Investigations for the April 2019 joint Airwars and Amnesty report War in Raqqa: Rethoric versus Reality (www.raqqa.amnesty.org) reported that on July 22 nine members of the Al-Zanna family were killed in a coalition air strike while sheltering in a basement under a parade of empty shops in Museum Square. Hours later another Coalition air strike two streets away killed 15 other members of the same family who were sheltering on the ground floor of a four-storey building. The second strike can be found here: CS1286a. Amnesty researchers spoke to a relative, Abdellatif: “The family had tried to leave Raqqa but Daesh (IS) prevented them, and Daesh also kicked them out of home near the old mosque. So, they took shelter in whatever place they thought they would be safe.” The strike happened between 1.30 and 2pm. Amnesty also interviewed a survivor named Salah Ahmad Hamdan, 46, who survived with Dhiba, Khalil’s wife, who testified to the event.
In July 2019 the Coalition announced that it had assessed this allegation of civilian harm to be non-credible. Their monhtly civilian casualty report noted: “After a review of available information it was assessed that no Coalition actions were conducted in the geographical area that corresponds to the report of civilian casualties.”
The incident occured between 1:30 pm and 2:00 pm local time.
The victims were named as:
Family members (9)
- Fatima Mahmoud Mohammed 42 years old female wife of Salah Ahmad Hamdan, Mahmoud Mohammed's daughter killed
- Ahmad Ahmad Hamdan 23 years old male Fatima and Salah's son killed
- Mohammed Ahmad Hamdan 18 years old male Fatima and Salah's son killed
- Mahmoud Ahmad Hamdan 16 years old male Fatima and Salah's son killed
- Mahmoud Mohammed al Zunna 67 years old male Marian's husband, Fatima's father killed
- Mohammed Rasool Al Zunna 20 years old male Khaled and Muna's son killed
- Khaleel Mohammad Al Zunna 20 years old male Marian and Mahmoud's son, Fatima's brother, Daleel's husband killed
- Mariam Mohammad Al Zunna 8 years old female Khaleel and Dhiba's daughter killed
- Mahmoud Mohammad Al Zunna 5 years old male Khaleel and Dhiba's son killed
Sources (1) [ collapse]
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
Jul 26, 2019
Jul. 22, 2017, in Raqqa, Syria, via Amnesty International report. After a review of available information it was assessed that no Coalition actions were conducted in the geographical area that corresponds to the report of civilian casualties.
Original strike reports
For July 28th-29th: “Near Raqqah, 12 strikes engaged 10 ISIS tactical units; destroyed eight fighting positions, an artillery system, and a vehicle; and suppressed a fighting position.” It additionally reported that “On July 28, near Raqqah, Syria, 16 strikes engaged 12 ISIS tactical units, destroyed an anti-air artillery system, and damaged seven fighting positions.”
‘Friday 28 July – a Tornado and Typhoon pair struck a Daesh position in Raqqa…Another mixed Tornado and Typhoon pair assisted the SDF in Raqqa on Friday 28 July, and a Paveway IV was used to destroy a terrorist position.’