Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CS1012

Incident date

June 16, 2017

Location

جامع المنصوري, Al Mansouri mosque, Ar Raqqah, Syria

Geolocation

35.951933, 39.019327 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Nearby landmark level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Nearby landmark

Airwars assessment

Between four and 25 civilians including one woman and 10 children died in SDF/Coalition shelling near the Al Mansouri mosque in Raqqa, according to local media.

Multiple reports said that a home near the mosque was hit with artillery or mortar shells or rocket attacks.

According to @24Raqqa “more than 10 mortar shells fell on the perimeter of Al-Mansouri Mosque and the old mosque in the center of the city of Al-Raqqa”.

Meanwhile, @raqqa_r_w_b reported that Dalal Ahmad Hussein al-Nayef died when a home next to the mosque was struck and Al Ragga Truth reported: “The martyrdom of Ahmed Al-Hussein Al-Nayef from injuries sustained several days ago by the bombardment in the vicinity of Al-Mansouri Mosque.”

In February 2019, the Coalition assessed this event to be non-credible. Their report noted: “After review of all available strike records it was determined that more likely than not civilian casualties did not occur as a result of a Coalition strike.”

Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently published graphic images showing casualties and destruction of Raqqa on June 16th, though the pictures were not necessarily specific to this incident.

According to a local source interviewed by Amnesty International’s field researchers, the first strike came at around 7.30pm near the Old Mosque on Sharia Jama al Qadeemeh.

In a later Amnesty/Airwars study of the incident, it was reported in the Amnesty and Airwars’s joint April 2019 report “War in Raqqa: Rhetoric versus Reality” report that, Ahmed, who lived in the centre of Raqqa, near the Old Mosque, told Amnesty International that on 15 June a public gathering of IS members prompted shelling which killed 25 civilians.

“There had been a problem between IS and local civilians. I was in the area buying fruit juices for Iftar. It was around 7.15 in the evening. I saw a heated situation develop and I stopped on the corner to see what was going on. People were gathered outside the Old Mosque where IS used to exchange money for Durham Da’ashi [IS currency]. Some people got into an argument with an IS guy about the exchange rate. The IS guy took out his pistol and hit a man on the head with it. A fight broke out and around 20 local civilians beat two IS guys to death.

Soon afterwards six or seven IS cars arrived on the scene full of armed IS guys. They ordered everyone to return home immediately. They closed down all the shops and blocked off the streets. I went home, just down Sharia Jama al Qademeeh.

The first strike came at around 7.30pm. When I heard the explosion I ran from my home with my wife and three children, one of whom is disabled. We ran to a neighbour’s house and hid in the cellar. There were 20 people from the neighbourhood in the cellar. He had prepared everything so there was food and water. We didn’t come out for two days.

All night they shelled, every 15 minutes, with mortars and artillery. You could tell from the sound. The street is 2km long. There were around 100 IS in the area and around 2,000 civilians. When the shelling began the IS got in their cars and escaped. They [the SDF/coalition] killed 25 people on Sharia Jama al Qadeemeh, including 10 children. I know because I met up with my neighbours and other people from the area at “aind al Democrati” [the SDF collection point for civilians beyond the frontline]. We all talked and everyone knew someone who had been killed that night.

One of the strikes hit my house and destroyed it. It was an Arab house of three storeys in Jama al Qadeemeh. It also destroyed the adjoining house. The family living there was killed. Three brothers, Jihad aged 20-23, Ahmed aged 18 and Mahmoud, aged 15 or 16. Jihad’s wife Beytool was also killed. She was 19 or 20 and had been 2 months pregnant. Another person killed was Abu Maher, a local motorcycle mechanic.

When we came out of the cellar we arranged to leave the area. I paid the smugglers 400USD to get me and my family out of Raqqa. We crossed the river and then crossed back again at Sahel where the SDF was positioned”.

The incident occured at approximately 7:30 pm local time.

The victims were named as:

Family members (2)

  • Jihad 20-13 years old male killed
  • Beytool 19 years old female pregnant Wife of Jihad killed
  • Dalal Ahmad Hussein al-Nayef Adult male killed
  • Obeida Mohammed Aldagl Age unknown male killed
  • Amina El-Hajj Taha Age unknown female killed
  • Ahmed 18 years old male killed
  • Mahmoud 16 years old male killed
  • Abu Maher Age unknown male killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    25
  • (1–10 children2 women5 men)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (20) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (12) [ collapse]

  • Image showing destruction in Raqqa due to shelling on 16th, but not necessarily specific to this incident (via RBSS)
  • Image showing destruction in Raqqa due to shelling on 16th, but not necessarily specific to this incident (via RBSS)
  • Image showing destruction in Raqqa due to shelling on 16th, but not necessarily specific to this incident (via RBSS)
  • Image showing destruction in Raqqa due to shelling on 16th, but not necessarily specific to this incident (via RBSS)
  • Image showing destruction in Raqqa due to shelling on 16th, but not necessarily specific to this incident (via RBSS)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Photo showing victim killed by alleged Coalition shelling on Raqqa June 16th 2017. The picture is however not necessarily related to this specific event (via RBSS)
  • Photo showing injured child by alleged Coalition shelling on Raqqa June 16th 2017. The picture is however not necessarily related to this specific event (via RBSS)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Photo showing victim killed by alleged Coalition shelling on Raqqa June 16th 2017. The picture is however not necessarily related to this specific event (via RBSS)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Photo showing victim killed by alleged Coalition shelling on Raqqa June 16th 2017. The picture is however not necessarily related to this specific event (via RBSS)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Photo showing victim killed by alleged Coalition shelling on Raqqa June 16th 2017. The picture is however not necessarily related to this specific event (via RBSS)
  • Photo showing victim killed by alleged Coalition shelling on Raqqa June 16th 2017. The picture is however not necessarily related to this specific event (via RBSS)
  • Ahmed Hussein Al-Nayef was reportedly killed by the contested shelling on al-Mansouri Mosque, Raqqa (via RBSS)

Geolocation notes (2) [ collapse]

  • Location of the destroyed building seen before the strike on June 2, 2017 (via Amnesty International)

  • Location of the destroyed building seen after the strike on June 9, 2017 (via Amnesty International)

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible / Unsubstantiated
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    Other
  • Stated location
    near al-Mansouri Mosque, Raqqah, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SEV017 786
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Feb 28, 2019
  • June 16, 2017, near al-Mansouri Mosque, Raqqah, Syria via Airwars report. After review of all available strike records it was determined that more likely than not civilian casualties did not occur as a result of a Coalition strike.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For June 15th-16th the Coalition reported: “Near Raqqah, 20 strikes engaged 14 ISIS tactical units and a sniper and destroyed nine fighting positions, four vehicles, three mortar systems, two supply caches, two ISIS headquarters, a heavy machine gun, and a home-made explosives factory.” It also additionally reported that “On June 15, near Raqqah, Syria, six strikes destroyed eight fighting positions, an ISIS headquarters, and a tunnel, and suppressed two snipers.” And that “On June 15, near Raqqah, Syria, one strike destroyed six fighting positions, five ISIS staging areas, two command and control nodes, an ISIS headquarters, and a supply cache, and damaged 10 fighting positions and two VBIED facilities.”

For June 16th-17th the Coalition reported: “Near Raqqah, 25 strikes engaged 21 ISIS tactical units and destroyed 34 fighting positions, three tunnels, three mortar systems, two vehicles and a VBIED facility.” It was additionally reported that “On June 16, near Raqqah, Syria, eight strikes engaged four ISIS tactical units; destroyed four fighting positions, two ISIS headquarters, two VBIED facilities, and two VBIEDs; and suppressed a sniper team.”

France
  • English
    /
    Original

For June 14th-20th, 19 strikes were made by French aircraft in Iraq and Syria. Most of them were carried out during the Battle of Mosul, in support of the Iraqi fighters engaged in the fighting to drive ISIL out of its positions in the North of the Medina. The other strikes were carried out in support of the fighting for the capture of Raqqah, and against flows of arms and fighters in Iraq and Syria.

Cette semaine, les aéronefs de l’opération Chammal ont réalisé 34 sorties aériennes dont 31 de reconnaissance armée ou d’appui au sol (CAS) et 3 de recueil de renseignements. 19 frappes ont été réalisées par les avions français en Irak et en Syrie. La majeure partie d’entre elle ont été réalisées dans le cadre de la bataille de Mossoul, en appui des combattants irakiens engagés dans les combats pour chasser Daech de ses positions au Nord de la Médina. Les autres frappes ont été réalisées en appui des combats pour la prise de Raqqah, et contre des flux d’armes et de combattants en Irak et en Syrie.

United Kingdom
  • English
    /
    Original

Friday 16 June – Typhoons bombed two Daesh positions in Raqqa, while Tornados and Typhoons attacked five positions in Mosul…Typhoons were again in action over Raqqa on Friday 16 June, when they bombed two further Daesh positions. Typhoons and Tornados, flying as mixed pairs, employed one Brimstone missile and four Paveway IVs to eliminate two machine-gun teams and three other Daesh strongpoints.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    25
  • (1–10 children2 women5 men)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (20) [ collapse]