Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CI834

Incident date

August 23, 2017

Location

الكرابلة, Mahdi school area of Karabla, Anbar, Iraq

Geolocation

34.376786, 41.060586 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (via Airwars) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Exact location (via Airwars)

Airwars assessment

Five civilians, including three women, were reported killed following airstrikes on Karabla. In particular, the Mahdi School was said to have been hit. Sources described heavy shelling by warplanes.

While the Yagein news agency referred to government aircraft as the perpetrators, it was not clear from other reports who was responsible for the strike, however.

In July 2019 the Coalition accepted responsibility for the deaths of all five civilians in this incident. Its monthly civilian casualty report noted: “Coalition aircraft conducted an airstrike against a Daesh weapons cache. Regrettably, five civilians were unintentionally killed due to their proximity to the strike.” The Coalition also provided Airwars with the location for this incident accurate to within a 100 metre box.

In May 2020, in its annual civilian harm report to Congress, the Pentagon conceded this as a US military incident.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5
  • (3 women)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected attacker
    Iraq government forces
  • Suspected target
    ISIS

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • A satellite image shows the destroyed building following strike on Mahdi school area of Karabla on Aug 23rd, 2017
  • Table from May 2020 Pentagon report to Congress, conceding additional US civilian harm events in Iraq and Syria during 2017.

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the area surrounding Al Mahdi (المهدي) Elementary School in the neighbourhood of Karabla (الكرابلة). The exact coordinates for the school are: 34.376786, 41.060586. The MGRS released by the Coalition – accurate to within a 100 metre box – placed this incident around 34.37715, 41.06102.

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Credible / Substantiated
    The investigation assessed that although all feasible precautions were taken and the decision to strike complied with the law of armed conflict, unintended civilian casualties regrettably occurred.
  • Given reason for civilian harm
    Other
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    5
  • Stated location
    Karabla, Al Qaim, Iraq
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SFU895059
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Aug 29, 2019
  • Aug. 23, 2017, in Karabla, Al Qaim, Iraq, via Airwars report. Coalition aircraft conducted an airstrike against a Daesh weapons cache. Regrettably, five civilians were unintentionally killed due to their proximity to the strike.

United States
  • May 6, 2020
  • Since last year’s Section 1057 report, CJTF-OIR assessed that an additional 21 reports of civilian casualties during 2017 were credible, with approximately 71 civilians killed and approximately 13 civilians injured as result of U.S. military operations. With these additional assessments, CJTF-OIR assessed that a total number of 191 reports of civilian casualties during 2017 were credible, with approximately 864 civilians killed and approximately 219 civilians injured. 23-Aug-17 Al Qaim, Iraq Air 0 civilians injured 5 civilians killed

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For August 22nd -23rd the Coalition reported “Near Al Qaim, three strikes destroyed two ISIS headquarters and two weapons caches.”

Iraq government forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5
  • (3 women)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected attacker
    Iraq government forces
  • Suspected target
    ISIS

Sources (5) [ collapse]