A US night time airstrike on a vehicle carrying alleged al-Nusra Front personnel also killed two passing civilian motorcyclists. They were later identified by the Syrian Network for Human Rights as two cousins aged 25 and 30. Both worked in the local shoe industry.
In January 2016 CENTCOM confirmed that its airstrike had targeted “a vehicle carrying Khorasan Group Leader Muhsin al-Fadhli.” A US post-strike assessment had then concluded that “two civilians on a motorcycle were likely injured.” CENTCOM’s omission of the deceased mens’ details indicated that credible external sources were not playing a major role in US casualty assessments.
In July 2019, the Coalition provided Airwars with coordinates for the event, accurate to within a 100 metre box.
In December 2019, the Coalition declared that it was treating a second alleged civilian harm event in Raqqa on this date (CS093) as a duplicate claim.
The local time of the incident is unknown.
The victims were named as:
Family members (2)
Sources (11) [ collapse]
Prior to the Coalition releasing the MGRS for this incident, Airwars had geolocated it to the nearest village at 36.1757897, 36.6662586
US-led Coalition Assessment:
Civilian casualty statements
On July 8, 2015, near Sarmada, Syria, during a strike against a vehicle carrying Khorasan Group Leader Muhsin al-Fadhli, it was assessed two civilians on a motorcycle were likely injured.
Duplicate Reports: The following reports were found to be duplicates of previously assessed Coalition actions. 1. July 8, 2015, in Raqqa, Syria, via Airwars report. The Coalition actions identified in this allegation are duplicates of those in allegation 57 (Credible with one civilian unintentionally wounded, published 22 January 2016). 2801/CS093 37SEV008785
Original strike reports
The US has confirmed it carried out an attack on al Nusra on July 8th 2015: “Near Idlib, Syria, coalition military forces conducted one airstrike against a network of veteran al Qa’eda operatives, sometimes called the “Khorasan Group,” who are known to plot external attacks against the United States and our allies. The airstrike struck a tactical unit and destroyed a vehicle.”