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
Civilian Harm Status
Belligerent Assessment
Declassified Documents

Incident Code

CS1981

Incident date

June 9, 2022

Location

العطالة, Al-Atta, Hassakah, Syria

Airwars assessment

At least one man was killed during an airdrop operation carried out by the Syrian Democratic Forces and alleged US-led Coalition in the village of Al-Atta in the countryside of Al-Shaddadi city at dawn on June 9, 2022. Sources were conflicted as to whether the man killed was a civilian or a member of ISIS.

Al Khabour reported that one person was killed during an airdrop operation by the international coalition backed by helicopters at dawn on June 9th. Coalition forces carried out the operation at the house of “Hamed Al-Nasser” in the village of Al-Atta, storming his house after imposing a curfew on the people through loudspeakers and asking them not to leave their houses.

According to Al-Khabour Network correspondent, Al-Nasser worked in an agricultural pharmacy and was the imam of a mosque in the area, adding that “he was arrested for a year and a half by the militias of the Democratic Union Party “PYD” and released earlier.” @asdaslm9 added that Al-Nasser was from the Baggara tribe.

Euphrates Post identified the operation as being carried out by both the Syrian Democratic Forces and the Coalition, adding that Al-Nasser was killed for resisting arrest during the operation. However, Al Mahjar reported that the “young man” was killed after the attacking forces arrested him.

According to @alhariri58, Hamed Al-Nasser’s house was a “civilian house” while @jamlyyyyy_ referred to Al-Nasser as being a “leader of the ISIS organization.” Other sources that reported on the incident were also conflicted as to whether the man killed was a civilian or a militant, with Athar press referring to him as a “civilian who had never participated in any armed action”.

All of the sources reported that the operation was carried out by the Coalition, the SDF, or both, with Syrian Observatory for Human Rights adding that “Al-Atta village is not far from the American base in the city of Al-Shaddadi”, with Athar Press pointing out that it was “remarkable” that the “American forces” would use the airdrop method for a raid so close to their base.

The SDF released a statement that “Special united of the Syrian Democratic Forces carried out a security operation with the support of the International Coalition forces in the southern countryside of Hasaka. The operation targeted a wanted ISIS leader in the village of Al-Atta in Al-Shaddadi countryside, south of Al-Hasakah. He was active in transferring and distributing funds to the organization’s cells and their families, in addition to promoting the organization’s ideological messages, and participating in planning operations targeting service, military and security institutions. The forces executing the raid pursued the desired target after he fled his house, and appealed to him to surrender, but he opened fire, which prompted our forces and the international coalition to deal, and after the shooting stopped and the place was combed, it was found that he had died due to his injury. The weapon that was in the target’s possession was confiscated, the place was thoroughly searched, and other documents belonging to him were found.”

The incident occured around dawn.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (0–1 men)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Small arms and light weapons
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Known attacker
    Syrian Democratic Forces
  • Suspected target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–1

Sources (25) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Man killed during alleged Coalition airdrop operation in Al-Atta village on June 9, 2022. (Image posted by Al Khabour)

US-led Coalition Assessment:

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

Syrian Democratic Forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    Syrian Democratic Forces
  • Syrian Democratic Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

Syrian Democratic Forces

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Special units of the Syrian Democratic Forces carried out a security operation with the support of the International Coalition forces in the southern countryside of Hasaka.
The operation targeted a wanted ISIS leader in the village of Al-Atta in Al-Shaddadi countryside, south of Al-Hasakah. He was active in transferring and distributing funds to the organization’s cells and their families, in addition to promoting the organization’s ideological messages, and participating in planning operations targeting service, military and security institutions.
The forces executing the raid pursued the desired target after he fled his house, and appealed to him to surrender, but he opened fire, which prompted our forces and the international coalition to deal, and after the shooting stopped and the place was combed, it was found that he had died due to his injury.
The weapon that was in the target's possession was confiscated, the place was thoroughly searched, and other documents belonging to him were found.
Our special units concerned with combating terrorism continue with our security forces, in partnership with the international coalition, their activities in combating terrorism and the cells of the terrorist organization ISIS, in order to maintain the security of the region and stabilize the stability that terrorist cells and their supporters seek to undermine.


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Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (0–1 men)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Small arms and light weapons
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Known attacker
    Syrian Democratic Forces
  • Suspected target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–1

Sources (25) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS1980

Incident date

March 28, 2022

Location

ذيبان, Thiban, Deir Ezzor, Syria

Airwars assessment

At least one man was killed and another was arrested during a joint airdrop operation carried out by the Syrian Democratic Forces and the Coalition on March 28, 2022. Sources were conflicted as to whether the man killed was a militant or a civilian.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), backed by the Coalition forces and helicopters carried out a raid at a house of a suspected ISIS member in Al-Litwah neighbourhood in Thiban city. After refusing to surrender, the man was killed and his house was blown up. Al Khabour identified the name of the man to be 35 year old Abdul Salem Al-Abo.

According to Euphrates Post, the SDF asked the man to surrender over loudspeakers after they had surrounded him and he was hit by helicopter fire after he tried to flee, which resulted in his death. The source also pinpointed his house as being near the al-Rudaini Mosque and added that his house was blown up with explosive devices by the SDF after his family was evacuated.

Local media @YusufAd76532779 tweeted that Abdul Salem Al-Abo’s father was arrested during the operation and that Abdul “returned from Turkey about five months ago and settled in the town of “Theban” and smuggled oil from the areas controlled by the PKK/PYD militia to the areas controlled by the Assad militia west of the Euphrates River (Shamiya)”.

Tweets from @NourYoussef111 and @WestAsia21, in addition to reporting from regime-controlled Syrian Arab News Agency, referred to a civilian being killed during the operation but it is unclear if they are referring to Abdul.

All of the sources that reported on the incident referred to the operation as being a joint operation between the SDF and the Coalition, with Euphrates Post specifying that the operation was carried out by a helicopter belonging to the International Coalition forces accompanied by a drone and a ground force from the SDF on the ground.

The incident occured at 01:00:00 local time.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (0–1 men)
  • Causes of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions, Small arms and light weapons
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–1

Sources (26) [ collapse]

US-led Coalition Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (0–1 men)
  • Causes of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions, Small arms and light weapons
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–1

Sources (26) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS1979

Incident date

February 22, 2022

Location

الدحلة, Al Dahla, Deir Ezzor, Syria

Airwars assessment

One civilian, named in local sources as Ibrahim Khalif Ali Al-Ammar, aged 52, was reportedly killed during a Syrian Democratic Forces and US-led Coalition raid on the village of Al-Dahla, in the countryside of Deir Ezzor, at dawn on February 22nd 2022. According to local sources, he was shot at dawn when his house was raided.

The US-led Coalition was reportedly providing “aircraft” support. SANA reported that they carried out an airdrop operation.

Euphrates reported that Mr. Al-Ammar worked in the fertilizer and grain trade.

@DeirEzzorNow tweeted that “the raid took place without helicopters, as forces from HAT and the coalition raided the house of Ibrahim Al-Khalif Al-Ammar, and the goal is to arrest his brother Hassan, who was said to be an arms dealer, as they live in two adjacent houses in one yard.” They reported that his brother was arrested during the operation.

Another local source tweeted that the town was raided at night, “with a patrol of twelve cars.” Ath Press added that the raid was carried out by members of the “Miliary Council in Deir Ezzor”, led by Ahmwd Al-Khabeel… came with the aim of putting pressure on Al-Ammar and his brother with the aim of blackmailing them and forcing them to pay the money as a kind of royalty, and after he refused several times the raid took place.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights did not mention the detail about Mr. Al-Ammar’s brother and instead said that he was trying to be arrested during the raid, and that because he refused to surrender, he was arrested and shot dead.

Shaam reported that “activists in the Furat Post network said that SDF members shot Ibrahim Khalif Ali Al-Ammar, after he tried to prevent them from entering his house because of the presence of women and children.”

The incident occured around dawn.

  • Ibrahim Khalif Ali Al-Ammar 52 years old male killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (21) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Ibrahim Khalif Al-Ali Al-Ammar, reportedly killed by a SDF and US-led Coalition raid in Al-Dahla on February 22nd 2022 (Image via @nahermedia / Twitter)

US-led Coalition Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (21) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS1978

Incident date

February 8, 2022

Location

البصيرة, Bisira, Deir Ezzor, Syria

Airwars assessment

At least one civilian, a child, was killed and his father was injured in an alleged airdrop operation by the Coalition and the SDF in the city of Bisira on February 8, 2022.

A tweet from @DeirEzzorNow reported that the International Coalition and HAT forces carried out a landing operation in the city of Bisira that resulted in the killing of the child “Nashwan Al-Jamil” (15) (Qasqas), the wounding of his father, Hassoun Al-Jamil, and the arrest of (3) people. Hassoun was identified as being a “dignitary of the Al-Bukair clan”. Euphrates Post added that Hassoun was had to have his leg amputated.

@DeirEzzorNow also provided the names of the men that were arrested: Hasan Al Jamil, Tariq Al Jamil, Bashir Ghadhban.

The correspondent for Euphrates Post reported that  “SDF” members surrounded the house of Hassoun al-Jamil, a dignitary of the al-Bakeir clan in Deir ez-Zor countryside, and started shooting at his house on the pretext of the house owner’s resistance to them, knowing that “Hassoun” is a civilian and does not belong to any political or military party.”

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights identified the child that was killed as being the brother of the wanted person, and that their father exchanged gunfire with the SDF and Coalition. North Press Agency referred to two people as being killed, a child and a local sheikh.

Deir Ezzor 24 provided context that Coalition and SDF forces were trying to capture ISIS members who were involved with Iranian networks specializing in weapons smuggling. The civilian casualties resulted from ISIS members using civilians as human shields and the operation was stopped right after the civilian victims were engaged.

The incident occured in the morning.

The victims were named as:

Family members (2)

  • Nashwan Al-Jamil 15 years old male killed
  • Hassoun Al-Jamil male killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 2
  • (1 child1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Causes of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions, Small arms and light weapons
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS

Sources (21) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • ISIS members arrested by SDF in an operation on February 8, 2022. (Image posted by North Press Agency)

US-led Coalition Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 2
  • (1 child1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Causes of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions, Small arms and light weapons
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS

Sources (21) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS1977

Incident date

February 3, 2022

Location

طمة, دير بلوط, Deir Balout, Atma, Syria

Airwars assessment

Up to thirteen civilians, including six children and four women, were reported killed and at least one child was injured after US forces targeted and subsequently killed the leader of the Islamic State (ISIS), Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, in Atma, northwest Syria on February 3rd 2022. Local reporting was conflicted as to whether the casualties were caused by US forces or in the detonation of a suicide device. Local sources were also conflicted regarding the civilian status of the adults harmed in the incident.

Al-Qurayshi had been the leader of ISIS since his predecessor Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was also killed in a US operation on October 26th, 2019.

Reports indicated that the operation began with Apache helicopters and drones circling the area, with heavy machine gun fire targeted at the residential building just after 1am. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, US forces “carried out an airdrop in that area, where soldiers had called, via loudspeakers, to evacuate women and children from a house”. After 15 minutes, the sound of gunfire was reported – marking the beginning of a two hour long standoff, culminating in the alleged detonation of a suicide device from inside the building.

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby in a statement on February 3rd, noted that there was gunfire between US forces and ‘lieutenants’ of al-Qurayshi on the second floor of the building, as well as in the area surrounding the building. He reported that al-Qurayshi was on the third floor of the building when he detonated the explosive device.

Regarding civilian harm, Kirby stated that four civilians had been killed during the raid, including three children: the wife and two children of al-Qurayshi killed on the third floor, and another child when “one of [al-Qurayshi’s] lieutenants and the lieutenant’s wife [were] firing back at our forces. They were killed and it appears as if a child was also killed on that second floor.”

None of the deaths have yet been confirmed by the US to have resulted directly from US actions, with Kirby noting: “the lives of innocents taken in this operation were caused by Abdullah and his decision of blowing himself up”. In reference to the child killed on the floor below al-Qurayshi, Kirby noted that “it’s a loss caused by Mr. Abdullah and his lieutenant”, however he also stated that the information was as yet not definitive: “we’re willing to take a look to just examine and make sure that there wasn’t any action that we might have taken that could have also caused harm to innocents”.

Syria TV and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) instead noted that either one or two women had detonated the explosive device – with SOHR stating that at least one of the women was non-Syrian, and Syria TV stating that she was of Russian or Chechen origin. This was not corroborated by other sources.

In an eyewitness account, a woman living in the same building that was targeted in the raid said: “The planes came around 1am. They started shouting at us. There was a first, second and third floor. They were saying we needed to get out of the house – men, women and children – and that we would be killed if not. They fired a missile/shell while we were inside, then they fired bullets and we were inside.” The woman added: “I came out behind them but I didn’t see them on the ground. They said put your hands on your head and get on the ground and take off your hijab. I was very scared. I couldn’t tolerate it… They took the kids from me directly and they searched me and handcuffed my hands behind me.”

Graphic images were circulated in the early hours of February 3rd on social media of several young children killed in the attack. The Syrian Civil Defense (White Helmets) teams reported the death of at least 13 people, stating: “Our teams treated the injured and recovered the bodies, handed over two bodies to the forensic medicine in the city of Idlib and secured the place to protect civilians.”

The White Helmets also added that a girl and another individual were injured in the attack. In their statement they report that “our teams rushed an injured child to the hospital. The child’s entire family was killed in the operation. The teams also rushed another person to the hospital who was injured in the clashes when he approached the scene to witness what was happening.”

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the initial death toll at nine.

UNICEF also confirmed the deaths of the children in the incident: “UNICEF confirms that at least six children were killed and one girl was badly injured overnight in the border town of [Atme] in the northwest of Syria due to heavy violence”.

In his statement about the incident, President Joe Biden said that they had “made a choice to minimise civilian casualties” by conducting the attack with special forces rather than by an airstrike, given the presence of al-Qurayshi’s family, including children, in the area.

The Guardian reported statements from US Officials, who said “there were moments of tension, when one of the helicopters malfunctioned and had to be landed and then destroyed, and then when the special forces team called for family members to come out of the building, knowing there were children inside”.

Airwars will update this incident as new information comes to light.

The incident occured at 01:00:00 local time.

  • Israa Child female injured

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    9 – 13
  • (6 children4 women1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1–2
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    4–5

Sources (61) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (74) [ collapse]

  • A US forces raid on a house overnight on February 3rd caused significant destruction and at least eleven civilian were killed by the first reports (Image via Ahmad Bakkar/ Facebook)
  • A US forces raid on a house overnight on February 3rd caused significant destruction and at least eleven civilian were killed by the first reports (Image via Ahmad Bakkar/ Facebook)
  • A US forces raid on a house overnight on February 3rd caused significant destruction and at least eleven civilian were killed by the first reports (Image via Ahmad Bakkar/ Facebook)
  • 1 of 2: Syria TV published "pictures of the house that was targeted by the American forces at dawn today" on February 3rd 2022 (Image via Facebook)
  • 2 of 2: Syria TV published "pictures of the house that was targeted by the American forces at dawn today" on February 3rd 2022 (Image via Facebook)
  • 1 of 2: Syrian Civil Defense respond to the scene in the morning of February 3rd 2022 after a US air raid (Image via Syria TV)
  • 2 of 2: Syrian Civil Defense respond to the scene in the morning of February 3rd 2022 after a US air raid (Image via Syria TV)
  • "All that's left of the home the COalition targeted" (Video via @NotWoofers)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    A young girl wounded in the fighting after a US air drop operation targeted a house in Dayr Balut on February 3rd 2022 in the early hours of the morning. Reports indicate that at least eleven civilians were killed (Image via @NotWoofers) / Twitter)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    1 of 4: Pictures showed the remains of child victims after a US air drop which has reportedly killed at least eleven civilians, including at least six children (Image via Shaam)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    2 of 4: Pictures showed the remains of child victims after a US air drop which has reportedly killed at least eleven civilians, including at least six children (Image via Shaam)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    3 of 4: Pictures showed the remains of child victims after a US air drop which has reportedly killed at least eleven civilians, including at least six children (Image via Shaam)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    4 of 4: Pictures showed the remains of child victims after a US air drop which has reportedly killed at least eleven civilians, including at least six children (Image via Shaam)
  • 1 of 7: Shaam news uploaded photographs of the destruction and remains of the house which was targeted by a US air drop operation on February 3rd in the Atma region of northern Syria (Image via Facebook)
  • 2 of 7: Shaam news uploaded photographs of the destruction and remains of the house which was targeted by a US air drop operation on February 3rd in the Atma region of northern Syria (Image via Facebook)
  • 3 of 7: Shaam news uploaded photographs of the destruction and remains of the house which was targeted by a US air drop operation on February 3rd in the Atma region of northern Syria (Image via Facebook)
  • 4 of 7: Shaam news uploaded photographs of the destruction and remains of the house which was targeted by a US air drop operation on February 3rd in the Atma region of northern Syria (Image via Facebook)
  • 5 of 7: Shaam news uploaded photographs of the destruction and remains of the house which was targeted by a US air drop operation on February 3rd in the Atma region of northern Syria (Image via Facebook)
  • 6 of 7: Shaam news uploaded photographs of the destruction and remains of the house which was targeted by a US air drop operation on February 3rd in the Atma region of northern Syria (Image via Facebook)
  • 7 of 7: Shaam news uploaded photographs of the destruction and remains of the house which was targeted by a US air drop operation on February 3rd in the Atma region of northern Syria (Image via Facebook)
  • Shaam news uploaded photographs of the destruction and remains of the house which was targeted by a US air drop operation on February 3rd in the Atma region of northern Syria (Image via Facebook)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    1 of 4: Photos of those killed and their remains after a US forces airdrop on February 3rd 2022 in Atma, Idlib (Image via @ahmedalqaaa / Twitter)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    2 of 4: Photos of those killed and their remains after a US forces airdrop on February 3rd 2022 in Atma, Idlib (Image via @ahmedalqaaa / Twitter)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    3 of 4: Photos of those killed and their remains after a US forces airdrop on February 3rd 2022 in Atma, Idlib (Image via @ahmedalqaaa / Twitter)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    4 of 4: Photos of those killed and their remains after a US forces airdrop on February 3rd 2022 in Atma, Idlib (Image via @ahmedalqaaa / Twitter)
  • Wreckage of the US helicopter which allegedly participated in the air drop operation (Image via @Ali9aa9 / Twitter)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    "One of the targetes in the landing of Atma" (Image via @Ali9aa9 / Twitter)
  • "The killing of Abu Satif Zaidan of the Al-Jolani Authority, shot by the #coalition, when he was near the target place for the landing in #Atma." (Image via @mzmgr941 / Twitter)
  • A picture of a child allegedly killed in the US air drop on February 3rd 2022 (Image via @MzmjerSh / Twitter)
  • 1 of 3: "Remnants of the airdrop of the American occupation in the town of Atma on the Syrian-Turkish border." (Image via @jamlyyyyy_ / Twitter)
  • 2 of 3: "Remnants of the airdrop of the American occupation in the town of Atma on the Syrian-Turkish border." (Image via @jamlyyyyy_ / Twitter)
  • 3 of 3: "Remnants of the airdrop of the American occupation in the town of Atma on the Syrian-Turkish border." (Image via @jamlyyyyy_ / Twitter)
  • Syrian Civil Defense report that at least 13 people were killed in an US air drop operation on February 3rd 2022 (SCD / Facebook)
  • Drone footage of the location of the US air raid on February 3rd 2022 (Euphrates / Facebook)
  • Drone footage of the location of the US air raid on February 3rd 2022 (Euphrates / Facebook)
  • Footage of site where US air raid took place on February 3rd 2022 (Andalou Agency)
  • The site of US air raid on February 3rd 2022 (Syrian Network for Human Rights)
  • Syrian Civil Defense attend rescue mission after US air raid on February 3rd 2022 (Syrian Network for Human Rights)
  • Hipa Press reported from the site of US air raid on February 3rd 2022.
  • Hipa Press reported from the site of US air raid on February 3rd 2022.
  • Hipa Press reported from the site of US air raid on February 3rd 2022.
  • Destruction and remnants of US air raid on February 3rd 2022 (Image via Anadolu Agency / Ezzedine Al-Qasim)
  • Destruction and remnants of US air raid on February 3rd 2022 (Image via Anadolu Agency / Ezzedine Al-Qasim)
  • Destruction and remnants of US air raid on February 3rd 2022 (Image via Anadolu Agency / Ezzedine Al-Qasim)
  • Destruction and remnants of US air raid on February 2nd 2022 (Image via Anadolu Agency / Ezzedine Al-Qasim)
  • Destruction after the US air raid near Atma on February 3rd 2022 (Image via Rozana / Facebook)
  • Destruction after the US air raid near Atma on February 3rd 2022 (Image via Rozana / Facebook)
  • Destruction after the US air raid near Atma on February 3rd 2022 (Image via Rozana / Facebook)
  • Destruction after the US air raid near Atma on February 3rd 2022 (Image via Rozana / Facebook)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Abdullah Qardash, the leader of ISIS, declared killed during a US-air raid (Image via Ahmad Rahhal / Facebook)
  • Abdullah Qardash, the leader of ISIS, declared killed during a US-air raid (Image via Ahmad Rahhal / Facebook)
  • The wreckage of the US helicopter during US raid on Atma on February 3rd 2022 (Image via @GHpeFLa8lXjtE5X / Twitter)
  • The wreckage of the US helicopter during US raid on Atma on February 3rd 2022 (Image via @GHpeFLa8lXjtE5X / Twitter)
  • The wreckage of the US helicopter during US raid on Atma on February 3rd 2022 (Image via @GHpeFLa8lXjtE5X / Twitter)
  • The wreckage of the US helicopter during US raid on Atma on February 3rd 2022 (Image via @GHpeFLa8lXjtE5X / Twitter)
  • The wreckage of the US helicopter during US raid on Atma on February 3rd 2022 (Image via @Step_Agency/ Twitter)
    Hello
  • The wreckage of the US helicopter during US raid on Atma on February 3rd 2022 (Image via @Step_Agency/ Twitter)
  • The wreckage of the US helicopter during US raid on Atma on February 3rd 2022 (Image via @Step_Agency/ Twitter)
  • The wreckage of the US helicopter during US raid on Atma on February 3rd 2022 (Image via @Step_Agency/ Twitter)

US Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    9 – 13
  • (6 children4 women1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1–2
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    4–5

Sources (61) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS1976

Incident date

January 20–26, 2022

Location

سجن الصناعة, Al Sina'a Prison, Al Hasakah, Syria

Geolocation

36.476929, 40.762153 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Nearby landmark level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Between January 20th and January 26th 2022, Islamic State militants (ISIS) attempted to take control of Al-Sina’a prison in Gweran neighbourhood in Al-Hasakah, Syria. The prison, managed by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), by some reports held between 3000 to 5000 individuals associated with ISIS, including “hundreds” of so-called ‘Cubs of the Caliphate’ – the term for ISIS child soldiers. The prison came back under SDF control on January 26th after Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) with air and ground support from the US-led Coalition launched a counter-attack on the prison and surrounding area.

Initial reports indicate that between 6 and 7 civilians were killed as a result of SDF and the US-led Coalition actions during the counter-attack, who were likely residents living in the area surrounding the prison. However there were very few reports that were able to clearly identify the number of fatalities. Local reporting on civilian casualty estimates were challenged by the high intensity of the operation – while most sources were in agreement that seven civilians had been killed in the surrounding area, there was lack of consensus on whether or not one of the individuals included in that count had in fact been killed by ISIS.

Estimates of the number of injured also varied – one source reported that a journalist with Hawar news station was injured by SDF and US-led Coalition actions in the surrounding area, while one other source mentioned witnessing ‘lots’ of injured bodies.

The majority of reports characterised the US-led Coalition action in the surrounding areas as using heavy machine guns from helicopters to target ISIS militants in nearby residential areas. The Pentagon confirmed that they were also providing ground support using Bradley fighting vehicles; armoured vehicles capable of firing heavy weapons.

Inside the prison, as the events unfolded local sources were unable to distinguish between those individuals killed ‘hors de combat’ – i.e. protected under international humanitarian law given that they are detainees, and as such ‘in the power of an adverse party’; those killed as a result of directly participating in hostilities with SDF and US-led Coalition forces who were not imprisoned in the first place; and those who took up arms during the fight to gain control of the prison.

This is reflected in reporting on the large number of children reported to be detained in the prison. According to local reports, between 15 and 22 formerly detained children were killed inside or in the vicinity of the prison. The New York Times reported that the leader of the SDF said that “a very small number” of children had been killed. Apparently “some escaped with the adults” who were “either rearrested or killed.” John Kirby, the chief Pentagn press spokesperson confirmed on February 1st that ISIS did “have a population of children there. Many of them teenage boys, which they were either and or using as human shields.”

In a voice recording obtained by Human Rights Watch, a boy who identified himself as a 17 year old Australian said he had been wounded in an airstrike, and witnessed at least two others, aged 14 and 15, killed in front of him. According to the Associated Press, the boy said that he saw other children killed in shooting he described as “non-stop” and that he was reported to have said, “they are not stopping shooting. Every little bit they shoot. Every little bit they hit a missile.” This indicates that children inside the prison may have been killed from both ground operations and airstrikes overhead conducted by the US-led Coalition.

Another young prisoner told Human Rights Watch that “children as well as adults had been killed though they weren’t certain of numbers. One said perhaps 15 to 20 boys were killed.” Another prisoner said “It’s hard to guess, honestly it’s very chaotic… One kid I evacuated as we were trying to stop his bleeding, he died in front of me. His leg was busted open… We tried to stop the bleeding with a shirt. He looked very young.”

Two boys were reported by the New York Times to have been found on January 30th on the northeastern side of the prison, on the road. Four other adult corpses were found with them, presumed to be ISIS members. According to the Times, “neighbourhood residents said the boys were among a group of escaped inmates, most of them Iraqi, who were killed on Friday by the SDF as its troops went door to door to hunt down ISIS fighters.”  Apparently it was not clear whether the boys were being held hostage by the ISIS fighters or were trying to escape with them. The witnesses did not know whether they had been armed.

Human Rights Watch also noted reports that a makeshift hospital in the prison had come under anti-aircraft and heavy machine gun fire on Tuesday 25th January around sunset.

John Kirby confirmed that the US was providing support to the SDF on January 24th during a Pentagon Press Briefing, “we have helped provide real-time surveillance during the event. We have conducted a series of strikes through this days long operation to include the procession targeting of ISIS fighters who were attacking the SDF from buildings in the area and we have provided limited ground support strategically positioned to assist security in the area.” Clashes between SDF and the US-led Coalition and ISIS militants continue in the surrounding area, particularly in response to concerns around escaped detainees who are now unaccounted for.

SDF released a statement on January 26th which said “The Peoples’ Hammer Operation has culminated with our entire control of the al-Sina’a prison in al-Hasakah and the surrender of all Daesh terrorists.”

Operation timeline as reported by local sources:

January 20th 2022

In a video by North Press Agency, witnesses described explosions around 9-10pm on the night of January 20th. One witness identified the body of a young man who lived in the surrounding area named Ghassan Awaf al-Anezi, aged 20, who was killed by ISIS. She also added: “there were a lot of victims in our neighborhood. We saw many martyrs, the dead and the wounded were on the ground.” It was unclear from local reporting if the civilian casualties mentioned resulted from ISIS actions or from actions by SDF and the US-led Coalition. According to the New York Times, ISIS found a photo of him in an SDF uniform during compulsory military service, before they shot him.

January 21st 2022

An ISIS car bomb exploded outside the prison walls, with local sources stating that a riot was taking place as a result inside the prison. Fighting continued between SDF with US-led Coalition forces and ISIS in the surrounding area and on the prison facility.

US-led Coalition helicopters targeted ISIS militants with heavy machine guns in the vicinity of the Municipal Departments College in the Gheweran neighbourhood, south of Al-Hasakah. Al-Zohour neighbourhood was also targeted by the US-led Coalition. A Facebook post by ِAl Khabour reported that the Faculty of Economics in Al-Hasakah was destroyed by Coalition airstrikes without mentioning any casualties.

Euphrates Post put the number of civilians killed at four, while Sky News reported that five civilians had been killed. Neither source specified if the civilians were killed by SDF and US-led Coalition forces, or by ISIS attacks. It is also unclear whether this number was a cumulative toll of civilian harm, or from this specific day.

Euphrates Post additionally reported that at least 10 members of ISIS and 13 members of the SDF had been killed “in the vicinity of Al-Sina’a Prison in Ghweran neighborhood”.

January 22nd 2022

According to Euphrates Post, an airstrike by the US-led Coalition targeted the Al-Sana’a prison, the first locally reported incident of a US-led Coalition air attack on the prison itself. One building was reported to have been hit.

In addition, US-led Coalition F16 planes reportedly carried out airstrikes in the Ghweran neighbourhood targeting alleged ISIS cells. Euphrates Post also reported that the US-led Coalition also dropped flyers in the city of Al-Hasakah, calling on people to report any “terrorist or suspicious activities.”

Local reports also indicated direct clashes between Syrian Democratic forces and ISIS militants inside the prison.

January 23rd 2022

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that the total death toll since the start of the prison fighting had reached “123: 77 ISIS fighters, seven civilians and 39 members of Asayish Forces, prison guards and counter-terrorism forces.” Save the Children reported that audio testimony indicated that multiple children were likely among those killed.

January 24th 2022

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that there were “renewed clashes inside Ghuwayran prison… after airstrikes by International Coalition aircraft on positions where ISIS members holed up.”  Outside the prison, the SDF, Asayish forces and US-led Coalition reportedly continued to search for ISIS members and escaped prisoners in local neighbourhoods.

The New York Times reported that as of January 24th, ISIS fighters were in control of a quarter of the prison and were “using the boys as human shields”, in addition to threatening to kill the boys if the Coalition continued its assault. According to the Times, among the inmates at the prison were boys as young as 12 – including Syrians, Iraqis, and about 150 non-Arab foreigners.

The Morning Star News put the death toll as of January 24th at five civilians, with one rumored to have been beheaded by ISIS. A journalist working for the SDF was reportedly killed and a reporter from the Hawar news station was reportedly injured.

January 25th 2022

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that a group of children were evacuated from the prison in buses, but the final destination of these buses remain unknown. They also mentioned that the day before other prisoners had been transferred to Al-Shaddadi. According to the Washington Post, this number could be around 400. SOHR also provided an updated death toll: “114 ISIS fighters, seven civilians and 45 members of Asayish Forces, prison guards and counter-terrorism forces” killed since January 20th.

Local sources reported that US-led Coalition airstrikes continued with “five raids a while ago.” Al Araby reported that this happened “at dawn.”

@DeirEzzore reported that paramedics were brought in to treat wounded ISIS fighters and prisoners. According to a video posted by Euphrates, a witness reported that there are unarmed civilians who were killed by the SDF and that “children were among [the] killed” and “many children [were] injured inside.” A Hawar News Agency report also identified nine hostages as being liberated by SDF from the prison the night before.

Two US-led Coalition airstrikes were reported on Sadkob Gas Station, Al Hasakah. The building was reportedly severely damaged, but there were no reports of civilian casualties in the area.

January 26th 2022

On January 26th there were no reports of US-led Coalition action inside the prison or its vicinity. The SDF announced the defeat of ISIS and that it had regained control of the prison.

Any on-going reporting of civilian casualties relating to the SDF and US-led Coalition actions will be treated as separate incidents in the Airwars archive.

As more information comes available, Airwars will attempt to disambiguate the civilian casualty incidents over the course of the six days into separate civilian harm events.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    6 – 7
  • Civilians reported injured
    1–10
  • Causes of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions, Small arms and light weapons
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Known attacker
    Syrian Democratic Forces
  • Suspected target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    24–374
  • Belligerents reported injured
    2–200

Sources (74) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (25) [ collapse]

  • Ahmed Nasser, a member of the media center of the "Self-Defense" of the SDF, was killed during the the clashes over Al-Sina'a Prison. His death was reported on January 21, 2022. (Image posted by Euphrates Post)
  • The Faculty of Economics in Al-Hasakah after it was destroyed by an air strike by the International Coalition. (Image posted by Al Khabour via Facebook)
  • Helicopters of the International Coalition target with heavy machine guns the vicinity of Al-Zohour neighborhood in Al-Hasakah city, in conjunction with the continuation of clashes between the “SDF” and ISIS cells in the neighborhood of Ghweran, Al-Zohour neighborhood (Hosh Al-Ba’er) and the Al-Maqbara area
  • The moment the international coalition aircraft targeted one of the sites where ISIS fighters were fortified in the Ghweran neighborhood of Hasaka.
  • The belongings of some Islamic State fighters. Pic: SDF via AP
  • Kurdish security forces deploy in Syria’s northern city of Hassakeh amid ongoing fighting with Isis, 22 January 2022 (AFP via Getty )
  • Islamic State fighters who were arrested after the prison was attacked. Pic: SDF via AP
  • Forces involved in clashes outside of the prison in Al Hassakah. (Image posted by Syrian Observatory for Human Rights)
  • Al-Khabour #Al-Hasakah, heavy shelling targeting the industrial prison in the city of Al-Hasakah
  • Fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces in Hasaka on Monday.Credit...Ahmed Mardnli/EPA, via Shutterstock
  • Some of the 300 ISIS fighters who surrendered on Monday in a photo provided by the Syrian Democratic Forces. Credit...Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, via Associated Press
  • An American attack helicopter flies over Hasaka on Monday. The United States has been conducting airstrikes there for four days.Credit...Baderkhan Ahmad/Associated Press
  • SDF Forces surrounding the prison during the siege. (Image from Reuters)
  • Location of the prison. (Image from Google Maps)
  • Residents fled their homes in Ghwayran, Hasakah, amid fighting between IS and Kurdish forces in Syria. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

  • A videotape of a number of the dead, most of whom are ISIS prisoners, in the besieged Al-Sina'a prison in the city of Al-Hasakah.
  • After targeting it with two air raids hours ago, a number of ISIS fighters are still holed up in the Sadkob gas station, the number of fighters is about three (source), they clashed with members of the SDF a few minutes ago.
  • Syria Democratic Forces liberate 9 hostages inside Al-Sina'a prison in Ghweran neighborhood of Hasaka city during an operation on Monday night. (Hawar News Agency)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the Al Sina’a Prison (سجن الصناعة) and its surroundings, for which the generic coordinates are: 36.476929, 40.762153. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

US-led Coalition Assessment:

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

Syrian Democratic Forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    Syrian Democratic Forces
  • Syrian Democratic Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

Syrian Democratic Forces

On January 20, 2022, roughly 7 p.m., and through prior planning, the Daesh terrorists waged an attack using several suicide bombers on al-Sina’a prison that hols thousands of Daesh terrorist detainees.
In the beginning, the terrorists exploded a car bomb at the main gate of the prison and attacked it from three axes, in an attempt to control the prison and strike our forces that intervened to abort this attack.
At the same time, thousands of the terrorist detainees inside attacked the prison staff, such as internal security forces and institutional workers, and a large cargo car loaded with weapons and ammunition approached the prison gate so that terrorist detainees could get weapons as they escaped from the prison.
Had the attack succeeded, they would have continued their attack against the Geweran and al-Zuhour neighborhoods, in addition to some civil and military institutions of the Autonomous Administration in the region, and that was exactly the scheme that they wanted to implement.
Once again, tunnels had been dug inside some houses in neighborhoods such as Geweran and al-Zuhour in order to back the attack. That is how they prepared the ground for the success of their plan. But at first, the prison guards and our fighters showed super bravery, fought valiantly until they reached the stage of martyrdom. These comrades were the main factor in thwarting the Daesh well-planned scheme that adopted the surprise method. Then our forces (SDF) and the internal security forces (Asayish) intervened quickly, moved in an orderly manner, and imposed the siege on the prison and the university building adjacent to the prison wall. After controlling the perimeter of that wall, it was found that some Daesh terrorist detainees who managed to escape from the prison dormitories had reached those buildings, and barricaded there, so a tight cordon was imposed around those buildings as well.
On the other hand, our forces had imposed a complete security cordon on the vicinity of the Geweran neighborhood and the surrounding neighborhoods. Then our forces started the attack phase.
As part of the “Hammer of peoples” operation, our forces have conducted a sweep and clear-up operation against Daesh terrorists in the vicinity of the prison, in the al-Hasaka neighborhoods, and also in the areas of Deir Ezzor and Raqqa. Our SDF and the Internal Security Forces (Asayish) moved very professionally towards the groups of the terrorist attackers, eliminating many of them and incapacitating other armed attackers.
As a result, all the terrorist detainees were recaptured and transferred to other prisons.
In order not to harm the lives and homes of citizens in Hasaka, as well as to protect the children (cubs of the caliphate) in prison, and because ISIS mercenaries used them as “human shields”, for these reasons, our forces moved with high sensitivity and had long patience to deal with the situation, which made the process take additional time.
In order not to harm the lives and homes of citizens in al-Hasaka and to protect the children (the caliphate cubs) were used by Daesh terrorists as “human shields”, our forces dealt with the situation in high sensitivity and long patience which made the process take a long time.
In the end, based on the heroism of prison guards under the leadership of Comrade Jamal Kobane, who showed unique resistance by their robust and rapid intervention, and by the beginning of the sweep operation in al-Hasaka, the Daesh terrorist scheme was foiled, and the situation was controlled.
The Daesh terrorist attack was undoubtedly not a normal attack, and it was part of a long-planned extensive scheme. According to the documents confiscated and the confessions of the captured leaders of the terrorist attackers, it was found that if their attack had succeeded, they would have attacked other neighborhoods in al-Hasaka as well, in conjunction with the attacks on the areas of Al-Hol, Al-Shadada, and Deir Ezzor, to put their extensive scheme into effect, thus declaring the alleged caliphate of Daesh, falsely called the “Second Islamic State”. The attack on the al-Sina’a prison was not a local attack, nor could it be limited to the prison alone, and it was not only aimed at releasing a number of terrorist detainees, but also they wanted to launch a large-scale attack on the area to spread once again their terrorism in killing and imposing darkness on the people of the area and to revive the terrorist organization again.
However, their scheme ultimately failed at the end, and again, as what happened in the al-Baguz, they collectively surrendered to our forces, and we took full control of the situation.
Once again, our forces have strongly demonstrated their boldness, vigilance, and their ability in achieving victories, creating the spirit and hope of victory for all the region’s components, proving its worth, and earning the confidence of their people.
Without a doubt, the large-scale scheme of the daesh terrorist organization was not a purely local attack. According to the information we have and the confessions of the arrested terrorists, some of the terrorist attackers came from the occupied areas of Sri Kaneh/Ras al-Ain and Gri Spi/Tal Abyad, and others came from Iraq to support them. However, the basis of the scheme and the management of the attack, “i.e. the operating room”, according to the documents, was prepared outside the Syrian border.
Certainly, the Daesh terrorist attack was not out of the blue. After the victory achieved in al-Baguz, and the end of the geographical presence of Daesh, the terrorist organization reconstituted and revived its ranks to adapt to the new conditions and circumstances, to regain its former power, and impose fear and terrorism on society and the people of the region. He has always attempted to attack, but our forces, especially in the areas of Deir Ezzor, Raqqa, al-Shadada, and on the Iraq-Syria border, have been fighting relentlessly for more than three years the Daesh terrorist organization. If the Daesh terrorist organization could stand on its feet and strengthen itself, it would have been able to conduct terrorist attacks and operations, yet it failed to do so. What happened in the attack on the al-Sina’a prison confirms that it has invested in the political circumstances and has been assisted, directly or indirectly, by some regional States. In this context, the role of the Turkish state was the most prominent.
The Turkey State is the most responsible for the Deash terrorist attack on the al-Sina’a prison and the continued existence of the Daesh terrorist organization. The Turkey State’s attacks and constant threats on the north and eastern Syria give Daesh terrorist organization moral strength to catch its breath again and prepare the ground for a regrouping. Occupied areas such as Sri Kaneh/Ras al-Ain and Gri Spi/Tal Abyad have also been transformed into the safest and most protected areas for Daesh to organize itself and train its elements, and some of the terrorists attacking the al-Sina’a prison came from those areas. On this basis, the Turkish State is responsible for the terrorist attacks on the region.
On the other hand, good cooperation has emerged between our SDF and the international coalition forces against Daesh. The work and fight against Daesh took place at a good level, where operations were coordinated and conducted together
. But since the defeat of Daesh geographically, leaving thousands of Daesh detainees and tens of thousands of their families living in Al-Hol camp, it caused a heavy burden on SDF and the Autonomous Administration, and the recent attack has proved that the Daesh still poses a major threat not only to our regions but also to the security of the whole world. This attack showed that there is an urgent need for international military and political assistance, particularly by the international coalition, to the SDF and Autonomous Administration, and intensify the assistance by providing advanced technology to eliminate the terrorist organization and to stop this imminent threat to the whole world. This is certainly a responsibility directly related to working to fight the Daesh terrorist organization, as well as to solving the issue Daesh families by the SDF, Autonomous Administration, and the international coalition, which is ultimately a joint responsibility.
This attack once again demonstrated the need to seek radical solutions to the issue of Daesh families in the al-Hol camp that has become a time bomb with a pulled safety pin, and the need to speed up the trial and prosecution of Daesh terrorists by constructing an international tribunal.
The longer it takes to find implemented solutions to these issues on the ground, the more benefits Daesh got.
Our people in al-Hasaka in general, ” Kurds, Arab, Syriac and Assyrians”, particularly those living in the neighborhoods of Geweran, al-Zuhour, al-Nashwa, and in all neighborhoods of the city, have shown, over the past week, unprecedented cooperation with our SDF and with the Internal Security Forces (Asayish), defending their neighborhoods and cities, providing information swiftly to the security forces. The last week has also proved that if fighters and the people unite, victory is inevitable and achieved. This has become a luminous example of that fact we have experienced. We, therefore, thank our people in al-Hasaka for their vigilance and spirit of sacrifice, as well as for their help and honorable standing with their forces. We say to our people in the north and eastern Syria that it is necessary to be more vigilant and alert against all attacks by Daesh and others and that they must organize themselves strongly to defend their neighborhoods, villages, and homes. This is one of the lessons that can be deduced from this attack by Deash terrorist organization.
Once again, we thank the international coalition forces, which have shown, over the past week, good cooperation and coordination with our forces and have strongly and effectively provided the necessary assistance.
The SDF and the Internal Security Forces (Asayish) have also shown a high spirit of sacrifice, and have made the hopes and schemes of Daesh stuck in their throats. In this operation, a number of our fighters have risen to the rank of martyrdom. On this basis, we recall with all due respect and pride all the martyrs of the “Hammer of peoples” operation, and we promise them to achieve the victory, and we congratulate our people and all our fighters and leaders for the success of this operation.
We call on the public and all relevant parties, telling them that in order for Daesh’s nightmare not to happen again, and not to be able to regroup again, it would be imperative to provide aid and assistance — more strongly — to the SDF, the people and components of north and eastern Syria and the Autonomous Administration. The more political, military, and economic support for SDF and Autonomous Administration, the more Daesh gets weakened and enters the atrophy stage.
As a result, the Daesh terrorist organization tried to bring the area and its people back to the dark days and a nightmare hanging over them, so it benefited from several parties. But, the heroism, boldness, skill, vigilance of our fighters, and the association of our people with their forces and rally around them and on the anniversary of the victory of the resistance of Kobane and with its spirit, they made another victory, and we, in turn, dedicate this victory to our people and martyrs.
As part of the “Hammer of Peoples” operation, and in areas such as Deir Ezzor and Raqqa, local sweep operations are still ongoing in specific points and widely against the remnants of the Daesh and its sleeper cells.
The outcome of the Hammer of Peoples operation:
The Daesh terrorist detainees inside the prison brutally killed 77 martyrs of the prison staff and guards. In the 7-day-long clashes outside the prison, 40 of our fighters and 4 civilians were martyred.
In total: 121 of our fighters and prison staff were heroically martyred.
Once again, we recall with all due respect and reverence all of our martyrs.
The number of Deash terrorist detainees and attackers killed 374.
The General Command of the Syrian Democratic Forces

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    6 – 7
  • Civilians reported injured
    1–10
  • Causes of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions, Small arms and light weapons
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Known attacker
    Syrian Democratic Forces
  • Suspected target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    24–374
  • Belligerents reported injured
    2–200

Sources (74) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS1975

Incident date

January 17, 2022

Location

الحوايج, Al Hawaij, Deir Ezzor, Syria

Airwars assessment

Up to two men were killed in an alleged Coalition and declared Syrian Democratic Forces’ airdrop operation on the village of Al-Hawaij on January 17/18, 2022. One of the men was identified as being a member of ISIS.

Euphrates Post reported that the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) with helicopter support from the Coalition carried out an airdrop operation in the village of Al-Hawaij that resulted in the death of Amjad Muhammad Al-Ways Al-Ayed “Abu Omar”. The SDF and Coalition targeted his home on the pretext that he possessed “booby-trapped motorcycles”.

Private sources told the Euphrates Post that Amjad Muhammad is a resident of the city of Al-Mayadin and was living in a house near the “Al-Hawi” area on the outskirts of the village, owned by Awad Al-Shatat, a resident of Al-Hawaij village. @DeirEzzorNow referred to Amjad Muhammad as being “displaced” from Al-Mayadin.

A tweet from @Sada_AlSharqieh reported that Amjad Muhammad was an ISIS leader and that he was killed after he clashed with the patrol and refused to surrender. Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also identified Amjad as an ISIS leader, the leader of a brigade operating in Deir Ezzor airport, and that weapons and explosive belts were found when searching the home that he hid in.

@DeirEzzorNow tweeted that in addition to Amjad Muhammad, Mohamed Alwes was killed. @DeirEzzor24 that Mohamed Alwes was also from the city of Al-Mayadin. None of the sources refer to Mohamed Alwes as being a militant. However, @SOJTF_LEVANT reported that “no other personnel were injured or taken off site”.

Enab Baladi identified that one person was arrested during the operation but didn’t provide any other details.

The Syrian Democratic Forces issued a statement that “one of the leaders of the terrorist organization ISIS was killed in the Al-Hawaij area, during a shooting operation initiated by the terrorist while our forces and the international coalition carried out a joint airdrop operation to arrest the aforementioned terrorist yesterday evening. The terrorist was involved in planning the attack on Ghweran prison in al-Hasakah, in November of last year, where our forces were able to thwart the plot and arrest a number of terrorists involved in it, including the leader of the cell, “Mohamed Abdel-Awwad,” as well as detonating two car bombs that were a cell belonging to the terrorist organization that had prepared To attack the prison and make holes in the main gate of the prison.”

Euphrates Post provided details that the operation took place at 10pm while @thawraa_syr reported that the raid took place around 2am.

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

  • Mohamed Alwes Age unknown killed

Summary

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

Sources (15) [ collapse]

US-led Coalition Assessment:

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

Syrian Democratic Forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    Syrian Democratic Forces
  • Syrian Democratic Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

Syrian Democratic Forces

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One of the leaders of the terrorist organization ISIS was killed in Al-Hawaij area during a shooting operation initiated by the terrorist while our forces and the international coalition carried out a joint airdrop operation to arrest the aforementioned terrorist yesterday evening.
The terrorist had participated in planning the attack on Ghweran prison in Al-Hasakah in November last year, where our forces were able to thwart the scheme and arrest a number of terrorists involved in it, including the leader of the cell, Muhammad Abdul-Awwad, as well as detonating two car bombs that the terrorist organization cell had prepared to attack the prison and make holes in the prison. The main gate of the prison.
During a search of the house where the terrorist was hiding, our forces found a quantity of weapons and an explosive belt.
In another security operation, the Special Units of the Syrian Democratic Forces arrested a local leader of the terrorist organization ISIS in the Al-Alwa area in the Shaddadi countryside, south of Hasaka. The terrorist was active in transferring weapons to the organization's cells, attracting new members to its ranks, and planning operations to target military forces and service institutions.
During the operation, weapons, equipment and documents were confiscated from his possession.


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Summary

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

Sources (15) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS1974

Incident date

December 12, 2021

Location

ابريهة, Abirha near Al Busaira, Deir Ezzor, Syria

Airwars assessment

Professor Khalaf Al Wahhab, a school teacher, and his two sons, Hamza Al Wahhab and Muhammad Al Wahhab, from the village of Abreha, were killed during a US-led Coalition airdrop or landing operation, with the Syrian Democratic Forces, in the village of Abirha, near Al Busaira in Deir Ezzor on December 12th 2021. In total, four people were killed. The fourth person, according to @Sada_AlSharqieh, was “a visitor to them who is the target of the landing operation.” The incident apparently happened at dawn.

Some sources also mentioned that Professor Al Wahhab’s son in law, Abu Malik, was also killed but it is unclear whether he was the fourth person pre-mentioned. Deir Ezzor 24 referred to “Ab Malik” as a person “believed to be affiliated with Daesh” and from the village of al-Bulail.

According to Euphrates, the operation lasted for about two hours and “they were targting a livestock pen after refusing to surrender.”  They also reported that the operation was carried out from the direction of Al-Eshreen Street, “using two helicopters loaded with elements and ground forces.” Apparently, the Coalition was “broadcasting on loudspeakers that the place is surrounded by the Coalition forces and the people must surrender.”

According to @Sada_AlSharqieh, they also asked residents to stay in their homes. Their correspondent also reported that “the Coalitin aircraft struck a house in the town of Al-Bireha and destroyed the entire house, and then began the process of landing in Al-Busira.” Various sources reported that eight people were arrested in Al-Busira.

At the time of the incident, Colonel Joel Harper, spokesman for the International Coalition, issued a statement that “Daesh are still active in Syria and poses an existential threat if it is allowed to resurge,” stressing that the coalition continues in its partnership with the SDF and continues to target Daesh in Syria, not directly referring to the incident.

The incident occured around dawn.

The victims were named as:

Family members (3)

  • Khalaf Al Wahhab male father killed
  • Hamza Al Wahhab Age unknown male son
  • Muhammad Al Wahhab Age unknown male son

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3 – 4
  • (3–4 men)
  • Causes of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions, Small arms and light weapons
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attackers
    US-led Coalition, Syrian Democratic Forces
  • Suspected target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–1

Sources (36) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • An image of Hamad Al Wahhab, killed with his father and brother, after a house was targeted in Al Busayrah at dawn on December 12th 2021. (Image via Euphrates)
  • The area where an alleged airdrop operation was carried out by the US-led Coalition on December 12th 2021, allegedly killed three men. (Image via @YusufAd76532779 / Twitter)

US-led Coalition Assessment:

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

Syrian Democratic Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Syrian Democratic Forces
  • Syrian Democratic Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3 – 4
  • (3–4 men)
  • Causes of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions, Small arms and light weapons
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attackers
    US-led Coalition, Syrian Democratic Forces
  • Suspected target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–1

Sources (36) [ collapse]