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.
Sources (1) [ collapse]
Coordinates released by the Coalition place the event at 35.95788, 39.00273
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.
US-led Coalition Assessment:
Civilian casualty statements
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
Not yet assessed.