Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CS107

Incident date

July 28, 2015

Location

كفرهند, Kafr Hind, Idlib, Syria

Geolocation

36.08287, 36.42899 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

A US targeted air strike (possibly by drone) aimed at four al-Nusra Front suspects traveling in a vehicle also killed up to 10 civilians including six children. The US has admitted three deaths in the event.

Reporting at the time was somewhat confused. Some sources said a vehicle was wrongly targeted killing four civilians. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights noted ‘the reported death of civilians who happened to be in the area during the airstrike’ on a senior al-Nusra figure. Activists named two militants killed as Abu Jalmoud Aalkamdasi and Abu Obeida Al Yemeni.

Following an investigation, the Syrian Network concluded that the strike had killed eight civilians: “The [ISIL] vehicle was near a fuel shop and hence a fuel tank exploded and 8 civilians were killed including 6 children.”

Exactly one year after the event, CENTCOM released the following statement: “On July 28, 2015, near Idlib, Syria, during a strike on a senior Khorasan Group advisor, it is assessed that three civilians were killed and one vehicle destroyed when their vehicle appeared in the target area after the Coalition aircraft released its weapon.”

In July 2019 the Coalition provided Airwars with the location of this incident, accurate to within a 100 metre box.

The incident occured at 3:00 pm local time.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    8 – 10
  • (6 children2 men)
  • Airwars grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (11) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (9) [ collapse]

  • Map showing the exact location of the strike. [Via: SN4HR August 11th, 2015 report]
  • Ten civilians reportedly died when this fuel station was caught in a US airstrike on July 28 2015 (via SN4HR)
  • Aftermath of a US targeted strike in Syria on July 28 which killed at least 4 civilians (via Shaam News)
  • Smoke rising from the location of the strike. [Via: SN4HR August 11th, 2015 report]
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Graphic: An image of one of the bodies charred as a result of the alleged coalition strike in Kafr Hind. [Via: SN4HR August 11th, 2015 report]
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Graphic: unidentified body parts charred as a result of the strike on Kafr Hind. [Via: SN4HR August 11th, 2015 report]
  • Image of the Al Nusra Front car that was burnt and destroyed in the strike. [Via: SN4HR August 11th, 2015 report]
  • Image of the al Nusra Front car that was hit in the strike, killing 4 al Nusra operatives in addition to up to 10 civilians standing by. [Via: SN4HR August 11th, 2015 report]
  • Video showing the aftermath of the strike on the Al Nusra car in Kafr Hind. [via : Bilalo Bilal youtube account]

Geolocation notes

Prior to the Coalition releasing the MGRS for this incident, Airwars had geolocated it to the nearest village as 36.08387, 36.4262

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
    3
  • Stated location
    near Idlib, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SBV685962
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jul 28, 2016
  • On July 28, 2015, near Idlib, Syria, during a strike on a senior Khorasan Group advisor, it is assessed that three civilians were killed and one vehicle destroyed when their vehicle appeared in the target area after the Coalition aircraft released its weapon.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

The US has confirmed an airstrike targeting al-Nusra on July 28th 2015: “Separately, on July 28 near Salqin, Syria, U.S. military forces conducted one airstrike against a network of veteran al-Qaida operatives, sometimes called the “Khorasan Group,” who are plotting external attacks against the United States and our allies. The airstrike struck a tactical unit and destroyed a vehicle.”

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    8 – 10
  • (6 children2 men)
  • Airwars grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (11) [ collapse]