Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CS1375a

Incident date

August 15, 2017

Location

Raqqa, Syria

Geolocation

35.957884, 39.002738 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (via Airwars) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Exact location (via Airwars)

Airwars assessment

In the Amnesty and Airwars’s joint April 2019 report “War in Raqqa: Rhetoric versus Reality”, 11 civilians were reportedly killed in alleged Coalition airstrikes in Raqqa. Although Airwars assesses single sourced incidents as “weak”, researchers have assessed this incident “fair” due to the depth of material provided by Amnesty.

The family names Thalji and Sueri are mentioned in CS957, however the location of the strike is different and names do not match. The area was targeted around the 15th of August, there are multiple incidents in that area around that time, however no existing incidents specific to this case.

The Amnesty/Airwars report stated that “A Coalition air strike destroyed a six-storey building on Fardous Street and killed four members of the Thalji family, who lived on the 5th floor and seven members of the Sueri family who had been displaced from their home elsewhere in the city and were sheltering in the building.”

The son-in-law, Ali, of one of the victims told Amnesty in a testimony that “I was present when the bodies of my parents in law and their children and their neighbours were recovered from the rubble of the building. Two whole families destroyed.”

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 local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    11
  • (2 women2 men)
  • 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

Geolocation notes

Coordinates released by the Coalition place the event at 35.95788, 39.00273

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
    37SEV0024679277
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Mar 10, 2022
  • Aug. 15, 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. 2718/CS1375a 37SEV0024679277

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

Not yet assessed.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    11
  • (2 women2 men)
  • 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