A Kurdish ground offensive backed by Coalition strikes reportedly killed six civilians in Abu Sheikhat and Tal Nass villages, to the west of Ras al-Ain.
Among those reported killed at Abu Sheikhat were a young female child and three non combatant men.
At nearby Tal Nass village, Adalah also alleged that two children were killed and one wounded from the Al Mir’i family, after an airstrike targeted an ISIL bulldozer.
Zaman reported that a number of civilians had been caught in Coalition strikes after failing to flee the village, for fear that surrounding areas remained occupied by ISIL.
In a rare reference to potential civilian casualties in an incident, the Coalition blamed at least some civcas on the destruction of an ISIL vehicle-borne IED, noting that “Kurdish fighters reported an ISIL VBIED detonation which resulted in an undetermined number of civilians injured in the area.”
Yet two years later, the Coalition claimed there was insufficient evidence of civilian harm: “May 24, 2015, near Abu Sheikhat, Syria, via Airwars report: After a review of available information and strike video it was assessed that there is insufficient evidence to find that civilians were harmed in this strike.”
Airwars has requested additional information form the Coalition, and continues to assess this event as likely.
The local time of the incident is unknown.
Sources (4) [ collapse]
Attached to this civilian harm incident is the Pentagon's declassified assessment of this civilian harm allegation, obtained by Azmat Khan and the New York Times through Freedom of Information requests and lawsuits filed since March 2017, alongside the corresponding press release published by the Pentagon. Airwars is currently analysing the contents of each file, and will update our own assessments accordingly.
US-led Coalition Assessment:
Civilian casualty statements
Jul 7, 2017
After a review of available information and strike video it was assessed that there is insufficient evidence to find that civilians were harmed in this strike.
Original strike reports
For May 23rd-24th 2015, the Coalition noted that “Near Al Hasakah, nine airstrikes struck two large and three small ISIL tactical units, destroying eight ISIL fighting positions, four ISIL vehicles, an ISIL tank and an ISIL armored vehicle.”