Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CS1442

Incident date

August 16, 2017

Location

23 Shubat Street, Centre, Ar Raqqah, Syria

Geolocation

35.959404, 39.002381 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (via Airwars) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Exact location (via Airwars)

Airwars assessment

Ten civilians from one family, including six women and two children, were reported killed following airstrikes by the US-led Coalition according to local sources.

Reports said the strikes hit a residential building in the city of Raqqa in which the family were located, Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently named the victims.

Syrianpc said an unknown number of civilians were also injured in the bombing, they also attributed the incident to the US-led Coalition.

The Syrian Network for Human Rights put the death toll at nine including two children and three women, reporting that the victims died when “International Coalition warplanes missiles fired on 23 Shubat Street in center of Raqqa city, September 4, 2017.”

However, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that at least 10 civilians were killed, “including 6 citizen women and including 8 members from at least of one family”.

Although initially Airwars reported that this incident occurred on September 4th 2017, it has since been uncovered by Amnesty on the ground researchers that the incident occurred on the 16th August.

The victims were all reported to have been killed “including six children, three women and one men – were killed when their home was destroyed by an airstrike.”

The sister of a victim – Haifa – “The air strike killed everybody; only my brother Ahmad survived because he had gone to watch news at the neighbours who had electricity.”

In February 2019, the Coalition assessed this event to be non-credible. Their report noted: “After review of all available strike records it was determined that more likely than not civilian casualties did not occur as a result of a Coalition strike.”

In their monthly civilian casualty reports, the US-led Coalition has indicated that the credibility of this civilian harm allegation is in the process of being assessed. In response to an Airwars query, the US-led Coalition stated that “more information concerning the allegations would be necessary to facilitate a thorough investigation by CJTF-OIR”.

The incident occured at 7:30 pm local time.

The victims were named as:

Family members (10)

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    10
  • (6 children3 women1 man)
  • 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 (12) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (13) [ collapse]

  • Abdelrazzaq Al Sheikh, killed in an alleged Coalition airstrike, 16th August 2017. (via Amnesty)
  • Douha Al-Shiekh, killed in an alleged Coalition airstrike, 16th August 2017. (via Amnesty)
  • Haya Al-Sheikh, killed in an alleged Coalition airstrike, 16th August 2017. (via Amnesty)
  • Douha and Haya Al-Sheikh (daughters of Ahmad), killed in an alleged Coalition airstrike, 16th August 2017. (via Amnesty)
  • The home of the Al-Sheikh family. (via Amnesty)
  • The home of the Al-Sheikh family. (via Amnesty)
  • The home of the Al-Sheikh family. (via Amnesty)
  • The home of the Al-Sheikh family. (via Amnesty)
  • The home of the Al-Sheikh family. (via Amnesty)
  • The home of the Al-Sheikh family. (via Amnesty)
  • Via Amnesty International
  • Via Amnesty International
  • Via Amnesty International

Geolocation notes (3) [ collapse]

Initially reports of the incident mentioned that the alleged Coalition airstrike targeted a residential building in the city of Raqqa, most likely on the western end of February 23 street (شارع ٢٣ شباط), for which the coordinates are: 35.950149, 39.012816. IS propaganda mentions the neighbourhood of Al Firdous (فردوس). Amnesty field research pointed to the exact location of the building: 35.959404, 39.002381.

  • The neighbourhood of Al Firdous (فردوس) and February 23 street (شارع ٢٣ شباط) in the city of Raqqa

    Imagery:
    © 2018 Google

  • Before strike. (via Amnesty)

  • After strike. (via Amnesty)

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Open incident
  • Stated location
    near Raqqah, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SEV011784
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Feb 28, 2019
  • Sept. 4, 2017, near Raqqah, Syria via Airwars report. After review of all available strike records it was determined that more likely than not civilian casualties did not occur as a result of a Coalition strike.

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

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    10
  • (6 children3 women1 man)
  • 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 (12) [ collapse]