The citizen journalist group, Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, reported on the death of 14 civilians following alleged “shelling” by the US-led Coalition, near the al Naim roundabout, Raqqa City centre. In a subsequent report, also from RBSS, one man and his wife and his brother.
Despite reports reporting that as many as 14 civilians were killed, recent Amnesty field research reported that “Eleven members of the al-Ali family were killed when the building they sheltered in by Na’im square struck by an airstrike.”
The activist Salal al-Miftah gave a statement to Smart, in which he said that following the raid, near the area of Naim, the bodies of six civilians were recovered, whilst eight remained under the rubble. “Dozens” were reportedly wounded as a result of the airstrikes, Euphrates Post said.
RBSS published a subsequent report that identified Fari’aa Al-Ahmad (55 years) and her daughter Amwaj Al-dalli (27 years) as missing after the the raid – the report requested that if anyone had any information regarding the two women could they communicate with the RBSS facebook page.The Syrian Observatory said two children were among the dead.
All sources blamed the US-led Coalition for the attacks.
In the report Amnesty and Airwars’s joint April 2019 report “War in Raqqa: Rhetoric versus Reality”, Fatima, sister of a victim gave a testimony stating “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?”
The incident occured at 6:00 pm local time.
The victims were named as:
Family members (3)
Sources (20) [ collapse]
Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention that the alleged Coalition airstrike targeted a building near the Al Naim roundabout (دوار النعیم), in the city centre of Raqqa, for which the coordinates are: 35.95447, 39.009392. There is visible damage of a tall building in the vicinity of the roundabout, between August 25 and September 9, 2017. The coordinates for this building are: 35.955538, 39.010416. However, Amnesty research reported the precise location of the strike: 35.95432, 39.00985.
US-led Coalition Assessment:
Original strike reports
For September 1st – 2nd the Coalition reported “Near Raqqah, 17 strikes engaged four ISIS tactical units and destroyed 16 fighting positions, three logistics nodes, two command and control nodes, and a VBIED.” It additionally reported that “On Sept. 1, near Raqqah, Syria, 12 strikes engaged five ISIS tactical units and destroyed four command and control nodes, four logistics nodes, three fighting positions, three VBIEDs, and two heavy machine guns.” And that “On Sept. 1, near Raqqah, five strikes engaged five ISIS tactical units.”
For September 2nd - 3rd, the Coalition reported "Near Raqqah, 19 strikes engaged five ISIS tactical units and destroyed five fighting positions, four logistics nodes, three IEDs, two staging areas, a mortar system, a vehicle, and a command and control node" Later reporting "Additionally, 10 strikes consisting of 10 engagements were conducted in Syria on Sept. 1-2 that closed within the last 24 hours. On Sept. 2, near Raqqah, five strikes engaged three ISIS tactical units and suppressed two fighting positions."
From CJTFOIR on September 4th:
‘SDF clear Great Mosque of Raqqah
SOUTHWEST ASIA – The Coalition congratulates the Syrian Democratic Forces on the successful clearance of the Great Mosque of Raqqah, Sept. 2.
The seizure of the Old City of Raqqah and especially the Great Mosque is a milestone in the ongoing battle to defeat ISIS in Raqqah and all of Syria. The SDF and Syrian Arab Coalition also evacuated thousands of civilians and went to great lengths to limit damage to infrastructure, including to the ancient mosque.
The Great Mosque is the oldest mosque in the city and has been under ISIS control since 2014 when the terrorist group captured the city from the people of Syria. ISIS deliberately and consistently uses protected civilian infrastructure such as schools, hospitals and mosques as headquarters, weapons factories and finance hubs.
“The liberation of this historic landmark is a testimony to the dedication and courage of the SDF as they fight to defeat ISIS in Raqqah,” said Coalition Spokesman Col. Ryan Dillon. “The SDF have made consistent incremental gains in the urban terrain of the city, fighting block by block, and applying increasing pressure on ISIS each day while evacuating civilians along the way.”
The Coalition contributes to the defeat of ISIS by providing the SDF with equipment, training, intelligence, precision fire support and military advice to leaders. The Coalition continues to work by, with, and through the SDF as they fight to defeat ISIS in Raqqah and throughout Syria.’
‘Friday 1 September – Typhoons destroyed a terrorist position in Raqqa, whilst a mixed Tornado and Typhoon pair struck three targets at a large Daesh complex in western Iraq…Typhoons continued operations over Raqqa on Friday 1 September, when they used a Paveway IV to destroy a Daesh-held building from which fire was being directed at the Syrian Democratic Forces. A mixed Tornado and Typhoon pair conducted reconnaissance before joining a coalition strike on a large, dispersed terrorist site near Al Qaim in western Iraq. The RAF targets at the complex were accommodation and storage blocks, and an anti-aircraft position. All three were struck by Paveway IVs.’