • Khadja, killed in a mass civilian casualty airstrike by alleged Coalition planes on August 22nd 2017. (via Amnesty)
  • Madonna Daham, killed in a mass civilian casualty airstrike by alleged Coalition planes on August 22nd 2017. (via Amnesty)
  • Mays, killed in a mass civilian casualty airstrike by alleged Coalition planes on August 22nd 2017. (via Amnesty)
  • Osama, killed in a mass civilian casualty airstrike by alleged Coalition planes on August 22nd 2017. (via Amnesty)
  • Qays, killed in a mass civilian casualty airstrike by alleged Coalition planes on August 22nd 2017. (via Amnesty)
  • Saddiqa, killed in a mass civilian casualty airstrike by alleged Coalition planes on August 22nd 2017. (via Amnesty)
  • Sahar, killed in a mass civilian casualty airstrike by alleged Coalition planes on August 22nd 2017. (via Amnesty)
  • Saja, killed in a mass civilian casualty airstrike by alleged Coalition planes on August 22nd 2017. (via Amnesty)
  • Shamsa, killed in a mass civilian casualty airstrike by alleged Coalition planes on August 22nd 2017. (via Amnesty)
  • Sidra, killed in a mass civilian casualty airstrike by alleged Coalition planes on August 22nd 2017. (via Amnesty)
  • Thuraya, killed in a mass civilian casualty airstrike by alleged Coalition planes on August 22nd 2017. (via Amnesty)
  • Tulip Tuteh, killed in a mass civilian casualty airstrike by alleged Coalition planes on August 22nd 2017. (via Amnesty)

Geolocation notes (2) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention the Al Sakhani (السخاني) neighbourhood of Raqqah, near the Al Hani (الحني) mosque, for which the coordinates are: 35.951373, 39.016984. Following field research by Amnesty International, the incident was found credible by the US-led Coalition, who provided the following MGRS coordinate (accurate to 100m): 37SEV014786.

  • Before strike. (via Amnesty)

  • After strike. (via Amnesty)

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Credible / Substantiated
    The investigation assessed that although all feasible precautions were taken and the decision to strike complied with the law of armed conflict, unintended civilian casualties regrettably occurred.
  • Given reason for civilian harm
    No reason given
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    33
  • Stated location
    near Raqqah, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SEV014786
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jul 26, 2018
  • August 20, 2017, near Raqqah, Syria, via Amnesty International report. During a strike on a reported Daesh position near a residential area allegedly caused civilian casualties. Thirty three civilians were unintentionally killed.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For August 19th-20th: “Near Raqqah, five strikes engaged two ISIS tactical units and destroyed three fighting positions.” It additionally added that “On Aug. 19, near Raqqah, Syria, 36 strikes engaged 22 ISIS tactical units and destroyed 29 fighting positions and seven command and control nodes.” That “On Aug. 19, near Raqqah, Syria, six strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed five fighting positions, an IED, and a command and control node.” And that “On Aug. 19, near Raqqah, Syria, one strike suppressed an ISIS tactical unit.”

France
  • English
    /
    Original

For Aug 16-22, France report 5 strikes in Iraq and 2 in Syria. Task Force Wagram conducted 60 artillery missions.

United Kingdom
  • English
    /
    Original

‘Sunday 20 August – Tornados and Typhoons hit a target in Raqqa, a group of terrorists and vehicles in eastern Syria, and five Daesh positions around Tal Afar…On Sunday 20 August, Typhoons bombed a further Daesh position in Raqqa. In eastern Syria, Tornados targeted a group of terrorists deployed near the border with Iraq – two Paveways hit their trucks and killed several of the extremists.

Summary

  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    33 – 60
  • (12–19 children12–13 women3–8 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    12–24
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (41) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS705

Incident date

April 18, 2017

Location

البوكمال, Abu Kamal, Deir Ezzor, Deir ez-Zor, Syria

Geolocation

34.44254, 40.92114 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Within 100m (via Coalition) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Within 100m (via Coalition)

Airwars assessment

In a major civilian casualty incident, up to 36 civilians including 14 children died and dozens more were wounded in airstrikes on Abu Kamal, near the Syrian-Iraqi border, according to local sources – though reports were conflicted as to whether the US-led Coalition or the Iraqi air force were liable. The Coalition later took responsibility for 25 deaths.

In its reporting at the time Shaam News pointed towards the Coalition, putting the death toll at 23, including five children, reporting that there had been “several rocket attacks on the vicinity of the Egyptian roundabout and the East School in front of the electricity company in the city.”

Euphrates Post also attributed the event to the Coalition – again putting the death toll at 23 which included 14 children, five women and four men, with dozens more injured. Its source reported that “At approximately 11:30 pm yesterday, the residential area in the vicinity of the Al Masriya roundabout at the end of Al-Maarri Street was hit by missiles and air strikes. According to eyewitnesses, this is the first time that the city of Al Bukamal has been targeted with these highly explosive missiles – thought to be land to land missiles. The targeted house belongs to one of the expatriates in the Gulf (Khalil al-Hamdan Abu Saif). His home had been occupied by Daesh who were using it as a headquarters and warehouse for weapons and equipment”.

Other sources put the death toll higher. For example, 811Syria, also blaming the Coalition, said that 26 Syrians died and four Iraqis. JisirTV put the number killed as high as 26 – and attributed the event to the Coalition. One source, AJA, referred specifically to “heavy American shelling”.

However, some other sources said that the Iraqi air force carried out the strikes: Al Jazeera, Shahba, Almo3tasem91, Orient and Yaqein referred to “Iraqi air raids” and “Iraqi warplanes”. Yaqein added “sources told us that ‘this attack is not the first carried out by Iraqi aircraft on sites inside Syrian territory.’”

Smart News Agency did not identify the culprit but said that “warplanes are likely to have launched several missile attacks on the vicinity of the Egyptian [al masri ] roundabout and the East School, opposite the electricity company”.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that three members of IS were also killed.

In addition to those named sources reported the death of four member of a displaced Iraqi family.

On July 7th, the Coalition confirmed responsibility for this event. In a release, it wrote: “April 17, 2017, near Abu Kamal, Syria, via social media report: During a strike on an ISIS headquarters building, it was assessed that 25 civilians were unintentionally killed and 40 were injured in adjacent structures by secondary explosions from the target building.”

In July 2019, the Coalition provided Airwars with the location for this incident accurate to within a 100 metre box.

The incident occured around midnight.

The victims were named as:

Family members (1)

  • Mohammed Jedaie Adult male plus seven members of the family killed

Family members (1)

  • Mazen al-Mardoud plus three members of the family killed

Family members (1)

  • Shawish family four members killed
  • The wife of Abdul-Jabbar Thabet al-Taweel Adult female killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    25 – 36
  • (14 children5 women1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    40
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (42) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (11) [ collapse]

  • The aftermath of an alleged Coalition raid on Abu Kamal, April 17th/18th (via Sharqiya Voice)
  • A photograph from Abu Kamal during an alleged Coalition night raid, April 17/18th (via Euphrates Post)
  • Abu Kamal in flames, the aftermath of alleged Coalition airstrikes April 17/18th (via Euphrates Post)
  • An update from UCAbilAraby: "The coalition strikes against Da'ash in Syria last Sunday resulted in the destruction of 25 targets of IS near the Al-Raqqa, Deir Al-Zour, and ABu Kamal" (via @USEmbassySyria) [Tweet posted April 18th]
  • A video still of a child civilian wounded by alleged Coalition strikes in Abu Kamal April 17/18th (via Shariqa Voice Facebook) [Original video no longer available]
  • A video still of a child civilian wounded by alleged Coalition strikes in Abu Kamal April 17/18th (via Shariqa Voice Facebook) [Original video no longer available]
  • A video still of a child civilian wounded by alleged Coalition strikes in Abu Kamal April 17/18th (via Shariqa Voice Facebook) [Original video no longer available]
  • A video still of a child civilian wounded by alleged Coalition strikes in Abu Kamal April 17/18th (via Shariqa Voice Facebook) [Original video no longer available]
  • A video still of a child civilian wounded by alleged Coalition strikes in Abu Kamal April 17/18th (via Shariqa Voice Facebook) [Original video no longer available]
  • Extensive material destruction in Abu Kamal, the impact of alleged Coalition airstrikes April 17/18th (via Sharqiya Voice)
  • The house of Khalil al Hamdan, reportedly targeted by the Coalition. According to the source it was occupied by IS and converted to a weapons store. The photo was taken before suspected strikes. (via Sharqiya Voice)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the city of Abu Kamal (also known as Al Bukamal, البوكمال) in Deir Ezzor governorate. The coordinates for Abu Kamal are: 34,466049, 40,907593. The Al Masriya (دوار المصرية) roundabout at the end of Al Maari street (نهاية شارع المعري) is mentioned. The coordinates for the Egyptian roundabout are: 34.442177, 40.923112. Prior to the Coalition releasing the MGRS for this incident, Airwars had geolocated it to the nearest city at 34.466049, 40.907593

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Credible / Substantiated
    The investigation assessed that although all feasible precautions were taken and the decision to strike complied with the law of armed conflict, unintended civilian casualties regrettably occurred.
  • Given reason for civilian harm
    Killed by secondary explosion(s), No reason given
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    25
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    40
  • Stated location
    near Abu Kamal, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SFU765129
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jul 7, 2017
  • April 17, 2017, near Abu Kamal, Syria, via social media report: During a strike on an ISIS headquarters building, it was assessed that 25 civilians were unintentionally killed and 40 were injured in adjacent structures by secondary explosions from the target building.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For April 16th-17th, the Coalition reported: “Near Abu Kamal, two strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed an ISIS vehicle.”

For April 17th-18th, the Coaltion reported: ” Near Dayr Az Zawr, four strikes destroyed four ISIS well heads, a command and control node and an ISIS vehicle.”

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    25 – 36
  • (14 children5 women1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    40
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (42) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS1012

Incident date

June 15–16, 2017

Location

جامع المنصوري, Al Mansouri mosque, Ar Raqqah, Syria

Geolocation

35.951933, 39.019327 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Nearby landmark level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Nearby landmark

Airwars assessment

A total of 25 civilians including one woman and 10 children died in SDF/Coalition shelling near the Al Mansouri mosque in Raqqa, according to local media. The US-led Coalition later conceded the event following an Amnesty field investigation.

Multiple reports said that a home near the mosque was hit with artillery or mortar shells or rocket attacks.

According to @24Raqqa “more than 10 mortar shells fell on the perimeter of Al-Mansouri Mosque and the old mosque in the center of the city of Al-Raqqa”.

Meanwhile, @raqqa_r_w_b reported that Dalal Ahmad Hussein al-Nayef died when a home next to the mosque was struck and Al Ragga Truth reported: “The martyrdom of Ahmed Al-Hussein Al-Nayef from injuries sustained several days ago by the bombardment in the vicinity of Al-Mansouri Mosque.”

In February 2019, the Coalition assessed this event to be non-credible. Their report noted: “After review of all available strike records it was determined that more likely than not civilian casualties did not occur as a result of a Coalition strike.”

Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently published graphic images showing casualties and destruction of Raqqa on June 16th, though the pictures were not necessarily specific to this incident.

According to a local source interviewed by Amnesty International’s field researchers, the first strike came at around 7.30pm near the Old Mosque on Sharia Jama al Qadeemeh.

In a later Amnesty/Airwars study of the incident, it was reported in the Amnesty and Airwars’s joint April 2019 report “War in Raqqa: Rhetoric versus Reality” report that, Ahmed, who lived in the centre of Raqqa, near the Old Mosque, told Amnesty International that on 15 June a public gathering of IS members prompted shelling which killed 25 civilians.

“There had been a problem between IS and local civilians. I was in the area buying fruit juices for Iftar. It was around 7.15 in the evening. I saw a heated situation develop and I stopped on the corner to see what was going on. People were gathered outside the Old Mosque where IS used to exchange money for Durham Da’ashi [IS currency]. Some people got into an argument with an IS guy about the exchange rate. The IS guy took out his pistol and hit a man on the head with it. A fight broke out and around 20 local civilians beat two IS guys to death.

Soon afterwards six or seven IS cars arrived on the scene full of armed IS guys. They ordered everyone to return home immediately. They closed down all the shops and blocked off the streets. I went home, just down Sharia Jama al Qademeeh.

The first strike came at around 7.30pm. When I heard the explosion I ran from my home with my wife and three children, one of whom is disabled. We ran to a neighbour’s house and hid in the cellar. There were 20 people from the neighbourhood in the cellar. He had prepared everything so there was food and water. We didn’t come out for two days.

All night they shelled, every 15 minutes, with mortars and artillery. You could tell from the sound. The street is 2km long. There were around 100 IS in the area and around 2,000 civilians. When the shelling began the IS got in their cars and escaped. They [the SDF/coalition] killed 25 people on Sharia Jama al Qadeemeh, including 10 children. I know because I met up with my neighbours and other people from the area at “aind al Democrati” [the SDF collection point for civilians beyond the frontline]. We all talked and everyone knew someone who had been killed that night.

One of the strikes hit my house and destroyed it. It was an Arab house of three storeys in Jama al Qadeemeh. It also destroyed the adjoining house. The family living there was killed. Three brothers, Jihad aged 20-23, Ahmed aged 18 and Mahmoud, aged 15 or 16. Jihad’s wife Beytool was also killed. She was 19 or 20 and had been 2 months pregnant. Another person killed was Abu Maher, a local motorcycle mechanic.

When we came out of the cellar we arranged to leave the area. I paid the smugglers 400USD to get me and my family out of Raqqa. We crossed the river and then crossed back again at Sahel where the SDF was positioned”.

The incident occured at approximately 7:30 pm local time.

The victims were named as:

Family members (2)

  • Jihad 20-13 years old male killed
  • Beytool 19 years old female pregnant Wife of Jihad killed
  • Dalal Ahmad Hussein al-Nayef Adult male killed
  • Obeida Mohammed Aldagl Age unknown male killed
  • Amina El-Hajj Taha Age unknown female killed
  • Ahmed 18 years old male killed
  • Mahmoud 16 years old male killed
  • Abu Maher Age unknown male killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    25
  • (1–10 children2 women5 men)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS

Sources (20) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (12) [ collapse]

  • Image showing destruction in Raqqa due to shelling on 16th, but not necessarily specific to this incident (via RBSS)
  • Image showing destruction in Raqqa due to shelling on 16th, but not necessarily specific to this incident (via RBSS)
  • Image showing destruction in Raqqa due to shelling on 16th, but not necessarily specific to this incident (via RBSS)
  • Image showing destruction in Raqqa due to shelling on 16th, but not necessarily specific to this incident (via RBSS)
  • Image showing destruction in Raqqa due to shelling on 16th, but not necessarily specific to this incident (via RBSS)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Photo showing victim killed by alleged Coalition shelling on Raqqa June 16th 2017. The picture is however not necessarily related to this specific event (via RBSS)
  • Photo showing injured child by alleged Coalition shelling on Raqqa June 16th 2017. The picture is however not necessarily related to this specific event (via RBSS)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Photo showing victim killed by alleged Coalition shelling on Raqqa June 16th 2017. The picture is however not necessarily related to this specific event (via RBSS)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Photo showing victim killed by alleged Coalition shelling on Raqqa June 16th 2017. The picture is however not necessarily related to this specific event (via RBSS)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Photo showing victim killed by alleged Coalition shelling on Raqqa June 16th 2017. The picture is however not necessarily related to this specific event (via RBSS)
  • Photo showing victim killed by alleged Coalition shelling on Raqqa June 16th 2017. The picture is however not necessarily related to this specific event (via RBSS)
  • Ahmed Hussein Al-Nayef was reportedly killed by the contested shelling on al-Mansouri Mosque, Raqqa (via RBSS)

Geolocation notes (2) [ collapse]

  • Location of the destroyed building seen before the strike on June 2, 2017 (via Amnesty International)

  • Location of the destroyed building seen after the strike on June 9, 2017 (via Amnesty International)

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Credible / Substantiated
    The investigation assessed that although all feasible precautions were taken and the decision to strike complied with the law of armed conflict, unintended civilian casualties regrettably occurred.
  • Given reason for civilian harm
    Killed by strike blast
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    25
  • Stated location
    near al-Mansouri Mosque, Raqqah, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SEV015782
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Feb 28, 2019
  • 5. June 15, 2017, near Raqqa, Syria, via Amnesty International. Coalition aircraft engaged ISIS fighters, a sniper position, and multiple defensive fighting positions. Unfortunately, 25 civilians were killed due to their proximity to the targets.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For June 15th-16th the Coalition reported: “Near Raqqah, 20 strikes engaged 14 ISIS tactical units and a sniper and destroyed nine fighting positions, four vehicles, three mortar systems, two supply caches, two ISIS headquarters, a heavy machine gun, and a home-made explosives factory.” It also additionally reported that “On June 15, near Raqqah, Syria, six strikes destroyed eight fighting positions, an ISIS headquarters, and a tunnel, and suppressed two snipers.” And that “On June 15, near Raqqah, Syria, one strike destroyed six fighting positions, five ISIS staging areas, two command and control nodes, an ISIS headquarters, and a supply cache, and damaged 10 fighting positions and two VBIED facilities.”

For June 16th-17th the Coalition reported: “Near Raqqah, 25 strikes engaged 21 ISIS tactical units and destroyed 34 fighting positions, three tunnels, three mortar systems, two vehicles and a VBIED facility.” It was additionally reported that “On June 16, near Raqqah, Syria, eight strikes engaged four ISIS tactical units; destroyed four fighting positions, two ISIS headquarters, two VBIED facilities, and two VBIEDs; and suppressed a sniper team.”

France
  • English
    /
    Original

For June 14th-20th, 19 strikes were made by French aircraft in Iraq and Syria. Most of them were carried out during the Battle of Mosul, in support of the Iraqi fighters engaged in the fighting to drive ISIL out of its positions in the North of the Medina. The other strikes were carried out in support of the fighting for the capture of Raqqah, and against flows of arms and fighters in Iraq and Syria.

Cette semaine, les aéronefs de l’opération Chammal ont réalisé 34 sorties aériennes dont 31 de reconnaissance armée ou d’appui au sol (CAS) et 3 de recueil de renseignements. 19 frappes ont été réalisées par les avions français en Irak et en Syrie. La majeure partie d’entre elle ont été réalisées dans le cadre de la bataille de Mossoul, en appui des combattants irakiens engagés dans les combats pour chasser Daech de ses positions au Nord de la Médina. Les autres frappes ont été réalisées en appui des combats pour la prise de Raqqah, et contre des flux d’armes et de combattants en Irak et en Syrie.

United Kingdom
  • English
    /
    Original

Friday 16 June – Typhoons bombed two Daesh positions in Raqqa, while Tornados and Typhoons attacked five positions in Mosul…Typhoons were again in action over Raqqa on Friday 16 June, when they bombed two further Daesh positions. Typhoons and Tornados, flying as mixed pairs, employed one Brimstone missile and four Paveway IVs to eliminate two machine-gun teams and three other Daesh strongpoints.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    25
  • (1–10 children2 women5 men)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS

Sources (20) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS273

Incident date

July 19, 2016

Location

التوخار كبير, Tokhar Kabir, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.63981, 37.98093 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Within 100m (via Coalition) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Within 100m (via Coalition)

Airwars assessment

In what may have been the single greatest loss of life from a Coalition action in the first two years of its war against Daesh, between 78 and 203 civilians were reported killed in a catastrophic event at the village of Tokhar – the scene of a number of other recent civilian fatalities from alleged Coalition strikes.

The Coalition later admitted that “up to 24 civilians who had been interspersed with combatants were inadvertently killed.”

Local group Manbij Mother of All The World was the first to report the event, initially noting 25 or more fatalities. The group quickly raised the death toll to 56 then 59 civilians, eventually reporting that as many as 203 non-combatants had died. Most others placed the fatality range in the low 100s. Manbij Direct noted shortly after the strike, for example, that “so far there have been 94 martyrs identified, but there are still entire families under the rubble.” So-called Islamic State also issued a tweet mid-morning suggesting that 160 civilians had died. At least 73 decreased civilians have so far been named, including 11 or more children.

There was some confusion about the site of the event. While Manbij Mother of All Worlds said five homes were struck on the outskirts of town, most other sources said a former school being used by displaced civilians was hit.

According to Syria Direct, “The airstrike, at 3:00am Tuesday morning, destroyed a school in a-Tokhar.” The news site quoted local citizen journalist Abu Omar al-Manbiji as saying: “That school housed displaced people from neighboring villages. So far we count 124 dead from the attack, and that number could very well increase.” Others placed the event nearer 5am.

The Coalition told reporters it was aware of the Tokhar allegations and had launched a preliminary investigation.

The US’s proxies said they had supplied the intelligence for the strike, with the SDF noting in a statement that “a large group of Daesh militants was moving in the vicinity of the village and within Altokhar, with their vehicles and military equipment… We had received information that the village is free from civilians.”

The SDF also claimed local groups were fabricating civilian casualty claims, in order to aid ISIL and discredit Kurdish forces.

In contrast, the US’s other proxy the Free Syrian Army condemned “the horrific massacres committed – and which are still being committed – by the international coalition aircraft against unarmed civilians in the city and countryside of Manbej.”

The Assad regime-controlled SANA instead claimed French aircraft were reponsible for the deaths: “French warplanes working as part of the so-called ‘international coalition’ led by the United States over the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic committed an illegal and bloody massacre (which is an affront to humanity) near the Syrian-Turkish border. They targeted with a violent aerial bombardment the village of Greater Tokhar, a peaceful village located in the northern outskirts of the city Manbej – exterminating entire families and flattening homes in an inhumane manner.”

In a case study issued in October 2016, it was noted that “Satellite imagery from 21 July 2016 analysed by Amnesty International indicates nine locations in which houses were severely damaged or destroyed – although given other fighting and air strikes in the area they cannot be conclusively linked with the same air strikes.” The international NGO added that “The attacks appear to have been conducted without adequate precautions taken to safeguard civilians and may have amounted to indiscriminate or disproportionate attacks.”

And following its own lengthy investigation, the Syrian Network noted: “SNHR documented the killing of 98 civilians, including 59 children and 27 women, in a bombing by fixed-wing international coalition forces warplanes on Al Toukhar village.”

On December 1st the Coalition issued a lengthy statement in which it conceded it had killed civilians – though far below public estimates: “During a strike that killed nearly 100 ISIL fighters, and destroyed 13 fighting positions, seven ISIL vehicles, two VBIEDs, a tactical vehicle, and a mortar system, it is assessed that up to 24 civilians who had been interspersed with combatants were inadvertently killed in a known ISIL staging area where no civilians had been seen in the 24 hours prior to the attack. Reports indicated that approximately 100 ISIL fighters were preparing for a large counterattack against partnered Syrian Arab Coalition/Syrian Democratic Forces and, unknown to Coalition planners, civilians were moving around within the military staging area, even as other civilians in the nearby village had departed over the previous days”

In July 2019 the Coalition provided Airwars with the location of this incident, accurate to within a 100 metre box.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (2)

  • Khaled Al Nasser Age unknown male killed
  • Nasim Al Nasser Age unknown male killed

Family members (7)

  • Mahmoud Abdurrahman Age unknown male killed
  • Samiya Al Shaikh Mousa, Adult female Wife of Mahmoud Abdurrahman killed
  • Nisreen Mahmoud Abdurrahman Adult female killed
  • Batoul Mahmoud Abdurrahman Child female killed
  • Eman Mahmoud Abdurrahman Child female killed
  • Maher Mahmoud Abdurrahman Child male killed
  • Enas Mahmoud Abdurrahman Child female killed

Family members (8)

  • Bakkar Al Ramadan Age unknown male killed
  • Ramadan Bakkar Al Ramadan Child male killed
  • Mohammad Bakkar Al Ramadan Child male killed
  • Mahmoud Bakkar Al Ramadan Child male killed
  • Ibrahim Bakkar Al Ramadan Child male killed
  • Raghad Bakkar Al Ramadan Child female killed
  • Duha Bakkar Al Ramadan Child female killed
  • Khalaf Bakkar Al Ramadan Child male killed

Family members (8)

  • Hasan Ibrahim Al Ousi Age unknown male killed
  • Zreifa Al Ousi Adult female Wife of Hasan Ibrahim Al Ousi killed
  • Abdou Hasan Al Ousi Child male killed
  • Mohammad Hassan Al Ousi Child male killed
  • Mahmoud Hasan Al Ousi Child male killed
  • Na’iema Hasan Al Ousi Child female killed
  • Eman Hasan Al Ousi Child female killed
  • Zahra Hasan Al Ousi Child female killed

Family members (17)

  • AbdulMalek Rajab Qaso Age unknown male killed
  • Gharam AbdulMalek Qaso Child female killed
  • Fa’eda AbdulMalek Qaso Child female killed
  • Nagham AbdulMalek Qaso Child female killed
  • Mohammad AbdulMalek Qaso Child male killed
  • Qusai Rajab Qaso Age unknown male killed
  • Houriya Mohammad Rajab Qaso Age unknown female killed
  • Rihana Adult female Wife of Loai Rajab Qaso killed
  • Qusai Loai Rajab Qaso Child male killed
  • Ghosoun Loai Rajab Qaso Child male killed
  • Hayat Mowelid Qaso Al Saghir Adult female killed
  • Odoula Mowelid Qaso Al Saghir Adult female killed
  • Yaser Mowelid Qaso Al Saghir Child male killed
  • Dahiya Mowelid Qaso Al Saghir Adult female killed
  • Mohammad Rajab Mowelid Qaso Child male killed
  • Mais Adult female Wife of Mohammad Mowelid Qaso killed
  • Yaser Mohammad Mowelid Qaso Age unknown male killed

Family members (14)

  • Sanaa Mowelid Al Kabir Adult female killed
  • Fatouma Mowelid Al Kabir Adult female killed
  • Ahmad Mowelid Al Kabir Age unknown male killed
  • Wife of Ahmad Mowelid Al Kabir Adult female killed
  • Son of Ahmad Mowelid Al Kabir Child male killed
  • Daughter of Ahmad Mowelid Al Kabir Child female killed
  • Daughter of Mohammad Moweld Al Kabir Child female killed
  • Daughter of Mohammad Mowelid Al Kabir Child female killed
  • Daughter of Mohammad Mowelid Al Kabir Child female killed
  • Hayat Muhajeri Adult female Wife of Qasim Mowelid killed
  • Mohammad Mowelid Qasim Al Kabir Child male killed
  • Doaa Qasem Mowelid Al Kabir Child female killed
  • Son of Qasom Mowelid Al Kabir Child male killed
  • Ghofran Qasim Mowelid Al Kabir Child female killed

Family members (17)

  • Abd Mawwas Al Abd Age unknown male killed
  • Sukaina Adult female Wife of Abd Mawwas Al Abd killed
  • Sham Abd Mawwas Al Abd Age unknown female killed
  • Mayyada Abd Mawwas Al Abd Child female killed
  • Fatouma Adult female Wife of Mawwas Al Abd killed
  • Second wife of Mawwas Al Abd Age unknown female killed
  • Child, son of Mawwas Al Abd Child male killed
  • Child, son of Mawwas Al Abd Child male killed
  • Child, son of Mawwas Al Abd Child male
  • Child, son of Mawwas Al Abd Child male killed
  • Child, son of Mawwas Al Abd Child male killed
  • Child, son of Mawwas Al Abd Child male killed
  • Child, son of Mawwas Al Abd Child male killed
  • Haloum Al Abd Adult female Sister of Mawwas Al Abd killed
  • Child, son of Halloum Al Abd Child male killed
  • Child, son of Halloum Al Abd Child male killed
  • Child, son of Halloum Al Abd Child male killed

Family members (8)

  • Mohammad Suliman Al Thaher Child male killed
  • Ammar Suliman Al Thaher Child male killed
  • Yaser Suliman Al Thaher Child male killed
  • Daughter of Suliman Al Thaher Child female killed
  • Walid Al Thaher Child male killed
  • Daughter of Suliman Al Thaher Child female killed
  • Rehab Al Thaher Child female killed
  • Daughter of Suliman Al Thaher Child female killed

Family members (3)

  • Amina Al Mawwas Age unknown female Wife of Hussein Al Saleh killed
  • Khaled Hussein Al Saleh Age unknown male killed
  • Aziza Mohammad Haj Saleh Child female killed

Family members (2)

  • Nadwa Age unknown female Wife of Jasim Al Bakkar killed
  • Ahd Jasim Al Bakkar Age unknown female killed

Family members (2)

  • Daughter of Mohammad Abu Ibeid Child female killed
  • Marwa Age unknown female Wife of Mohammad Abu Ibeid killed

Family members (2)

  • Hadi Kamel Hasan Al Sattou Child male killed
  • Amouna Adult female Wife of Kamel Hasan Al Sattou killed
  • Fatima Qaso Adult female killed
  • Fa’eda Adult female killed
  • Yasmin Adult female killed
  • Maha Adult female killed
  • Child, son of Saeed Al Ahmad Age unknown male

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    78 – 203
  • (25–71 children7–29 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    30
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (64) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Victims of an alleged Coalition strike near Manbij July 19th are buried in a mass grave (via Manbij Mother of All Worlds)

Geolocation notes

Prior to the Coalition releasing the MGRS for this incident, Airwars had geolocated it to the nearest village at 36.6398429, 37.9810023

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Credible / Substantiated
    The investigation assessed that although all feasible precautions were taken and the decision to strike complied with the law of armed conflict, unintended civilian casualties regrettably occurred.
  • Given reason for civilian harm
    Unseen at time of engagement
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    24
  • Stated location
    near Manbij, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SDA089554
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Dec 1, 2016
  • July 18, 2016, near Manbij, Syria: During a strike that killed nearly 100 ISIL fighters, and destroyed 13 fighting positions, seven ISIL vehicles, two VBIEDs, a tactical vehicle, and a mortar system, it is assessed that up to 24 civilians who had been interspersed with combatants were inadvertently killed in a known ISIL staging area where no civilians had been seen in the 24 hours prior to the attack. Reports indicated that approximately 100 ISIL fighters were preparing for a large counterattack against partnered Syrian Arab Coalition/Syrian Democratic Forces and, unknown to Coalition planners, civilians were moving around within the military staging area, even as other civilians in the nearby village had departed over the previous days.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For July 18th-19th 2016 the Coalition reported. “Near Manbij, 18 strikes struck 15 separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed 13 ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL heavy machine gun, an ISIL mortar system, seven ISIL vehicles, two ISIL vehicle borne improvised explosive devices, an ISIL staging area, and an ISIL tactical vehicle.”

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    78 – 203
  • (25–71 children7–29 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    30
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (64) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS734

Incident date

April 26, 2017

Location

الثورة‎, Tabaqah, al Zouikat, Ar Raqqah, Syria

Geolocation

35.81925, 38.53727 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Within 100m (via Coalition) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Within 100m (via Coalition)

Airwars assessment

Sixteen named civilians including eight children and five died in an alleged Coalition airstrike near the Al A’jrawi roundabout in Tabaqa, according to local media.

In January 2019, the Coalition accepted responsibility for the event, noting: “ Coalition aircraft engaged with what was positively identified as an ISIS defensive position on the balcony of a house, containing five ISIS combatants. Regrettably, unknown to Coalition observers, 16 civilians were inside the house, and were unintentionally killed when it collapsed as a result of the second strike.”

The Smart News Agency, reported that likely Coalition airstrikes killed seven civilians, including three children and a woman, and injured 12 others. It said that the strikes occurred “on the Zoueikat neighborhood and near the town’s roundabout.”

According to Mohab Naser, “Coalition planes committed a terrible massacre a few days ago in All Tabaqa after targeting a residential home with three families inside it north of aAl A’jrawi roundabout in the city, which led to the deaths of 16 martyrs most of them women and children. Their bodies are still under the rubble.”

The Syrian Network for Human Rights said that 15 members of the same family including eight children and five women were killed by “Coalition missiles”.

Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently named 16 victims.

In September 2017, Human Rights Watch published a field study of the event. It said the attack occurred at coordinates 35.820467, 38.537615 at 11pm-11:30pm on April 25th or 26th, and added the following:

“Local residents told Human Rights Watch that there was heavy fighting between SDF and ISIS on April 25 and 26 in the area around the al-‘Ajrawi roundabout located at the southern entry of Tabqa.They said that ISIS fighters were moving through the streets and using at least one house in the neighborhood to attack the advancing SDF forces. Around 11:30 p.m. on April 25 or 26, they said, an airstrike hit a residential house where the al-Jasem family was hiding. The al-Jasem house was located across the street from the house ISIS was using. The witnesses said they were hiding in their homes at the time of the strike so they were not able to say whether ISIS was present on top of or near the al-Jasem home. Human Rights Watch visited the site. The damage to the house is consistent with damage from an airstrike.

By the following morning, SDF were in control of the area. Local residents said that they collected the bodies of sixteen civilians, including nine children, from the targeted house several days after the attack. They provided Human Rights Watch with the names of the casualties and showed Human Rights Watch the place where they were buried.

In response to questions from Human Rights Watch, the CJTF press desk said that coalition forces conducted precision strikes in the vicinity of the location provided. On September 18 the press desk said that the CJTF was still assessing whether the strike resulted in civilian casualties.

The Coalition provided Airwars with the location of this incident, accurate to within a 100 metre box.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (14)

  • Mariam Ali Al Jassem 9 years old female killed
  • Khaled Ali Al Jassem 5 years old male killed
  • Qais Ali Al Jassem 16 years old killed
  • Loulou Ali Al Jassem 14 years old killed
  • Fawza Ali Al Jassem 38 years old female killed
  • Saja Mustapha al Jassem 11 years old female killed
  • Fadia Mustapha al Jassem 6 months years old female killed
  • Nour Mustapha Al Jassem 7 years old female killed
  • Mariam Mohammad al Jassem 44 years old female killed
  • Ali Mohammad al Jassem 47 years old male killed
  • Hala Ali al Jassem 9 years old female killed
  • Hussein Ali al Jassem 17 years old male killed
  • Fatima ahmad al Jassem 20 years old female killed
  • Fahima Ahmad al Jassem 44 years old female killed
  • Bushra al Milhem 39 years old killed
  • Mustapha al Jassem al Obeid 40 years old male killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    16
  • (8 children5 women2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    12
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • A residential house in Tabqa city that was hit by a coalition airstrike April 25 or 26, 2017, in an attack that killed 16 civilians, including nine children © 2017 Ole Solvang/Human Rights Watch
  • Graves of 16 civilians, including nine children, killed in a coalition airstrike on April 25 or 25, 2017, in Tabqa city. © 2017 Ole Solvang/Human Rights Watch

Geolocation notes

Prior to the Coalition releasing the MGRS for this incident, Airwars had geolocated it to the nearest town at 35.8295049, 38.5360909

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Credible / Substantiated
    The investigation assessed that although all feasible precautions were taken and the decision to strike complied with the law of armed conflict, unintended civilian casualties regrettably occurred.
  • Given reason for civilian harm
    Killed by secondary explosion(s)
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    16
  • Stated location
    near al-Ajrawi roundabout, Tabqah, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SDV582640
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jan 31, 2019
  • Apr. 26, 2017, near al-Ajrawi roundabout, Tabqah, Syria, via Airwars report. Coalition aircraft engaged with what was positively identified as an ISIS defensive position on the balcony of a house, containing five ISIS combatants. Regrettably, unknown to Coalition observers, 16 civilians were inside the house, and were unintentionally killed when it collapsed as a result of the second strike.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For April 25th-26th, the Coalition reported: “Near Tabqah, six strikes engaged four ISIS tactical units; and destroyed four fighting positions and a fuel truck.”

For April 26th-27th, the Coalition reported: “Near Tabqah, four strikes engaged four ISIS tactical units and destroyed three fighting positions”.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    16
  • (8 children5 women2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    12
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS863

Incident date

May 25, 2017

Location

ميادين, Al Mayadin, Deir Ezzor, Deir ez-Zor, Syria

Geolocation

35.01979, 40.45123 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Within 100m (via Coalition) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Within 100m (via Coalition)

Airwars assessment

Between 15 and 40 civilians including two to five children and one to three women died, and up to 15 more were injured, in airstrikes on multiple locations in Al Mayadeen. Local sources were initially conflicted as to whether this was the work of the Coalition, Iraqi warplanes or Russia.

However, in April 2018 the Coalition claimed responsibility for the event:  “It was assessed that during a strike on an ISIS media center and headquarters 15 civilians were unintentionally killed.”

In an interview with ITV News in summer 2019, British ISIS fighter Alexanda Kotey claimed that up to 40 people died when a single apartment block [presumably the al-Dahmoush building, see below] was bombed that day – including a notorious British ISIS supporter Sally Jones, known as the ‘White Widow’, and her 12-year-old son Jojo.

Many sources, including Euphrates Post, the Syrian Network for Human Rights and the Smart News Network, initially reported the death of four non-combatants on May 25th. Other sources, however, put the death toll higher, with the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reporting that up to 35 civilians died, including many family members of IS.

According to the Syrian Observatory, “Reliable sources confirmed to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that the strikes on the Dahmoush building have killed 26 other people at least, most of them are from the families of the organization’s members, others were injured and went missing due to these airstrikes. The Syrian Observatory learned that those who were killed, injured and missing belonged to 7 families of members of the ‘Islamic State’ organization”.

On May 30th Euphrates Post also reported “The death of the mother of Saddam, the wife of Hussein al-Hamad al-Arrouk, who was injured by the raids that targeted the city of Al-Mayadeen a few days ago. She joins her husband, her sons, her daughter and her grandson.”

The Observatory documented a number of strikes by Coalition jets: “At 7:25 pm two warplanes accompanied by two drones hovered in the sky of Al-Mayadin city, coinciding with citizens’ entry to the city’s mosques. Both warplanes carried out 4 strikes using 4 consecutive rockets, the first two rockets targeted the 4-storey al-Dahmoush building, which housed family members of the ‘Islamic State’ organization of Syrian and Moroccan nationalities. It was destroyed completely, and the raid killed a man and 2 women and a baby from Al-Mayadin. A second raid targeted the market of the city, which killed a woman, her 2 children and 2 other children. The number of Syrian people who were killed has become 9, including 5 children and 3 citizen women.”

Arabic.rt also put the death toll at 35 and blamed the Coalition.

However, Zamanalwsl pointed towards Iraqi warplanes.

Two other sources – Alaraby and @abojannarawi201 said that Russia was responsible.

According to Alaraby, Russian warplanes carried out three strikes, and “one of the raids targeted the market of the Office of the vicar in the city centre, and civilian homes resulted in the deaths and injuries.”

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights later reported: “The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights received information from reliable sources about the presence of Ryan Meshaal in al-Dahmoush building 3 hours before it was targeted by the International Coalition; at 7:25 in the evening of Thursday the 25th of May 2017, while the Syrian Observatory can’t confirm whether Ryan Meshaal [one of the founders of IS media agency A’amaq] is among those who were killed by the airstrikes that targeted the building and killed 26 persons of the organization’s families, also the airstrikes caused injuries and some people gone missing, where the Syrian Observatory learned that those who were killed, injured and lost belong to 7 families of the Islamic State organization’s members.”

The Coalition provided Airwars with the location of this incident, accurate to within a 100-metre box.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (2)

  • Mohammed Abdul-Wahab Al-Aziz Adult male killed
  • Wife of Martyr Mohammed Abdul Aziz Adult female killed

Family members (2)

  • Wife of Muhannad Rahbi Adult female killed
  • Mohamad Muhanad Waka’ al Rahbi Child male Baby son of Muhannad Rahbi killed
  • the mother of Saddam Adult female wife of Hussein al-Hamad al-Arrouk killed
  • Jojo Jones 12 years old male Son of Sally Jones, aka the 'White Widow' killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    15 – 40
  • (2–5 children2–3 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    10–15
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (37) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • The child Mohamad Muhanad Waka’ al Rahbi alleged killed with his mother in shelling by the Coalition forces on al Mayadeen city in Deir Ez-Zour, May 25, 2017 (via SN4HR May 25th 2017).
  • The child Mohammad Muhannad al Rahbi who was killed with his mother in shelling by the Coalition forces on al Mayadeen city in Deir Ez-Zour, May 25, 2017 (via Euphrates post on November 26th 2018).

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

  • 37SFU324762

    Imagery:
    © 2018 Google

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Credible / Substantiated
    The investigation assessed that although all feasible precautions were taken and the decision to strike complied with the law of armed conflict, unintended civilian casualties regrettably occurred.
  • Given reason for civilian harm
    No reason given
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    15
  • Stated location
    near Al Mayadin, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SFU324762
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Apr 26, 2018
  • May 25, 2017 near Al Mayadin, Syria via Airwars report. It was assessed that during a strike on an ISIS media center and headquarters 15 civilians were unintentionally killed.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For May 24th-25th, the Coalition reported: “Near Dayr Az Zawr, one strike destroyed an ISIS barge.“
For May 25th-26th, the Coalition reported: "Near Dayr Az Zawr, five strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit; destroyed seven ISIS oil trucks, four ISIS barges, an ISIS well head, a command and control node, and an ISIS headquarters."

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    15 – 40
  • (2–5 children2–3 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    10–15
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (37) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS285

Incident date

July 28, 2016

Location

الغندورة, Al Ghandoura, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.67554, 37.75664 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Within 100m (via Coalition) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Within 100m (via Coalition)

Airwars assessment

At least 22 civilians were killed in a Coalition airstrike on the village of al Ghandourra. According to Syria Newsdesk, the noon strikes hit the main market and the elementary school in the town, which was occupied by so-called ISIL.

The US later admitted to inadvertently killing 15 civilians in the incident, claiming that “the munition struck the vehicle after it slowed in a populated area after the munition was released.”

Extremely graphic footage later released by ISIL’s media wing showed much of the market destroyed, with significant civilian casualties. One unnamed eyewitness states: “Today the crusader coalition planes bombed this market, a market full of civilians, so that pieces of bodies were flying around, men, women and children. There are bodies that have turned to charcoal that can’t be identified, and others are in pieces that their families can’t identify them. Is this place a place of the mujahedin? We ask God almighty to destroy America and all those who support it, we ask God to destroy the coalition and all its allies and all those who are fighting Muslims, all those who are aggressing against Muslims. Where are you Muslim ummah where are you?”

According to the Syrian Observatory, 28 civilians “were killed when warplanes of the international coalition committed a massacre in the town of al-Ghandour in the northwestern countryside of Manbij city east of Aleppo province. The town is more than 23 kilometres away from Manbij city, and the death toll is expected to rise because there are some people in a critical situation. Also, SOHR received information that 13 other people were killed in the same bombing, but they were not identified yet, and it is unknown whether they were civilian citizens or members from the ‘Islamic State’.“

The Pentagon announced later that day it was conducting an investigation into al Ghandourra: “U.S. Central Command initiated an assessment following internal operational reporting that a strike today near Manbij, Syria may have resulted in civilian casualties. We can confirm the Coalition conducted airstrikes in the area in the last 24 hours.” A senior US military official told Airwars that the Coalition’s internal monitoring had already raised concerns relating to the al Ghandourra strike – and that the decision to proceed almost immediately to an investigation represented a more pro-active approach to civilian casualty allegations.

An Amnesty case study published in October 2016 used satellite and photograph analysis to determine the likelihood of civilians having been killed: “The strikes reportedly hit the public market, as shown in a video clip which Amnesty International was able to geolocate in al-Ghandoura’s central main street and other images of the immediate aftermath of the attack in which dead bodies and significant destruction is clearly visible. One child victim shown in several on-line images of the attack’s aftermath is also clearly visible at the start of the video clip. Amnesty International was unable to find any of the images on-line before the date of the incident,” the NGO noted. “Amnesty International is concerned that the loss of civilian life in the strike resulted from a failure by the Coalition forces to take necessary precautions and the attack may have been disproportionate or otherwise indiscriminate.”

The Coalition conceded that it had killed 15 civilians in a statement issued on December 1st 2016: “Near Arghanndorh, Syria: During a strike on a moving ISIL vehicle, 15 civilians were inadvertently killed when the munition struck the vehicle after it slowed in a populated area after the munition was released.”

The Syrian Network eventually concluded that 22 civilians had died in the attack. It quoted local eyewitness Mr. Safi Al Sayed: “I saw two warplanes for the international coalition forces soaring in the sky. They were supporting the Kurdish forces in their clashes with ISIS near our town. The warplanes fired a missile that targeted shops near the town mosque. In just moments, the shops were reduced to ruins and everyone was inside were turned into burned dead bodies. I smelled the burned dead bodies. It was a tough thing to see.”

In July 2019 the Coalition provided Airwars with the location of this incident, accurate to within a 100 metre box.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (2)

Family members (3)

Family members (5)

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    22 – 41
  • (3–10 children1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    25–40
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (32) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (20) [ collapse]

  • An apparent image of the July 28th strike on al Ghandoura (via Tokhar )
  • Amnesty satellite analysis of a Coalition airstrike at al Ghandour in July 2016, which likely killed 28 or more civilians
  • An apparent image of the July 28th strike on al Ghandoura (via Tokhar )
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    One of the victims in the airstrike in Al Ghandoura (via Lens young manbij).
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    One of the victims in the airstrike in Al Ghandoura (via Lens young manbij).
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    One of the victims in the airstrike in Al Ghandoura (via Lens young manbij).
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    One of the victims in the airstrike in Al Ghandoura (via Lens young manbij).
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    One of the victims in the airstrike in Al Ghandoura (via Lens young manbij).
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    One of the victims in the airstrike in Al Ghandoura (via Lens young manbij).
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    One of the victims in the airstrike in Al Ghandoura (via Lens young manbij).
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    One of the victims in the airstrike in Al Ghandoura (via Lens young manbij).
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    One of the victims in the airstrike in Al Ghandoura (via Lens young manbij).
  • Photos showing the signs of destruction in al Ghandoura (via Al Tokhar al Kabir).
  • Photos showing the signs of destruction in al Ghandoura (via Al Tokhar al Kabir).
  • Photos showing the signs of destruction in al Ghandoura (via Al Tokhar al Kabir).
  • Photos showing the signs of destruction in al Ghandoura (via Al Tokhar al Kabir).
  • Photos showing the signs of destruction in al Ghandoura (via Al Tokhar al Kabir).
  • Photos showing the signs of destruction in al Ghandoura (via Al Tokhar al Kabir).
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Some of the victims killed in the air strike (via SNHR)

Geolocation notes

Prior to the Coalition releasing the MGRS for this incident, Airwars had geolocated it to the nearest village at 36.677467, 37.7545406

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Credible / Substantiated
    The investigation assessed that although all feasible precautions were taken and the decision to strike complied with the law of armed conflict, unintended civilian casualties regrettably occurred.
  • Given reason for civilian harm
    Entered target area just prior to or after munition released
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    15
  • Stated location
    near Arghanndorh, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SCA889596
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Dec 1, 2016
  • July 28, 2016, near Arghanndorh, Syria: During a strike on a moving ISIL vehicle, 15 civilians were inadvertently killed when the munition struck the vehicle after it slowed in a populated area after the munition was released.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For July 28th-29th the Coalition stated: “Near Manbij, 19 strikes struck 19 separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed 17 ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL heavy machine gun, and two ISIL vehicles.”

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    22 – 41
  • (3–10 children1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    25–40
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (32) [ collapse]