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

CS1779

Incident date

July 12, 2018

Location

السوسة و الباغوز, Ice factory, between Al Soussa and al Baghouz, Deir ez-Zor, Syria

Geolocation

34.5163168, 40.9498215 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

Local sources reported that between 28 and 58 civilians were killed and up to 45 injured as a result of alleged Coalition or associated Iraqi strikes on an “ice factory” in the Deir Ezzor countryside.

According to a correspondent for Step News, Coalition aircraft “launched five successive air strikes”, hitting an ice processing plant called “Mozan” at the intersection between the towns of Al Sousse and al Baghouz.

Hajeen Magazine however stated that “Muazen” is the name of the village “between the towns of Al-Bagouz Al Fawqani and Al Sousse. Step News Agency’s correspondent stated that villagers had gathered at the factory to get ice when the area was struck, resulting “in a massacre, […] in addition to the massive destruction of residential buildings and shops.”

Al Sousse Youth reported a tally of 35 civilians killed, noting that the airstrike took place “after sunset” and added that among the civilians killed were two members of the Shahadat family. This was confirmed in a Facebook post by Shabab.net in which was stated that the son of Mahdi Al-Salamah and the son of Mahjoub Salama were both killed. Sound and Picture and Hajeen Magazine reported the highest tally, saying that between 55 and 58 were killed – most of them displaced Iraqis.

The director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed “the death and injury of dozens”. His statement placed this incident in the context of a current military operation for the control of the “the last enclave of the ‘Islamic State’ on the eastern banks of the Euphrates River”. A later report by the Observatory identified a more specific number of civilians killed, stating that the airstrike led to “the martyrdom of 28 civilians, mostly Iraqi nationalities”. The monitor added that “until now we don’t know whether the planes were Iraqi or coalition.”

Reuters later reported that the Coalition confirmed that it or “partner forces” may have conducted the air raid. Coalition spokesman Colon Sean Ryan stated in an e-mailed response to a question posed by Reuters that “The Coalition or our partner forces may have conducted strikes in the vicinity of Al Soussa and Baghour Fukhani yesterday”. Reports of civilian casualties would have been sent to the “Civilian Casualty Cell for further assessment”, the spokesperson stated.

In November 2018, the Coalition announced that it had classed the event as non-credible: “After reviewing all the available evidence, the preponderance of the evidence did not indicate that the alleged civilian casualties were caused by Coalition operations.”

The incident occured at approximately 8:00 pm local time.

The victims were named as:

Family members (3)

  • Son of Mahjoub Shahadat Age unknown male Said to have lost an arm and to have been decapitated killed
  • Son of Mahjoub Salama Shahadat Age unknown male Missing believed dead killed
  • Son of Mahdi Al-Salamah Age unknown male Reportedly burned in attack injured

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    28–58
  • (6–12 children6–12 women2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    25–45
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (20) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • 'The death toll of the massacre of the town of Sousse in Deir al-Azur has risen to 32 civilians', Orient News

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention that the alleged Coalition strike targeted an ‘ice factory’ (ثلاجة) near the Muzan junction (مفرق موزان) between the towns of Al Soussa and Al Bagouz. Due to limited information available to Airwars, we were unable to locate the junction or ice factory, however there is an industrial scale building at a junction leading to Al Bagouz from Al Soussa, for which the coordinates are: 34.5163168, 40.9498215

  • Due to limited information available to Airwars, we were unable to locate the junction or ice factory, however there is an industrial scale building at a junction leading to Al Bagouz from Al Soussa, for which the coordinates are: 34.5163168, 40.9498215

    Imagery:
    © 2018 Google

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position for incident
    Non credible
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    Insufficient evidence of civilian harm
  • Stated location
    near an ice factory between Al-Susah and Al-Baghuz Foqani, Deir ez-Zor, Syria
    Nearest population center

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For July 12th, the Coalition publicly reported that “On July 12 in Syria, Coalition military forces conducted four strikes consisting of four engagements against Daesh targets. Near Abu Kamal, four strikes engaged one Daesh tactical unit, destroyed one Daesh logistics hub, one Daesh fighting position, one Daesh supply route and two Daesh-held buildings."

France
  • English
    /
    Original

From July 11th to 17th, France report that Task Force Wagram carried out six artillery ‘shooting missions’ in the Euphrates Valley. In total since the start of the offensive on May 1st, it’s conducted 195 shooting missions. Aircraft conducted 24 sorties but there were no strikes.

‘IRAK – SYRIE – CHAMMAL SITUATION MILITAIRE DU THEATRE Offensive contre les dernières poches de Daech en Syrie En Syrie, l’offensive contre les deux dernières emprises territoriales de Daech a marqué un temps d’arrêt durant quelques jours, afin de stabiliser les zones récemment libérées. L’objectif des forces démocratiques syriennes reste d’éviter que des éléments de Daech ne se laissent dépasser et tentent de conduire des actions sur leurs arrières. L’offensive a depuis repris. Poursuite des actions de sécurisation en Irak Pour contrer l’organisation terroriste, plusieurs opérations sont menées par les forces de sécurité irakienne en Ninive et dans le désert de l’Anbar. Elles ont permis cette semaine la destruction de plusieurs tunnels, la mise hors de combat de dizaines de terroristes et la neutralisation de nombreux engins explosifs improvisés. ACTIVITE DE LA FORCE Formation au profit des forces de sécurité irakiennes Élaboré à la demande de l’état-major de la 6e division irakienne, un stage « combat en zone urbaine » a été conduit par la Task Force Monsabert du 9 au 12 juillet. Le format retenu pour cette instruction résulte de l’analyse des retours d’expériences français et irakiens sur l’importance de la maîtrise des actes élémentaires du combat en zone urbaine. Cette formation couvre les techniques de progression, de sécurisation de bâtiment, ainsi que l’ensemble des savoir-faire caractéristiques du combat en zone urbaine. Ce stage, qui s’inscrit dans une dynamique de long terme, devrait contribuer chaque mois à la formation de quinze soldats des bataillons commando de la 24e brigade. La Task Force Wagram en appui de l’offensive contre les dernières poches de Daech présentes dans la vallée de l’Euphrate Les artilleurs de la Task Force Wagram demeurent engagés en appui de l’offensive contre les dernières poches de Daech dans la vallée de l’Euphrate. Depuis le lancement de l’offensive le 1er mai, la Task Force Wagram a réalisé 195 missions de tirs, dont 6 sur la semaine écoulée (bilan du 11 au 17 juillet inclus). Depuis le début de son engagement, la Task Force Wagram a réalisé 1854 missions de tirs. Les bases aériennes en Jordanie et aux EAU en appui des operations Sur la semaine écoulée, les aéronefs de l’opération Chammal ont réalisé 24 sorties aériennes en appui des forces locales engagées au sol (bilan du 11 au 17 juillet inclus). Aucune frappe n’a été réalisée. Bilan total de l’action du pilier appui aérien depuis le 19/09/14 : 8238 sorties / 1453 frappes / 2244 objectifs neutralisés.’

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Nov 29, 2018
  • July 12, 2018, near an ice factory between Al-Susah and Al-Baghuz Foqani, Deir ez-Zor, Syria, via Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. After reviewing all the available evidence, the preponderance of the evidence did not indicate that the alleged civilian casualties were caused by Coalition operations.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    28–58
  • (6–12 children6–12 women2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    25–45
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (20) [ collapse]