In a major casualty incident, between 10 and 50 civilians died, including entire families, and dozens more were wounded in an alleged Coalition airstrike in the Al Bousraya area of Raqqa, according to local sources. Since further research was conducted by Amnesty it appears only 16 civilians were living in the building which was struck.
Reports said that the strike hit a civilian home/building which contained 50 civilians. According to Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, nearly all 50 people were killed, including two children. The source said that IS had gathered the civilians inside the building.
Rt.ararabic put the death toll at nine. However the majority of sources placed it much higher. Al Raqqa Truth said 15 died and dozens more were wounded, while Sharqiya voice and Zamanalwasl put the figure at 20, blaming the Coalition.
According to Sound and Picture, “initial reports indicated the death and wounding of approximately 50 civilians”, including entire families. It said most of the victims were women and children.
Muheet added that “according to data from social media sites, the shelling focused on one of the neighbourhood’s houses, which housed more than 50 people, including children and women from one family”.
@freedom_Raqqa1, also attributing the event to the Coalition, put the death toll at 50 non-combatants, though this appears to have merged death and injury numbers.
In field research done by Amnesty, it appears that “A Coalition airstrike destroyed a four-storey building at 3 am, killing 10 of the 16 residents in their sleep. Two of the victims, Hammada and Sabah Hamzawi, had lost their 13-year-old daughter in an artillery strike on their home a month earlier.”
An airstrike hit Shaban al Assad Building on the night of 1st August at 3am in the morning. The building was according to Amnesty a four storey building, with shops on the ground floor. The building was empty, apart from 16 people. Ten were killed and six survived. IS had a medical point 50m in front of building that was hit.
An engineer that Amnesty researchers met whilst in Raqqa said that IS used to land a toy drone on the roof of the store.
A relative of the victims, Amer Hamzawi, told Amnesty in a testimony that “My uncle and aunt were still mourning the loss of their daughter and then they suffered the same unjust fate”.
Ammar Al-Abidi, a survivor of the strike told researchers “I spent six hours under the rubble waiting to be rescued. I don’t wish this even on my worst enemy.”
According to Ammar, six others survied. Amar, his three sisters, Faisal al Ajaj and the house owner’s brother, Abdalla al Assad.
IS had – according to the survivor – expelled the Hamzawis from their home elsewhere in the city and forced them to live in the building that suffered the airstrike, along with the other occupants killed in the strike.
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 incident occured around dawn.
The victims were named as:
Family members (4)
- Hammada Mohammed Said Hamzawi 52 years old male interviewees father killed
- Sabah al Mohammed 44 years old female interviewees mother killed
- Aseel Hamzawi 5 years old female interviewees sister killed
- Fatima al-Sheikh 75-80 years old female grandmother, father’s mother killed
Family members (2)
- “Ibrahim al-Kaba” (Abu Muhannad) Adult male killed
- Wife of “Ibrahim al-Kaba” (Abu Muhannad) Adult female killed
Family members (4)
- Faisal al A’jaji Age unknown male Ahmad al Shibli named the following who he said were recovered from the rubble some days later killed
- Ahmad al A’jaji Age unknown male Ahmad al Shibli named the following who he said were recovered from the rubble some days later killed
- Manar al A’jaji Age unknown female Ahmad al Shibli named the following who he said were recovered from the rubble some days later killed
- Manal al A’jaji Age unknown female Ahmad al Shibli named the following who he said were recovered from the rubble some days later killed
Family members (3)
- Ahmad al Aajaj 60s years old male father of the family, widower killed
- Manar 25-30 years old female daughter killed
- Minar 25-30 years old female daughter killed
Family members (2)
- Amira al Abdulla al Abid 39 years old female econd interviewee and survivor’s mother killed
Sources (42) [ collapse]
Geolocation notes (2) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention the neighbourhood of Al-Bousraya (البوسرايا), for which the coordinates are: 35.9475952, 39.0150905. Other reports mention Mo’ataz street as a possible location, for which the coordinates are: 35.948333, 39.016389. Field research conducted by Amnesty International in November 2017 points out that the exact location of the strike is at these coordinates: 35.95483, 39.01382. The incident was first reported at 7:56 pm local time by Sound and Picture (صوت و صورة) in a Facebook post.
US-led Coalition Assessment:
Civilian casualty statements
May 31, 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
For August 1st-2nd: “Near Raqqah, seven strikes engaged four ISIS tactical units and destroyed four fighting positions, two ISIS headquarters, an IED, an ammunition cache, and a fuel supply point.” It additionally added that “On Aug. 1, near Raqqah, Syria, 17 strikes engaged 14 ISIS tactical units; destroyed eight fighting positions, two ammunition caches, and a VBIED factory; and damaged a fighting position.” And that “On Aug. 1, near Raqqah, Syria, 17 strikes engaged 13 ISIS tactical units, destroyed two staging areas and an ISIS headquarters; and damaged a VBIED factory.”