Seven or eight civilians including women and children from the same family died in an alleged Coalition artillery on 16th Street in Raqqa’s Rumaila neighbourhood, according to local sources.
The date has been changed from the 23rd to the 22nd since Amnesty International conducted field research in Raqqa.
Q_Alenzy reported the death of six members of the Sheiko family when “warplanes” allegedly shelled “their house behind Al-Salihiya library in Rumaila street on Thursday afternoon.” Other sources reported that seven civilians from the same family died, while Jisr TV put the death toll at eight and blamed the Coalition. It has since been discovered by Amnesty field research that the eighth victim was the fetus of Buthaina. She was at the end of her pregnancy when she was killed.
In February 2018 the Coalition made its first assessment of the case, classing it as ‘non credible’.
The Amnesty and Airwars’s joint April 2019 report ‘War in Raqqa: Rhetoric versus Reality’ later reported that “Six members of the Sheikho family – three children, one woman and two men – were killed in their sleep when their home was struck by an artillery shell at 2.45 am. ”
A survivor of the artillery strike named Mohammed gave a testimony to Amnesty researchers: “I lost my two children. My baby girl was only 25 days old. How can it be acceptable to kill children? This war had no mercy and no humanity and we defenceless civilians paid the price.”
In its monthly civilian casualty report for October 2019 – published on December 5th of the same year – the Coalition again assessed this event as ‘non credible’, noting: “June 22, 2017, in Raqqah, Syria, via Amnesty International 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. 2736/AI-24/S928 37SEV020795”.
The Coalition provided coordinates accurate to within 100 metres, indicating the location on which it had focused its assessment.
The incident occured at 02:45:00 local time.
The victims were named as:
Family members (7)
- Ahmed Mustafa Sheikho 58 years old male killed
- Ahmad Mohammed 5 years old male grandchild of Ahmed Mustafa Sheikho killed
- Layan Mohammed 25 days old years old female killed
- Hana Adult female wife of Ahmed Mustafa Sheikho, broke her leg injured
- Ahmad Moh Sheikho 38 years old male nephew killed
- Buthaina 30s years old female pregnant wife of Ahmad Moh Sheikho
- Tha’er 6 years old male daughter of AHmed and Buthaina killed
Sources (14) [ collapse]
According to Amnesty research there was no visible change in June this building, 2017/08/04-2017/08/11 (or next door 2017/07/06-2017/07/19).
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
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.
June 22, 2017, in Raqqah, Syria, via Amnesty International 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. 2736/AI-24/S928 37SEV020795
Original strike reports
For June 22nd-23rd the Coalition reported: “Near Raqqah, 19 strikes engaged 14 ISIS tactical units; destroyed 12 fighting positions, two vehicles, and an IED cache; and damaged an ISIS supply route.” It additionally reported that On June 22, near Raqqah, Syria, two strikes engaged two ISIS tactical units and destroyed two fighting positions.” and that “On June 22, near Raqqah, Syria, two strikes engaged two ISIS tactical units; destroyed two fighting positions, two vehicles, a weapons cache, and an ISIS staging area; and damaged 14 fighting positions.”
For June 23rd-24th: “Near Raqqah, 21 strikes engaged 15 ISIS tactical units; destroyed 10 fighting positions, six vehicles, a VBIED, an ISIS staging area, a tactical vehicle, a mortar tube, and a mortar system; damaged an ISIS supply route; and suppressed an ISIS tactical unit.” It additionally reported that “On June 23, near Raqqah, Syria, seven strikes engaged four ISIS tactical units and suppressed two ISIS tactical units.”
19 strikes were made by French aircraft in Iraq and Syria in the last week. Most of them were carried out in the battles of Mosul and Raqqah. These strikes were aimed at groups of Daech fighters. The other strikes were carried out in Syria and targeted regrouping and refueling areas used by jihadi fighters. Task Force Wagram carried out 16 artillery strikes in Mosul.
Cette semaine, les aéronefs de l’opération Chammal ont réalisé 31 sorties aériennes dont 29 de reconnaissance armée ou d’appui au sol (CAS) et 2 de recueil de renseignements. 19 frappes ont été réalisées par les avions français en Irak et en Syrie. La majeure partie d’entre elles ont été réalisées dans le cadre des batailles de Mossoul et de Raqqah. Ces frappes visaient des groupes de combattants de Daech. Les autres frappes ont été réalisées en Syrie et ont visé des zones de regroupement et de ravitaillements utilisées par les combattants djihadistes.
Friday 23 June – Tornados and Typhoons hit three Daesh sniper teams in Mosul, and a truck-bomb and armoured personnel carrier in Raqqa…The next day [June 23rd], a mixed Tornado and Typhoon pair used two Paveway IVs to target successfully a large group of Daesh fighters operating with a truck-bomb and an armoured personnel carrier in Raqqa, while in Mosul a Tornado flight conducted three precision attacks with Brimstone missiles on sniper positions.