Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CI879

Incident date

January 3, 2020

Location

مطار بغداد الدولي‎, Baghdad International Aiport, Baghdad, Iraq

Geolocation

33.266781, 44.231191 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

Possibly one civilian was killed and an unknown number of civilians injured in a confirmed U.S. airstrike that killed Iranian national Qassam Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force, on Baghdad International Airport at January 3rd, 2020.

The New York Times reported that an “American MQ-9 Reaper drone fired missiles into a convoy that was leaving the airport”.

Janoubia reported that the “the security media cell of the Iraqi Prime Minister’s Office announced that ‘three Katyusha rockets landed on Baghdad International Airport near the air cargo hall, resulting in the burning of two vehicles and the injury of a number of citizens.'”

Qassam Soleimani’s son-in-law was also declared killed. While sources do specify the roles of the other persons in the convoy killed, his combatant status remains unclear. Hence, we have listed Soleimani’s son-in-law as a possible civilian casualty.

The belligerents named killed were:

Abu Mahdi Al Muhandis (deputy head of the Popular Mobilization Forces)
Qassem Soleimani (commander of the Iranian Quds Force)
Samer Abdullah (head of External Operations Agency for Hezbollah and brother-in-law of Imad Mughniyeh)
Muhammad Reda Al Jabri (director of the Hashdat Al-Hashd at the airport)
Hassan Abdul-Hadi (PMU)
Muhammad Al Shaibani (PMU)
Haider Ali (PMU).

Muhammad Al Kawtharani, senior member of Hezbollah, was also reported to be among the dead, but these reports remain unconfirmed.

Iranian officials also listed the following officers who accompanied Soleimani as killed, as reported by Nors:

Brigadier Hussein Jafir
Colonel Shahrud Muzaffari
Major Hadi Tarmi
Captain Waheed Zamanian.

The Pentagon confirmed responsibility for the airstrike in a statement on January 3rd, stating that “this strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans.”

The incident occured at approximately 1:00 am local time.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Belligerents reported killed
    11–13

Sources (29) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (13) [ collapse]

  • Bodies of those killed in the U.S. airstrike near Baghdad International Airport after midnight on January 3rd, 2020 (via @madallh_skaren).
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Iranian Qassam Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force, was killed on January 3rd 2020 after his convoy was bombed by an American airstrike. On the right a photo of his body, zooming in on the ring he was wearing when he was alive, left (via @SUUFp1).
  • Iranian Qassam Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force, was killed on January 3rd 2020 after his convoy was bombed by an American airstrike (via @IRaqiRev).
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Photo of the body of Iranian Qassam Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force, who was killed on January 3rd 2020 after his convoy was bombed by an American airstrike (via @IRaqiRev).
  • Aftermath of alleged American airstrike on a convey in which Iranian Qassam Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force, was traveling near the Baghdad International Airport on January 3rd, 2020 (via Arab48).
  • Iranian Qassam Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force, was killed on January 3rd 2020 after his convoy was bombed by an American airstrike. Here pictured during a visit to Deir Ezzor end of 2019 (via Euphrates Post).
  • Money found near the location of the incident on January 3rd, 2020, that allegedly belongs to "Assad gangs" (via Nors).
  • Photo of a car near the location of the incident, allegedly from "Assad gangs" (via Nors Studies).
  • Iraqi official tv announces the killing of Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mehdi Al Muhandis on January 3rd, 2020 (via Nors Studies).
  • Iranian Qassam Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force, was killed on January 3rd 2020 after his convoy was bombed by an American airstrike (via Al Arabiya).
  • Muhammad Al Kawtharani (senior member Hezbollah), who was killed in an American drone strike on Bagdhad International Airport on January 3rd, 2020. Reports of his death remain unconfirmed (via Al Arabiya).
  • Muhammad Reda Al Jabri (director of the Hashdat Al-Hashd at the airport), who was killed in an American drone strike on Bagdhad International Airport on January 3rd, 2020 (via Al Arabiya).
  • Photo of Qassem Soleimani (left) and Abu Mahdi Al Muhandis (right), both killed in an American drone strike on Bagdhad International Airport on January 3rd, 2020 (via Al Arabiya).

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention a strike on the road connecting Baghdad International Airport (مطار بغداد الدولي) to the city of Baghdad. The generic coordinates for the airport are: 33.266781, 44.230898

United States Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    United States Armed Forces
  • United States Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Belligerents reported killed
    11–13

Sources (29) [ collapse]