Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CS1430

Incident date

August 20, 2017

Location

Sooq Al-Hall, Ar Raqqah, Syria

Geolocation

35.95243, 39.01633 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (via Airwars) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Exact location (via Airwars)

Airwars assessment

Local media reported a family of five, including children and three women, were killed following US-led Coalition airstrikes, near the market in Sooq Al-Hall, Raqqa.

The child, Saleh Fawaz Ahmad al Abdullah (pictured), and his family were killed after “Coalition warplane missiles fired on the old al Hal Market area south of Raqqa City” according to the Syrian Network for Human Rights. Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently listed the names of the family.

All sources attributed the attack to the US-led Coalition.

In the Amnesty and Airwars’s joint April 2019 report “War in Raqqa: Rhetoric versus Reality”, it was reported that “Five members of the al-Ali family were killed in a second strike on a two-storey house they were sheltering in in Harat al Sakhani.”

The daughter of a victim, Fatima, added in a testimony that “My relatives went from place to place in search of safety but were bombed in each place, and when they try to flee the city, they were shot at by Daesh. What were civilians supposed to do? What options did they have?”

Although initial reportage said the strike was on the 29th, Fatima confirmed it was actually on the 20th.

The incident occured at 8:00 pm local time.

The victims were named as:

Family members (5)

  • Saleh Fawaz al-Ali Age unknown male killed
  • Haj Ahmed Al – Abdullah Al – Alwan Age unknown male killed
  • The daughter of Fawaz Ahmed Al – Abdullah Child female killed
  • The daughter of Awad Al – Abdullah Al – Ali Child female killed
  • Wife of Oud Al – Abdullah Al – Ali Adult female killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5
  • (0–1 children3 women1–2 men)
  • 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 (9) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Saleh Fawaz Ahmad al Abdullah, reportedly killed with four members of his family in an alleged Coalition strike on Sooq Al-Hall market, Raqqa, August 29th 2017. (via SN4HR)

Geolocation notes (2) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention Sooq Al Hall (سوق الهال) area, for which the coordinates are: 35.950765, 39.014393. There are two markets referred to as Al Hall (سوق الهال) in Raqqa city, however, given the date of the incident, it is unlikely that there was fighting near the other Sooq Al Hall (سوق الهال), for which the coordinates are: 35.937528, 39.027740. Furthermore, satellite images from take on Aug. 25 and Sept. 06, 2017 indicate no new damage there. Amnesty research found the precise location of the strike: 35.95243, 39.01633.

  • The immediate area around the Sooq Al Hall (سوق الهال) likely referred to in reports of the incident.

    Date taken:
    August 25, 2017

    Imagery:
    © 2018 Googl

  • Again, the immediate area around the Sooq Al Hall (سوق الهال). Significant damage to built structures is visible in the 15 day window between satellite images.

    Date taken:
    September 6, 2017

    Imagery:
    © 2018 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
    No Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    near Raqqah, Syria
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • May 31, 2018
  • After a review of available information it was assessed that no Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area that correspond to the report of civilian casualties.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For August 29th – 30th the Coalition reported “Near Raqqah, 46 strikes engaged 30 ISIS tactical units and destroyed 66 fighting positions, five heavy machine guns, five vehicles, three medium machine guns, three anti-air systems, three ISIS communications lines, two command and control nodes, an ISIS headquarters, a weapons cache, an ISIS staging area, a VBIED, damaged eight fighting positions and suppressed two heavy machine guns.” It was additionally reported that “On Aug. 29, near Raqqah, Syria, 16 strikes engaged nine ISIS tactical units and destroyed nine fighting positions, a VBIED, a heavy machine gun, and a command and control node.”

Media
from belligerent (1) [ collapse]

  • For Aug 23rd-29th, France report 8 strikes in Iraq and 11 strikes in Syria, plus 46 artillery missions in Tal Afar, Iraq.(@EtatMajorFR)

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5
  • (0–1 children3 women1–2 men)
  • 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 (9) [ collapse]