Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CS1229 RS2349

Incident date

July 18, 2017

Location

معدان, Ma'adan, Ar Raqqah, Syria

Geolocation

35.751769, 39.61639 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

Three people were reportedly wounded following airstrikes in Ma’dan on the eastern border of Raqqa governorate. However it was contested as to who was responsible.

One source, Shaam News Network, claimed that the airstrikes caused a “massacre” and that 12 civilians were killed. However it was at odds with nine other sources which reported the incident without claiming there were civilian casualties, stating that three people were instead injured.

Only one other source, Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, also claimed there were civilian casualties, but did not identify the number of people purportedly killed.

It is believed that Shaam News Network claimed the high civilian casualty rate because there were a number of other airstrikes in the surrounding towns – documented by Airwars in other incidents – and it may have confused strikes in other areas with those in Ma’dan. Shaam News Network was also the only source to allege that Russia was responsible, whereas seven sources alleged that the Coalition was responsible. Three sources did not make any claims with regards to responsibility.

Amnesty Intentional later shared an unpublished report with Airwars stating that “Fifteen days ago [c July 11th] “the Russians” started dropping barrel bombs [in the areas near Maadan]. The first barrel bomb attack on Maadan was one week ago [around 19 July]”.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 12
  • Civilians reported injured
    3
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    US-led Coalition, Russian Armed Forces

Sources (14) [ collapse]

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
    No Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    near Ma’adan, Syria
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Mar 28, 2018
  • After a review of available information it was assessed that no Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area that correspond to the report of civilian casualties.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For July 18th-19th: “Near Raqqah, 12 strikes engaged 11 ISIS tactical units and destroyed nine fighting positions, two vehicles and a tactical vehicle.” It additionally reported that “On July 18, near Raqqah, Syria, 18 strikes engaged 12 ISIS tactical units; destroyed 18 fighting positions, an anti-aircraft artillery system, a weapons cache, and a sniper position; and damaged a fighting position and a supply route.”

France
  • English
    /
    Original

For July 12th-18th, France report 11 strikes: 7 in Syria (6 in Raqqa) and 4 in Iraq. There were 26 artillery strikes in Mosul. Since September 19th 2014 France has carried out 1322 strikes, with 2090 targets destroyed and 6812 air sorties. Additionally, they’ve carried out 1310 artillery missions.

‘OPÉRATION CHAMMAL SITUATION En Syrie, Dans la ville de Raqqah désormais encerclée, Daech défend fermement les quartiers sous son contrôle en s’appuyant sur un usage intensif de pièges dont le terrain est littéralement saturé pour ralentir la progression des forces démocratiques syriennes (FDS). Cette stratégie impose aux FDS de déminer, pas à pas, chaque rue et chaque maison, sous la menace permanente de tireurs isolés entre autres tactiques adverses. Leur progression reste donc très lente. En Irak, Alors que les opérations de sécurisation de Mossoul se poursuivent, la principale zone de combat se situe désormais à l’Ouest de la ville dans le secteur de Tall Afar. Depuis cette localité, Daech mène des actions de harcèlement par des tirs directs et indirects contre les positions des Forces de Sécurité Irakiennes (FSI) à proximité. L’effort aérien de la coalition s’y porte donc tout en s’accompagnant d’un engagement plus large sur l’ensemble des autres territoires encore sous le contrôle de l’organisation terroriste. Daech poursuit notamment ses actions de harcèlement depuis la poche de Hawijah et dans l’Anbar, région dans laquelle elle dispose de nombreux camps et caches d’armes. ACTIVITÉS DE LA FORCE Cette semaine, les aéronefs ont réalisé 37 sorties aériennes dont 31 de reconnaissance armée et d’appui au sol (CAS), ainsi que 04 missions de recueil de renseignement et 02 de ravitaillement en vol après le déploiement récent d’un C135. La moitié des frappes françaises (6 sur les 11 frappes) a été réalisée dans le cadre de la bataille de Raqqah, les missions de reconnaissance française ou alliée permettant d’en réaliser autant sur le reste du théâtre afin de préparer les manœuvres futures ou de peser sur les réseaux terroristes. La Task Force (TF) Wagram a mené de son côté 26 missions de tir dont 17 de harcèlement et 09 d’éclairement. Le bilan global de CHAMMAL depuis le 19 septembre 2014 s’élève 1322 frappes, 2090 objectifs détruits et 6812 sorties aériennes réalisées. 1310 missions d’artillerie complètent cet engagement cinétique de la France au Levant.’

Russian Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Armed Forces
  • Russian Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 12
  • Civilians reported injured
    3
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    US-led Coalition, Russian Armed Forces

Sources (14) [ collapse]