Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CS1382

Incident date

August 17, 2017

Location

الملاهي, Malahi, Ar Raqqah, Syria

Geolocation

35.95989, 39.001109 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Within 100m (via Coalition) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Within 100m (via Coalition)

Airwars assessment

In a major civilian casualty incident, up to 20 civilians reportedly died following alleged US-led Coalition attacks on the Malahi area in Raqqa. The Coalition later confirmed having unintentionally killed three and injured nine in this strike.

Local media reported on the death of 15 or more civilians after “Muawiya bin Abi Sufian” school was struck. An additional five civilians were reported killed in a house in “Mallah” in the same area. The Northern Syrian Observer (NSO) attributed the deaths to “International Coalition bombings”, as did all other sources tracked. NSO reported that the victims were buried in a park adjacent to the amusement area.

Airwars understands that Mallah, Amusement and Malahi all refer to one word and one area – best translated as Malahi.

In March 2018, the Coalition conceded it had caused civilian harm in this strike: “Aug. 17, 2017 near Raqqah, Syria via self-report. During a Coalition strike to engage an ISIS fighting position a scooter inadvertently entered the area of the strike and it was assessed that three civilians were unintentionally killed.”

The Coalition provided Airwars with the location for this incident, accurate to within a 100 metre box. The location given placed the event in the Malahi area.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    15 – 20
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the Amusement Park (الملاهي) area in Raqqah, for which the coordinates are: 35.959355, 39.005692. The Coalition later provided coordinates for this incident: 37SEV001795 (Military grid reference with 100 m accuracy).

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Credible / Substantiated
    The investigation assessed that although all feasible precautions were taken and the decision to strike complied with the law of armed conflict, unintended civilian casualties regrettably occurred.
  • Given reason for civilian harm
    Entered target area just prior to or after munition released
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    3
  • Stated location
    near Raqqah, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SEV001795
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Mar 28, 2018
  • Aug. 17, 2017 near Raqqah, Syria via self-report. During a Coalition strike to engage an ISIS fighting position a scooter inadvertently entered the area of the strike and it was assessed that three civilians were unintentionally killed.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For August 16th-17th, the Coalition reported: “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.” It additionally reported that “On Aug. 16, near Raqqah, Syria, 23 strikes engaged 16 ISIS tactical units and destroyed 18 fighting positions, eight command and control nodes, two tunnels, two heavy machine guns, an ISIS UAS, an anti-aircraft artillery system and an ISIS line of communication.” And that “On Aug. 16, near Raqqah, Syria, five strikes engaged two ISIS tactical units and destroyed two command and control nodes and a mortar system.”

United Kingdom
  • English
    /
    Original

‘Thursday 17 August – Tornados and Typhoons attacked a mortar near Tall Afar, and two machine-gun teams and a sniper in Raqqa...With the Iraqi forces advancing on Tal Afar, a mixed Tornado and Typhoon pair provided close air support on Thursday 17 August. A coalition surveillance aircraft spotted a terrorist mortar, and was able to guide our aircraft into a successful attack with a Paveway IV. A second mixed pair maintained operations over Raqqa, and used Paveways to destroy one sniper and two machine-gun teams.’

France
  • 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. ‘

France
  • English
    /
    Original

For Aug 16-22, France report 5 strikes in Iraq and 2 in Syria. Task Force Wagram conducted 60 artillery missions

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    15 – 20
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (4) [ collapse]