Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CS1394

Incident date

August 20, 2017

Location

المرور, Ar Raqqah: Mouroor neighbourhood, Ar Raqqah, Nineveh, Syria

Geolocation

35.949975, 38.992238 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Within 100m (via Coalition) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Within 100m (via Coalition)

Airwars assessment

Coalition air raids on Raqqa resulted in the deaths of 9 civilians, including 4 children. The US-led alliance later admitted responsibility for the deaths, following an Amnesty International field investigation.

Amnesty researchers interviewed Munira Hashish who lost 18 members of her family, nine of whom were killed in a Coalition air strike. She stated: “It was when they (the Coalition planes) saw us that they struck. The strike occurred straight after we re-entered the house. It happened just after the call for midday prayer. I remember hearing the call to prayer, then the strike happened. My brothers Hussein and Mohammed and their kids and the neighbours were all killed. Those who were not killed were injured. The only one who survived unharmed is my grandchild, a baby aged four months. I was holding him in my arms and he was not hurt.”

Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently had originally reported that 21 civilians, including all members of the Hashish family, were killed in a Coalition airstrike on a home in the Muroor neighbourhood of Raqqa. The report however noted that the incident took place on August 19th and also included family members that, according to the Amnesty report, were in fact “mined by IS, and […] killed by a mortar seemingly launched by the SDF.”

The case was also included in the April 2019 Amnesty/Airwars joint report War in Raqqa: Rhetoric versus Reality (raqqa.amnesty.org): “Munira Hashish and her family lived in Dara’iya, a low-income neighbourhood in western Raqqa. The family was not well off; Munira’s husband, Hussein Ibrahim Hashish, supported the family as best he could by selling vegetables out of a cart. Despite repeated attempts to flee, the Hashish family lost 18 members, mostly women and children, over a two-week period in August. A Coalition air strike killed nine, seven died as they tried to flee via a road which had been mined by IS, and two others were killed by a mortar launched by SDF. “Those who stayed died and those who tried to run away died. We couldn’t afford to pay the smugglers; we were trapped,” Munira Hashish told us. After seven family members were killed by mines set by IS and later nine more were killed by a Coalition air strike, the family was finally able to escape “by walking over the blood of those who were blown up as they tried to flee ahead of us.,” she said.”

In July 2018 the Coalition accepted responsibility, noting: “August 20, 2017, near Raqqah, Syria, via Amnesty International report. During a strike on a reported Daesh position near a residential area allegedly caused civilian casualties. Nine civilians were unintentionally killed.”

The Coalition provided Airwars with the location of this incident, accurate to within a 100 metre box.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (15)

Family members (3)

Family members (2)

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    9
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (15) [ collapse]

  • Al-Hussein family (via Amnesty)
  • Hsein Hassan Hashish was left an orphan and had to have his foot amputated following the attack (via Amnesty International)
  • Moh Ali Hashish and family (via Amnesty International)
  • Munira's son (via Amnesty International)
  • Munira's son (via Amnesty International)
  • Munira's children (via Amnesty International)
  • Munira's children (via Amnesty International)
  • Munira's children (via Amnesty International)
  • Location of the strike (via Amnesty International)
  • Location of the strike (via Amnesty International)
  • Location of the strike (via Amnesty International)
  • Location of the strike (via Amnesty International)
  • Location of the strike (via Amnesty International)
  • Artillery fragment near the Hashish house (via Amnesty International)

Geolocation notes (2) [ collapse]

  • The building in which members of the Hashish family died, seen before the strike on August 19, 2017 (via Amnesty International)

  • The building in which members of the Hashish family died, seen after the strike on August 25, 2017 (via Amnesty International)

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
    No reason given
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    9
  • Stated location
    near Raqqah, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SDV993784
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jul 26, 2018
  • August 20, 2017, near Raqqah, Syria, via Amnesty International report. During a strike on a reported Daesh position near a residential area allegedly caused civilian casualties. Nine civilians were unintentionally killed.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For August 19th-20th: “Near Raqqah, five strikes engaged two ISIS tactical units and destroyed three fighting positions.” It additionally added that “On Aug. 19, near Raqqah, Syria, 36 strikes engaged 22 ISIS tactical units and destroyed 29 fighting positions and seven command and control nodes.” That “On Aug. 19, near Raqqah, Syria, six strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed five fighting positions, an IED, and a command and control node.” And that “On Aug. 19, near Raqqah, Syria, one strike suppressed an ISIS tactical unit.”

United Kingdom
  • English
    /
    Original

‘Sunday 20 August – Tornados and Typhoons hit a target in Raqqa, a group of terrorists and vehicles in eastern Syria, and five Daesh positions around Tal Afar…On Sunday 20 August, Typhoons bombed a further Daesh position in Raqqa. In eastern Syria, Tornados targeted a group of terrorists deployed near the border with Iraq – two Paveways hit their trucks and killed several of the extremists.

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
    9
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (4) [ collapse]