Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CS1441

Incident date

September 4, 2017

Location

Raqqa city: Traffic Park, Ar Raqqah, Syria

Geolocation

35.960866, 39.004469 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

At least one man was locally reported killed following alleged artillery shelling near the Traffic Park in Raqqa. Both the Coalition and the US individually later admitted responsibility

According to local reports at the time, father of six Abdul Ghani Ahmed al-Yusuf al-Bashir was killed when a shell fell near Traffic Park.

While some sources blamed the SDF, Airwars understood at the time that only the Coalition had access to artillery in Raqqa.

In January 2020, the US-led Coalition admitted responsibility for the event – noting that “Coalition forces conducted multiple strikes against Daesh facilities. Regrettably, four civilians were unintentionally killed as a result of these strikes.” This appeared to be an amalgam of several civilian harm claims.

In May 2020, in its annual civilian harm report to Congress, the Pentagon admitted responsibility for this incident.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Abdul Ghani Ahmed al-Yusuf al Bashir 44 years old male father of six killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4
  • (1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • Abdul Ghani Ahmed al-Yusuf al-Bashir, reportedly killed when a shell fell near Traffic park in Raqqa, Sept 4th (via RBSS)
  • Table from May 2020 Pentagon report to Congress, conceding additional US civilian harm events in Iraq and Syria during 2017.

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the Traffic Park (الحدیقة المروریة) area in the city of Raqqa (الرقة‎), for which the coordinates are: 35.960918, 39.004383

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
    4
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    in Raqqah, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SEV004796
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Feb 13, 2020
  • 2. Sept. 4, 2017, in Raqqah, Syria, via Airwars report. Coalition forces conducted multiple strikes against Daesh facilities. Regrettably, four civilians were unintentionally killed as a result of these strikes. 2147/S1262 37SEV004796

United States
  • May 6, 2020
  • Since last year’s Section 1057 report, CJTF-OIR assessed that an additional 21 reports of civilian casualties during 2017 were credible, with approximately 71 civilians killed and approximately 13 civilians injured as result of U.S. military operations. With these additional assessments, CJTF-OIR assessed that a total number of 191 reports of civilian casualties during 2017 were credible, with approximately 864 civilians killed and approximately 219 civilians injured. 4-Sep-17 Ar Raqqah, Syria Air 0 civilians injured 4 civilians killed

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For September 3rd – 4th the Coalition reported “Near Raqqah, 21 strikes engaged nine ISIS tactical units and destroyed 13 fighting positions, two pieces of ISIS communications infrastructure, two vehicles, a VBIED, a command and control node, and a logistics node.” It additionally reported that “On Sept. 3, near Raqqah, four strikes destroyed a VBIED and a fighting position and suppressed two fighting positions.” And that “On Sept. 3, near Raqqah, one strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed two fighting positions.” And also that “On Sept. 3, near Raqqah, 10 strikes engaged seven ISIS tactical units and destroyed nine fighting positions.” Plus “On Sept. 3, near Raqqah, two strikes destroyed two command and control nodes, a logistics node, a fighting position and suppressed a fighting position.”

For September 4th - 5th the Coalition reported: "Near Raqqah , 23 strikes [2-3 British] seven ISIS tactical units; destroyed 20 fighting positions, four oil stills, three oil trucks, two logistics nodes, and a command and control node; and suppressed two fighting positions" Plus "On Sept. 4, near Raqqah , one strike destroyed five fighting positions"

Additional Press Release for September 5th : Additional press release CJTFOIR on September 5th:

'CJTF-OIR transitions commanders in the mission to destroy ISIS

SOUTHWEST ASIA - Lt. Gen. Paul E. Funk II, III Armored Corps Commanding General of the Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) from Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, XVIII Airborne Corps Commanding General, during a Sept. 5 ceremony here, which hosted an audience of hundreds of US and Coalition Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines.

Presiding over the transfer of authority of the Commanding General for US Central Command, Gen. Joseph L. Votel.

Veiled confidence that the III Corps team from Fort Hood, Texas will be ready to continue the fight to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

"When III Corps was here last, they were instrumental in increasing the pressure on ISIS and setting conditions by Iraqi Security Forces and Syrian opposition groups," Votel said. "Their hard work to the recapturing of Fallujah and the airfield at Qayyarah-posturing ISF to begin clearing Mosul, the ISIS stronghold in Iraq."

The III Armored Corps previously led the CJTF-OIR Coalition from Sept. 2015 to Aug. 2016.

Since redeploying just over a year ago, the Soldiers of the Armed Corps have gone to the forefront of the task of preparing for the mission.

"ISIS" brutality forces us to look deep into the heart of darkness. They condone the systematic murder of women and children, the enslavement of religious minorities, and the torture and execution of prisoners, "Funk said. "As a result of the magnificent work of this strong Coalition, real change is happening. ISIS is on the run. "

Airborne Corps' support to its partners in the achievement of major milestones in the campaign to ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Iraqi Security Forces defeated ISIS in their capital of Mosul in Iraq, while Syria's Syrian Democratic Forces and the Syrian Arab Coalition steadily made progress against ISIS's global capital in Raqqah, Syria.

Townsend Lauded Coalition Partners' Efforts in Iraq and Syria over the past year. Our Iraqi partners have liberated Mosul. Our Syrian partners are more than half of Raqqah. And the Iraqis have regained control of Tal Afar and the rest of Ninewah for good measure, "said Townsend. "I think it's all about you, we're able to partner with you."

Since its establishment in June 2014, CJTF-OIR - a global Coalition of more than 72 nations and organizations - has increased the capabilities of partner forces, and significantly degraded the ability of ISIS to plan, resource and execute attacks worldwide. Their collective accomplishments include:

* Trained and equipped nearly 115,000 Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and over 11,000 vetted-Syrian counter-ISIS forces.
* Recaptured over 82,000 square kilometers of territory previously held by ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
* Set free over 5.5 million men, women and children in Iraq and Syria.
Conducted over 26,000 strikes against ISIS in support of partner forces in Iraq and Syria.

Funk shared his vision for the CJTF-OIR mission ahead.

"The very existence of ISIS poses a threat to the civilized world and our way of life. We must defeat them, and our collective effort WILL defeat them, "Funk said."

United Kingdom
  • English
    /
    Original

Syrian Democratic Forces in Raqqa , striking six Daesh positions including a heavy machine-gun and two sniper ... for the Syrian Democratic Forces in Daesh inside Raqqa . Our aircraft delivered six attacks with Paveway IV guided bombs against Daesh positions, often having to strike targets very close to the Syrian Democratic Forces, including a heavy machine-gun and two sniper teams.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4
  • (1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS

Sources (5) [ collapse]