At least five civilians including two children and a woman died in an alleged Coalition airstrike on Raqqa’s Al-Safarna neighbourhood, according to local media.
According to Zamanalwasl, “five civilians from one family, including two children and a woman, were killed as a result of a bombardment by the international coalition forces targeting al-Safarna neighborhood east of al-Raqqa.”
However, other reports put the death toll at six with a further eight wounded – all blaming the US-led Coalition.
On August 5th, The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights “documented the death of at least 10 persons including 2 children and 1 citizen woman, they were killed in the past 24 hours.” However, some caution is required as this could be a general number and not specific to just this event.
In July 2019 the Coalition announced that it had assessed this allegation of civilian harm to be non-credible. Their monthly civilian harm report noted: “After a review of all available records it was determined that, more likely than not, civilian casualties did not occur as a result of a Coalition action.”
The local time of the incident is unknown.
Sources (14) [ collapse]
Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention the neighbourhood or street of Al Safarna (السفارنة) in Raqqa (الرقة). Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. It is possibly a part of the neighbourhood of Hisham bin Abdul Malik (هشام عبد الملك), for which the coordinates are: 35.940833, 39.019167.
Attached to this civilian harm incident is a provisional reconciliation of the Pentagon's declassified assessment of this civilian harm allegation, based on matching date and locational information.
The declassified documents were obtained by Azmat Khan and the New York Times through Freedom of Information requests and lawsuits filed since March 2017, and are included 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
Aug. 5, 2017, Raqqa, Syria, via Airwars report. After a review of all available records it was determined that, more likely than not, civilian casualties did not occur as a result of a Coalition action.
Original strike reports
For August 5th-6th, the Coalition reported: “Near Raqqah, 23 strikes engaged eight ISIS tactical units and destroyed 19 fighting positions, five ISIS-held buildings, three IED factories, an ISIS communications tower and a UAS launch site.” It additionally reported that “On Aug. 5, near Raqqah, Syria, five strikes engaged four ISIS tactical units and destroyed four fighting positions and a heavy machine gun.”