Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CS130

Incident date

September 27, 2015

Location

السلخة, Jala'a (Al-Salakha), Deir ez-Zor, Syria

Geolocation

34.371708, 40.490609 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

France’s first air strike in Syria was alleged to have killed at least 30 child soldiers of Islamic State, according to reports.

The attack – which France later declared was a five-hour raid by multiple aircraft on a ‘Daesh training camp’ – targeted among other sites a palm grove at Al Shalkha, near the town of Jala’a.

Al Mayadeen cited a ‘senior source’ who alleged that five French Rafale aircraft “targeted a camp of so-called ‘Cubs of the Caliphate’ aged between 14 and 18 years, killing fifty of them.” The source added that the deaths “have raised the ire and wrath of local people towards Daesh. for forcing their children to attend training camps.”

According to the Syrian Observatory, not all of those killed were child soldiers with the dead also including “Arab fighters from North Africa and Syrian, and Iraqi fighters.” ISIL had been recruiting child soldiers in the areas it occupied since the start of 2015 reported SOHR: “They are ‘adults and are responsible for their decisions’, as the organization puts it.”

Asked to clarify the status of child soldiers according to the laws of war, Dapo Akande, Professor of Public International Law at the University of Oxford, told Airwars: “With regard to child soldiers, the fact that they are children will not change the law regarding whether they can be targeted. If they are members of an organized armed group or taking direct part in hostilities they can be targeted – even if they are doing this against the wishes of their families (or even against their own wishes).

In their monthly civilian casualty reports, the US-led Coalition has indicated that the credibility of this civilian harm allegation is in the process of being assessed.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    12 – 50
  • (12–30 children)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (4) [ collapse]

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Open incident
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

France has confirmed carrying out a complex air raid near Dayr az Zawr on September 27th 2015: “Le 27 septembre 2015, les aéronefs de l’opération Chammal ont mené un raid aérien contre un camp d’entraînement de Daech situé dans la vallée de l’Euphrate, au Sud de Deir Ez Zor. Il s’agit d’une frappe délibérée sur un objectif reconnu préalablement. Nos renseignements recoupés avec ceux de la coalition ont clairement établi que ce camp est occupé et actif.”

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    12 – 50
  • (12–30 children)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (4) [ collapse]