Multiple local sources reported the death of a female civilian after alleged US-led Coalition artillery strikes that hit the street of the family home near the Imam Al Nawawi Mosque, Raqqa City.
The woman killed has been identified as Khansaa Mohammed Qantar.
However, this victim is also named in incident CS1361, reportedly killed by artillery shelling on a different location in Raqqa, the Al Tawassoui’ya (التوسعية) neighborhood.
Since Amnesty International conducted extensive field research, it was identified by a relative “Mohammed”, that she was killed on the 12th of August.
According to the Amnesty and Airwars’ joint April 2019 report War in Raqqa: Rhetoric versus Reality, “A 40-year-old woman, Khansa’ al-Qantar, was killed in the garden of her home by shrapnel from an artillery shell which struck the street outside her house.”
A relative gave a testimonial to an on the ground Amnesty researcher. He said,”Look at the holes which the artillery shrapnel made in the metal gate. You can imagine such what shrapnel does to the human body. It kills.”
According to research Khansa was killed by artillery shrapnel while in her house. The initial Airwars geolocation was incorrect as it suggested the house was intact in the aftermath of the strike. Artillery hit the street and killed the victim while she was inside her home. The house which Airwars has geolocated is the same house where a small impact radius missile killed four men on the 27th September 2017. See incident CS1536. According to Amnesty not much damage was done to the house.
In April 2019 the Coalition announced that it had classed this allegation of civilian harm as non-credible, noting: “After review of all available strike records it was determined that more likely than not civilian casualties did not occur as a result of a Coalition strike.”
The local time of the incident is unknown.
The victims were named as:
Sources (11) [ collapse]
from sources (6) [ collapse]
Geolocation notes (3) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention a residential building was targeted near the Imam Al Nawawi mosque. The coordinates for this mosque are: 35.956324, 38.999290. Based on images published by RBSS (4th image above) Airwars was able to establish the exact coordinates of the building that was struck through geolocation: 35.957190, 38.999660. Damage to this building can be seen on satellite imagery of August 13, 2017. The Amnesty and Airwars’s joint April 2019 report “War in Raqqa: Rhetoric versus Reality” reported that this coordinate was incorrect alleging that coordinates were of the building across the street. The photo of house with yellow walls is not the right house. The garden however is. In reality the street was targeted and said victim was killed by artillery shrapnel while in her house. The house which Airwars has geolocated is the same house where a small impact radius missile killed four men on the 27th September 2017. See incident CS1536. According to Amnesty not much damage was done to the house.
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
Apr 25, 2019
Aug. 12, 2017, near Raqqah, Syria via Airwars report. After review of all available strike records it was determined that more likely than not civilian casualties did not occur as a result of a Coalition strike.
Original strike reports
For August 11th-12th the Coalition reported *Near Raqqah, 26 strikes engaged 19 ISIS tactical units and destroyed 35 fighting positions, two vehicles, an ISIS headquarters and an ISIS communication line.” It was additionally reported that “On Aug. 11, near Raqqah, Syria, 11 strikes engaged nine ISIS tactical units and destroyed seven IEDs, six ISIS communication lines, three fighting positions, a vehicle, and tactical vehicle.”
‘Saturday 12 August – Typhoons destroyed a Daesh headquarters in Raqqa… Typhoons maintained a presence over Raqqa over the weekend, destroying a Daesh headquarters building on Saturday 12 August…’
France reports that in the past week (4th -11th) it carried out 31 sorties, including 24 Army reconnaissance and Ground Support (CAS), as well as 4 intelligence reports by Atlantic 2 or Rafale patrol. Two strikes were carried out in the Hassaka region of Syria and the Al Qaim region of Iraq. They destroyed ISIL storage sites and weapons caches.
‘Point de situation des opérations ARMÉE FRANÇAISE – OPÉRATIONS MILITAIRES·FRIDAY, 11 AUGUST 2017 OPÉRATION CHAMMAL SITUATION En Syrie, A Raqqah, la progression des forces démocratiques syriennes se poursuit. Au sud de la ville, la manœuvre de tenaille amorcée, qui permettra de joindre les fronts est et ouest, demeure freinée par la résistance de Daech. Les combattants du groupe terroriste utilisent les réseaux de tunnels et les véhicules suicide chargés d’explosifs pour conduire des actions de harcèlement, et piègent systématiquement le terrain cédé. En Irak, Les forces de sécurité irakiennes poursuivent le nettoyage et la dépollution de la ville de Mossoul. Dans le reste du territoire, alors que Daech tente de poursuivre ses actions de harcèlement, les opérations de sécurisation mobilisent largement les forces irakiennes. Dans la vallée de l’Anbar et dans la région d’Hawijah, les opérations ont permis de déceler et de détruire des caches de munitions et de nombreux engins explosifs improvisés. ACTIVITÉS DE LA FORCE Le 3 août s’est achevée une séquence de relève des avions de Chammal. Celle-ci a signé la fin du premier déploiement du plot mixte Rafale marine et air. Ce sont désormais 6 avions Rafale de l’armée de l’air qui constituent le volet chasse présent en Jordanie. Cette semaine, sur le théâtre, les aéronefs ont réalisé 31 sorties aériennes dont 24 de reconnaissance armée et d’appui au sol (CAS), ainsi que 4 sorties de recueil de renseignement par Atlantique 2 ou patrouille de Rafale. Deux frappes ont été conduites dans la région de Hassaka en Syrie et dans la région d’Al Qaim. Elles ont permis de détruire des sites de stockage et des caches d’armes. La Task Force (TF) Wagram a mené de son côté 6 missions de tir de harcèlement en appui de la 15e division à l’ouest de Mossoul vers Tal Afar, pour prévenir les infiltrations ennemies sur les positions irakiennes. Le bilan global de l’activité aérienne depuis le 19 septembre 2014 s’élève à 1 322 frappes, 2095 objectifs détruits et 6919 sorties.