Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CS1372a

Incident date

August 14, 2017

Location

al-Badu , Raqqa, Syria

Geolocation

35.961957, 39.008184 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (via Airwars) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Exact location (via Airwars)

Airwars assessment

According to several local sources and field research by Amnesty International, a mother and her three children were killed in al-Badu, Raqqa, as an alleged Coalition airstrike hit their building.

Amnesty and Airwars’s joint April 2019 report War in Raqqa: Rhetoric versus Reality found that  “a double air strike killed nine civilians from two families in two adjacent buildings. The strikes destroyed a five-storey building, killing a Nahla Mahmoud and her three children who were sheltering on the ground floor. The bombed building collapsed on the adjacent one-storey house killing five members of the al-Hassan family.” The latter incident is treated as a separate event, in CS1372b.

Nahla’s husband told Amnesty’s researcher that he had gone out to look for bread and when he returned he found a pile of rubble in place of the building, and could not even retrieve the bodies of his wife and children buried under so much rubble.

A tweet by @7UFCmSxd0IUBffH echoed Amnesty’s findings, reporting that the Coalition bombed a five-storey building in the Al Bedou neighbourhood, killing a family consisting of a mother and her four children (the victims named below).

All known sources pointed to the Coalition as responsible.

On March 10, 2022 in the CJTF-OIR Civilian Casualty Report, the Coalition reported this incident to be “non-credible”, stating that “After review of all available evidence it was determined that more likely than not civilian casualties did not occur as a result of a Coalition strike.”

The incident occured at 16:15:00 local time.

The victims were named as:

Family members (4)

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4
  • (3 children1 woman)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • 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 (10) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • The three siblings, Marwa, Mariam and Mohammed, were all killed in the alleged Coalition airstrike in al-Badu, Raqqa, August 14th, 2017 (via Amnesty and Airwars’s report: War in Raqqa: Rhetoric versus Reality)
  • The remains of the house after being subject to alleged Coalition airstrikes, al-Badu, Raqqa, August 14th, 2017 (via Amnesty and Airwars’s report: War in Raqqa: Rhetoric versus Reality)

Geolocation notes (3) [ collapse]

Coordinates released by the Coalition place the event at 35.96195, 39.00817

  • Satellite image of the structure pre strike

  • Satellite image of the structure post strike

CJTF–OIR Declassified Assessment and Press Release

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.

Declassified Assessment Press Release

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Open incident
  • Stated location
    near Raqqah, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    1 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SEV0073779728
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Mar 10, 2022
  • Aug. 14, 2017, near Raqqah, Syria, via Amnesty International report. After review of all available evidence it was determined that more likely than not civilian casualties did not occur as a result of a Coalition strike. 2716/CS1372a 37SEV0073779728

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For August 13th-14th the Coalition reported “Near Raqqah, 16 strikes engaged 11 ISIS tactical units and destroyed three fighting positions, an anti-aircraft artillery system, a logistics node, a heavy machine gun, a vehicle and an IED.” It additionally reported that “On Aug. 13, near Raqqah, Syria, 17 strikes engaged 10 ISIS tactical units; and destroyed 12 fighting positions, four vehicles, two logistics nodes, two ISIS communications lines, two communications infrastructure items, and an IED.”

French Military
  • English
    /
    Original

For Aug 9-15th, France report 2 strikes in Raqqah, Syria – and 13 artillery missions in Mosul.

French Military
  • English
    /
    Original

In the past week, (11th-18th) France conducted 27 sorties, including 22 armed reconnaissance and ground support (CAS), 1 refueling outlet and 4 intelligence gathering sorties by Atlantic 2 or Rafale patrols. Two strikes were carried out in the Raqqah region of Syria. They helped support the Syrian democratic forces in their offensive to retake the city.

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 il y a 15 jours, s’est achevée en fin de semaine dernière. Elle a permis de réaliser la jonction des fronts est et ouest. Depuis, les forces démocratiques syriennes ont relancé une offensive vers le centre de la ville mais elles font face à une défense acharnée des combattants de Daech. En Irak, Les forces de sécurité irakiennes poursuivent leurs opérations dans l’objectif de libérer, à terme, le nord de l’Irak. Actuellement, elles focalisent leur effort sur l’encerclement de la ville de Tall Afar. Les combattants de l’organisation terroriste réalisent un travail de valorisation de leurs positions défensives pour se préparer aux combats à venir alors que les populations tentent de fuir la ville. ACTIVITÉS DE LA FORCE Les soldats de l’opération Chammal poursuive leur mission d’appui au profit des unités irakiennes engagées contre Daech. Cette semaine, sur le théâtre, les aéronefs ont réalisé 27 sorties aériennes dont 22 de reconnaissance armée et d’appui au sol (CAS), 1 sortie de ravitaillement ainsi que 4 sorties de recueil de renseignement par Atlantique 2 ou patrouille de Rafale. Deux frappes ont été conduites dans la région de Raqqah en Syrie. Elles ont permis d’appuyer les forces démocratiques syriennes dans leur offensive pour reprendre la ville. La Task Force (TF) Wagram a mené de son côté 13 missions de tir en appui de la 15e division à l’ouest de Mossoul vers Tal Afar. En particulier, les artilleurs ont fourni des feux de harcèlement et d’éclairement pour interdire aux combattants de Daech de mener des actions au sol ou de réaliser des tirs indirects contre les positions irakiennes. Le bilan global de l’activité aérienne depuis le 19 septembre 2014 s’élève 1330 frappes, 2102 objectifs détruits et 6946 sorties. ‘

UK Military
  • English
    /
    Original

‘Monday 14 August – Tornados and Typhoons struck five Daesh targets in Raqqa, and a truck-bomb command post in eastern Syria…A flight Typhoons destroyed a Daesh position in Raqqa on Monday 14 August with Paveway IVs. A mixed Tornado and Typhoon pair also patrolled over the city and they conducted Paveway IV attacks, which destroyed a sniper team and two machine-guns. The aircraft moved off towards the east of Syria, where a command post that was controlling truck-bomb attacks had been identified 40 miles south of Al Hasakah. This was destroyed with a further Paveway.’

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4
  • (3 children1 woman)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • 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 (10) [ collapse]