Coalition aircraft allegedly destroyed an “ISIS-owned digger,” killing a man local monitoring group Raqaa is Being Slaughtered Silently described as a civilian driver: “Coalition planes targeted a drilling vehicle belonging to Daesh which is used for digging berms in the area of Tal Al Bayi’a. This led to the burning of the vehicle, and to the death of the driver.”
The combatant status of such individuals in the eyes of the coalition remains unclear. However in one Facebook entry a man naming himself as Abd Al Kareem Mohammad said that the victim was a family member, and a non-combatant: “IS threatened him and forced him to work with them. The poor man has just had his first baby boy born twenty days ago. Don’t judge people from their appearances. Some people have very little choice.”
In a related incident, Buzzfeed cited an eyewitness to a nearby Coalition strike on an ISIL checkpoint. As the 28-year old mother of three fled with her children, she reported seeing the body of a neighbor who’d been driving across the bridge carrying groceries. She complained to the news site: “We used to feel safe when we saw the American airstrikes. Now my daughters are afraid to go to the school, because they say there is ISIS and there is American airstrikes.”
In the first of their March 2020 civilian casualty reports, the US-led Coalition assessed reports that they were responsible for civilian harm in this strike as “non-credible”, stating that after a review of all available records it was determined that, more likely than not, civilian casualties did not occur as a result of a Coalition action.
The local time of the incident is unknown.
Sources (2) [ collapse]
US-led Coalition Assessment:
Civilian casualty statements
Mar 25, 2020
July 15, 2015, in Raqqah, Syria, via Airwars report. After a review of all available records it was determined that, more likely than not, civilian casualties did not occur as a result of a Coalition action. 2803/CS102 37SEV008784
Original strike reports
The Coalition has confirmed it destroyed an excavation vehicle and a checkpoint in the vicinity on July 15th-16th 2015: “Near Ar Raqqah, five airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units, an ISIL structure and an ISIL checkpoint and destroyed an ISIL excavator and two ISIL vehicles.“