Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CS071

Incident date

May 26, 2015

Location

الرقة‎, Ar Raqqah, Syria

Geolocation

35.95088, 39.00887 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Within 100m (via Coalition) level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Within 100m (via Coalition)

Airwars assessment

During a series of Coalition airstrikes against Islamic State in the vicinity of Ar Raqqah, a checkpoint was bombed at around 2pm. According to reports, a minibus carrying female agricultural workers was caught in the blast, killing between 6 and 10 women and reportedly injuring at least four. All of the female victims were reported to come from the nearby village of Hunaida. Two men also reportedly died, described both as militants and as civilians..

As one news site noted, “At the moment it’s the harvest season in the countryside of Raqqah, and dozens of women would be working the land at this period. They are often transported in cars that carry dozens at a time.”

Islamic State published an interview with a man said to be a medic, who said: “At 14:00 in the afternoon today, the crusader coalition carried out a raid on civilians which led to the deaths and injury of many people. The wounded were transported to the General Hospital in the city of Ar Raqqah, where they were treated. Some had light injuries and others were dead. We tell the crusader coalition didn’t you say you were here to help the weak? And here you are bombing civilians. We here in the hospitals are receiving victims, all of them Muslim Arabs.”

On July 7th, 2017 the Coalition admitted responsibility for the incident, reporting: “May 26, 2015, near Raqqah, Syria, via Airwars report: During a strike on an ISIS staging area, it was assessed that six civilians were unintentionally killed and two were injured after their vehicles entered the target area after the munition was released.”

The Coalition provided Airwars with the location of this event, accurate to within a 100 metre box.

The incident occured at 2:00 pm local time.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    6 – 12
  • (6–10 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    4–10
  • Airwars grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • Image published by ISIL reportedly showing vehicle destroyed in 'coalition airstrike', May 26 2015

Geolocation notes

Prior to the Coalition releasing the MGRS for this incident, Airwars had geolocated it to the nearest city at 35.9505639, 39.0094148

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Credible
    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
    Entered target area just prior to or after munition released
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    6
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    2
  • Stated location
    near Raqqah, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SEV008785
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jul 7, 2017
  • May 26, 2015, near Raqqah, Syria, via Airwars report: During a strike on an ISIS staging area, it was assessed that six civilians were unintentionally killed and two were injured after their vehicles entered the target area after the munition was released.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

The coalition has confirmed airstrikes in the vicinity for May 26th-27th 2015, noting: “Near Ar Raqqah, two airstrikes struck an ISIL training camp and an ISIL staging area.”

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    6 – 12
  • (6–10 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    4–10
  • Airwars grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (10) [ collapse]