Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CS1405

Incident date

August 22, 2017

Location

الملاهي, near Malahi (amusement park), Ar Raqqah, Syria

Geolocation

35.958095, 39.006309 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

A major civilian casualty event in which 40 to 50 or more people reportedly died, and between 60 and 100 people injured, followed US-led Coalition airstrikes in conjunction with artillery shelling, alleged local sources.

The offensive targeted the Malahi (Amusement Park) district of Raqqa City and obliterated a four-storey residential building, where more than 40 civilians were said to be inside. Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, amongst others, said that seven entire families were victims of the attack. Sources described a “crusade of coalition aircraft and artillery #SDF”. Airwars understands that only the Coalition have access to artillery in Raqqa.

Subsequent reports labelled the incident a “horrific massacre” in which “mostly women and children” were killed. Both Smart and Micro News did not mention the US-led Coalition explicitly, but referred to “warplanes” and “artillery” that targeted residential buildings in a collaborative operation. All other sources cited the US-led Coalition directly.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    40 – 50
  • Civilians reported injured
    60–100
  • 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

Sources (17) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • The aftermath of an alleged Coalition strike on Raqqa's Malahi neighbourhood, August 22nd 2017. (via RBSS)

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention a four-storey residential building next to the Amusement Park (حديقة الملاهي) in the city of Raqqah. Airwars geolocated the image shared by RBSS of this building to these exact coordinates: 35.958095, 39.006309. Damage to this building can be seen on satellite imagery between August 21 and 25, 2017. 

  • Damage seen on satellite imagery to the building in the image shared by RBSS (left: August 19, 2017; right: August 25, 2017)

    Imagery:
    © 2019 Google

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible / Unsubstantiated
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    Insufficient information on the time and location
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    near Raqqah, Syria
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Oct 27, 2017
  • The report contains insufficient information of the time, location and details to assess its credibility.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For August 22nd – 23rd the Coalition reported “Near Raqqah, 14 strikes engaged 13 ISIS tactical units and destroyed 26 fighting positions, an ISIS headquarters, a command and control node, and ISIS engineering equipment.” It additionally reported that “On Aug. 22, near Raqqah, Syria, 27 strikes engaged 17 ISIS tactical units and destroyed 27 fighting positions, three IEDs, two command and control nodes, a logistics node, and ISIS engineering equipment.” And that “On Aug. 22, near Raqqah, Syria, seven strikes engaged seven ISIS tactical units and destroyed seven fighting positions and an ISIS headquarters.” It also later noted that “On Aug. 22, near Raqqah, Syria, one strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed a fighting position.”

Media
from belligerent (1) [ collapse]

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

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    40 – 50
  • Civilians reported injured
    60–100
  • 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

Sources (17) [ collapse]