In Amnesty and Airwars’ joint April 2019 report “War in Raqqa: Rhetoric versus Reality”, three civilians were reportedly killed in alleged Coalition artillery strikes in Raqqa.
Although Airwars generally assesses single sourced incidents as “weak”, our researchers have assessed this incident “fair” due to the depth of material provided by Amnesty.
The Amnesty report noted that “Ahmad Mohammed al-Hammadi, a mathematics teacher, 65, his wife Zahra Mahammed al-Khamri, 50, and their son Abderrahman Ahmad al-Hammadi, 20, were killed by an artillery strike on their home. A month earlier their other son, Abdallah, was killed in another artillery strike while fetching water from a well.”
The daughter of the victim, Maha, told Amnesty in testimony that “Only me and my sister survived. We have no one left. My brother Abdallah was killed by the well when he went to fetch water, then my parents and my brother Aabderrahman, Abdallah’s twin, were killed when our home was hit by a shell.”
In July 2019 the Coalition announced that it had assessed this allegation of civilian harm to be non-credible. Their monthly civilian casualty report noted: “After a review of available information it was assessed that no Coalition actions were conducted in the geographical area that corresponds to the report of civilian casualties.”
The incident occured around midday.
The victims were named as:
Family members (3)
- Ahmad Mohammed al-Hammadi 65 years old male mathematics teacher killed
- Zahra Mahammed al-Khamri 50 years old female wife of Ahmad killed
- Abderrahman Ahmad al-Hammadi 20 years old male son of Ahmad and Zahra killed
Sources (1) [ collapse]
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
Jul 26, 2019
Aug. 17, 2017, in Raqqa, Syria, via Amnesty International report. After a review of available information it was assessed that no Coalition actions were conducted in the geographical area that corresponds to the report of civilian casualties.
Original strike reports
Near Raqqah, 20 strikes engaged 16 ISIS tactical units and destroyed 17 fighting positions, a
logistics node, an IED, a command and control node, an ISIS UAS and a vehicle.