Extensive coalition air raids on Islamic State-controlled oil fields reportedly killed four civilian oil workers, according to a number of sources. Local website Step Agency listed what it said were the targets struck: “The alliance planes at dawn today launched more than five raids targeting Islamic State near the town of Abu Kamal in the villages of Hassrat, Al Mujawira, Al Sayyal and Hajeen in the east of Deir Ez Zawr governorate. They continued their heavy bombardment of al Mayadeen in the evening , targeting the old electricity building and oil wells in the desert in both Mayadeen and Bokros. They also targeted Ain Ali near Al Kouria, and Abu Hamam in Shai’tat and Al Ward oil field.” Locals tweeted that “Dayr Ezzor is under fire” during the air raids.
Residents later described a ferocious US-led attack: “The attack was terrifying as it is the first time the bombing was that strong. I looked up and the sky was red like fire because of the missiles, and then I learned from a relative that the refinery was targeted.”
In a later email exchange with Airwars, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that four civilians later died of injuries sustained during the bombing: “An engineer and three workers from the eastern countryside of Dayr Ez Zawr died on January 13th, following a bombing two days earlier by the allies on an oil refinery in Mayadeen.”
The Syrian Network for Human Rights also reported 4 civilian deaths and named the victims.
Syrian Martyrs and Damascus Centre for Human Rights Studies named a possible fifth victim of the event.
SNHR also insisted that only civilians were present at the time of the attack: “As the witness testaments show, there were no vehicles or members of ISIS near the refinery, as it is owned by the victims’ family. The closest ISIS base in the area is 8 km from the refinery.”
The incident occured at approximately 7:00 pm local time.
- Ibrahim Mohammad As-Soulymane Adult male From al-Toub Village in Eastern Deir Ezzor killed
- Ryad Mohammad Al-Khatter Adult male From al-Toub Village in Eastern Deir Ezzor killed
- Maher Hamad Al-Allawee Adult male From al-Toub Village in Eastern Deir Ezzor killed
- Mohammad Awad Al-Hussein 24 years old Petroleum engineer from al Mayadeen in eastern Deir Ezzor. He was married with a one year old daughter named Yara. He had graduated in 2011 and was working at the refinery. killed
- Mohammad al Sobhi Adult male listed as killed on January 12th 2015 in al Mayadeen due to coalition raids, no further details. killed
Sources (7) [ collapse]
The Coalition aircraft was reported to have raided an oil refinery (petrol separator) located in the Shabli area, near Al Mayadeen, at approximately 19:00 local time. According to SNHR: “The refinery is 10 km from Al-Qala’a Station which is located on the main street – Mayadeen Road – Bukrus-Deir Ezzor.” The approximate location of this refinery is: 34.9855034, 40.4081155
US-led Coalition Assessment:
Original strike reports
Despite the large scale air attack described by multiple witnesses, the coalition officially confirmed only one airstrike in the immediate vicinity for January 11th-12th 2015, noting only that: “Near Dawr az Zawr, an airstrike struck an ISIL oil refinery.”