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

CS1912

Incident date

March 18–19, 2019

Location

الباغوز, Al Baghouz, Deir Ezzor, Syria

Geolocation

34.447579, 40.953426 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

As the SDF sought to take control of Al-Baghouz, the last ISIS territorial stronghold in Syria, local sources reported on what was referred to as a significant “massacre” in which between 160 and 300 civilians including 45 children were alleged killed.

Nors For Studies – an Arabic language source which describes itself as a Syrian research centre though which was not known for casualty claims in Deir Ezzor until very recently – alleged the staggering number of 3,000 people killed by Coalition bombardments. It was unclear whether this referred to a general number of fatalities, or whether it referred to one specific incident.

According to the source, 300 people were reported killed as a result of “sniping” and 300 charred bodies were found, most of whom were reported to be children and women.

According to Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silenty (RBSS), these people were killed in Coalition air and ground attacks aimed at expelling ISIS from the town. The source reported that ISIS used hundreds of civilians as human shields during the raids. It alleged that after SDF took control of the town, “SDF militias dug mass graves to bury those killed and even those merely injured”. Alongside the report, RBSS posted numerous graphic photos of human remains and charred bodies.

Several sources including Al Hasaka Arabea and RBSS reported that after “the images leaked”, journalists were prevented from entering Al-Baghouz camp by the “intelligence service of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party”. This intelligence service was reported to have entered with a convoy of trucks “in order to get rid of the bodies of the massacres committed by the Kurdish protection units”. Al Hasaka Arabea also claimed that the Coalition did not distinguish between civilians and members of ISIS.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SO4HR) reported 200 people including ISIS members and their families were killed in alleged Coalition bombing on Al-Baghouz camp carried out on Tuesday March 19th. The source reported that among the victims were 160 civilians, including 45 children. The bodies were reportedly buried on Wednesday morning March 20th.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights called for an independent investigation into what it described as “the massacre”. The Syrian Observatory questioned whether the international coalition knew during the bombing of the camp of the presence of children and women from the families of ISIS and why media was prevented from entering the area on the morning of March 20th.

The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SN4HR) reported a much lower number of individuals killed in aerial and ground attacks on Al Baghouz camp over the course of the last four days before the declared capture of Al Baghouz on March 23rd. The Syrian Network said that tens of individuals were killed, including women and children, most of whom were reported to be family members of ISIS members. The Network added that it was unable to specify the details of the attacks and the death tolls at the time of writing.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    160–300
  • (45 children)
  • 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 (14) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (18) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    On March 20th, RBSS published several pictures alongside a report that SDF "dug mass graves to bury those killed and even those merely injured" after taking control of Al-Baghouz.
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    On March 20th, RBSS published several pictures alongside a report that SDF "dug mass graves to bury those killed and even those merely injured" after taking control of Al-Baghouz.
  • The aftermath of alleged Coalition shelling on Al Baghouz camp, March 18th-19th, in which up to 300 civilians reportedly died (via RBSS)
  • The aftermath of alleged Coalition shelling of Al Baghouz camp, March 18th - 19th, which allegedly killed at least 160 civilians (via Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    On March 20th, RBSS published several pictures alongside a report that SDF "dug mass graves to bury those killed and even those merely injured" after taking control of Al-Baghouz.
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    On March 20th, RBSS published several pictures alongside a report that SDF "dug mass graves to bury those killed and even those merely injured" after taking control of Al-Baghouz.
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    On March 20th, RBSS published several pictures alongside a report that SDF "dug mass graves to bury those killed and even those merely injured" after taking control of Al-Baghouz.
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    On March 20th, RBSS published several pictures alongside a report that SDF "dug mass graves to bury those killed and even those merely injured" after taking control of Al-Baghouz.
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    On March 20th, RBSS published several pictures alongside a report that SDF "dug mass graves to bury those killed and even those merely injured" after taking control of Al-Baghouz.
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    On March 20th, RBSS published several pictures alongside a report that SDF "dug mass graves to bury those killed and even those merely injured" after taking control of Al-Baghouz.
  • On March 20th, RBSS published several pictures alongside a report that SDF "dug mass graves to bury those killed and even those merely injured" after taking control of Al-Baghouz.
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    On March 20th, RBSS published several pictures alongside a report that SDF "dug mass graves to bury those killed and even those merely injured" after taking control of Al-Baghouz.
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    On March 20th, RBSS published several pictures alongside a report that SDF "dug mass graves to bury those killed and even those merely injured" after taking control of Al-Baghouz.
  • On March 20th, RBSS published several pictures alongside a report that SDF "dug mass graves to bury those killed and even those merely injured" after taking control of Al-Baghouz.
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    On March 20th, RBSS published several pictures alongside a report that SDF "dug mass graves to bury those killed and even those merely injured" after taking control of Al-Baghouz.
  • On March 20th, RBSS published several pictures alongside a report that SDF "dug mass graves to bury those killed and even those merely injured" after taking control of Al-Baghouz.

US-led Coalition Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

"Between March 10 - 23 2019, CJTF-OIR conducted 250 strikes consisting of 398 engagements against Daesh targets in Syria and Iraq.

In Syria, CJTF-OIR conducted 193 strikes consisting of 338 engagements, engaged 346 Daesh tactical units, and destroyed 104 vehicles, 63 supply routes, 39 fighting positions, 31 vehicle borne improvised explosive devices, nine tactical vehicles, six fuel tankers, four weapons caches, two command and control nodes, one tunnel, one tanker for petroleum oil and lubricants, one mortar system, and one checkpoint."

France
  • English
    /
    Original

For March 13th-19th, France report that Task Force Wagram did not carry out any artillery missions. Aircraft carried out 57 sorties and there was one strike. It also provides a review of the four years of training of TF Narvik and Monsabert

CHAMMALSITUATION MILITAIRE DU THÉÂTREOffensive contre les dernières poches de Daech en SyrieEn moyenne vallée de l’Euphrate, les combats menés par les Forces démocratiquessyriennes, appuyés par la coalition, pour reconquérir le réduit de Baghouz continuent. Les combats sont intenses, la progression effective, mais lente, en raison de l’évacuation de nombreux civils, et de l’imbrication des combattants et des non combattants.Poursuite des actions en IrakLa situation sécuritaire est stable en Irak, et reste sous contrôle des Forces de sécurité intérieures qui poursuivent leur effort dans la lutte contre Daech.ACTIVITÉ DE LA FORCELe dispositif français déployé au Levant n’a pas évolué depuis la semaine dernière. Le groupe aéronaval participe toujours à l’opération Chammal : une frappe aérienne a été réalisée par ses Rafale cette semaine en appui des forces démocratiques syriennes.En parallèle, le groupement naval est intégré, en soutien associé, à l’opération Sea Gardian, opération maritime de l’OTAN qui accomplit actuellement trois tâches de sûreté maritime en Méditerranée : la constitution de capacités de sûreté maritime, la connaissance de la situation maritime, et la lutte contre le terrorisme.Enfin, la frégate britannique HMS Duncan a rejoint le groupe aéronaval cette semaine.Bilan des quatre ans de formation des TF Narvik et MonsabertDepuis mars 2015, en complément de l’appui feu aux troupes engagées au sol contre Daech, la France a déployé à Bagdad des militaires dont la mission est d’améliorer les capacités de commandement et les savoir-faire des troupes irakiennes. Deux Task Force (TF), Narvik et Monsabert, aux périmètres différents, ont été mises en place pour assurer cette mission.La TF Narvik prend part à la formation des forces spéciales de l’Iraki Counter Terrorism Service (ICTS), dans des domaines d’expertise immédiatement exploitables dans la lutte contre Daech : le combat en zone urbaine, le renseignement, le tir aux armes collectives et armes lourdes, la lutte contre les engins explosifs ou le sauvetage au combat.Les premiers mandats proposaient des instructions générales et spécialisées aux jeunes recrues et aux soldats expérimentés. L’ICTS est progressivement devenue autonome dans ces domaines et la TF Narvik porte désormais ses efforts sur la formation des cadres et des opérateurs spécialisés tout en perfectionnant à travers des stages dédiés des bataillons opérationnels de l’ICTS.Au bilan, la TF Narvik a formé plus de 8000 soldats et 300 instructeurs, et a mené des stages de perfectionnement au profit de plus de 3000 soldats, ce qui représente 25 % des actions de formation menées par la coalition pour l’ICTS.De son côté, la TF Monsabert fournit assistance et conseil (Advise and Assist — A2) à l’État-major et aux soldats de la 6e division d’infanterie, responsable notamment de la sécurisation de Bagdad.Dans le cadre de son partenariat avec la 6e division, la TF Monsabert a formé depuis sa création plus de 3300 soldats irakiens, et plus de 1700 formateurs.En constante évolution pour répondre aux besoins de ses partenaires irakiens, la TF Monsabert a récemment mis en place des cycles d’évaluation des savoir-faire fondamentaux des soldats de la 6e division. Plus de 4000 soldats irakiens ont déjà été passés au crible, permettant aux experts de la TF et au commandement de la 6è division de disposer d’une appréciation globale du niveau des différents régiments.Enfin, depuis 6 mois, dans le cadre de son partenariat avec l’école d’artillerie irakienne la TF Monsabert a formé 330 officiers et sous-officiers irakiens.Depuis quatre ans, ce sont au bilan plus de 20 000 soldats irakiens qui ont bénéficié de l’expertise de 1400 instructeurs français qui se sont relayés au sein de l’opération Chammal, dispensant 150 stages et participant à plus de 200 missions de conseil et d’appui.La Task Force Wagram en appui de l’offensive contre les dernières poches de Daech présentes dans la vallée de l’EuphrateLa Task Force (TF) Wagram continue d’appuyer les forces démocratiques syriennes contre Daech au sud de la ville d’Hajin.La TF Wagram n’a pas réalisé de missions de tir, depuis le territoire irakien, cette semaine (bilan du 13 au 19 mars inclus).Sorties air hebdomadaires (bilan du 13 au 19 mars inclus)Les aéronefs français basés en Jordanie et aux Émirats arabes unis, et projetés depuis le groupe aéronaval poursuivent leurs actions contre Daech, au sein de la coalition.Cette semaine, les aéronefs de l’opération Chammal ont réalisé 57 sorties aériennes (bilan du 13 au 19 mars inclus). Les Rafale français ont conduit 01 frappe cette semaine, réalisée par les aéronefs du groupe aeronaval.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    160–300
  • (45 children)
  • 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 (14) [ collapse]