Local reports documented four civilians killed in airstrikes on Khisham town,13 kilometres east of Deir Ghaza, eastern Deir Ezzor.
Euphrates Post referred to “warplanes” and alleged that they targeted “the house of Awad al-Azar in the town of Khisham, opposite the divider, killing four people and wounding many civilians yesterday evening”, though they did not specify a culprit.
Russia was suspected responsible by Marsad al Hassaka and Qasioun News, both sources referring to Russia’s use of “cluster bombs” dropped in an extensive raid over the villages of Hatla, Mazloum, Khisham, Tabit, and Akeidat, “resulting in severe material damage and fires that are still burning”. Homes of civilians were reported destroyed.
Other sources alleged the US-led Coalition was to blame. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights “believed the warplanes to be International Coalition”, as did Al Watan News.
Asharq Asouri also alleged that the Coalition hit a school that housed displaced persons.
The local time of the incident is unknown.
Sources (17) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention the village of Khisham (خشام), for which the coordinates are: 35.3020098,40.2914143. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further
Attached to this civilian harm incident is a provisional reconciliation of the Pentagon's declassified assessment of this civilian harm allegation, based on matching date and locational information.
The declassified documents were obtained by Azmat Khan and the New York Times through Freedom of Information requests and lawsuits filed since March 2017, and are included alongside the corresponding press release published by the Pentagon. Airwars is currently analysing the contents of each file, and will update our own assessments accordingly.
US-led Coalition Assessment:
Civilian casualty statements
Jun 28, 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
For September 11th – 12th the Coalition reported: “Near Dayr Az Zawr, seven strikes engaged four ISIS tactical units and destroyed two vehicles, a tactical vehicle, a VBIED, and a fighting position.“ It later reported, "On Sept. 11, near Dayr Az Zawr, one strike destroyed four ISIS fighting positions"
For September 12th-13th: “Near Dayr Az Zawr, five strikes engaged two ISIS tactical units and destroyed two fighting positions, two VBIEDs, a VBIED facility and a logistics node.”
‘Monday 11 September – Tornados destroyed two sniper positions in Raqqa, and attacked a Daesh-held compound and terrorists on a motorcycle near Dayr az Zawr…A flight of Royal Air Force Tornados supported the Syrian Democratic Forces fighting in Raqqa on Monday 11 September, when Paveway IV guided bombs were used to destroy two sniper positions. A second Tornado flight patrolled north-east of Dayr az Zawr, where they attacked a group of terrorists in a compound with a Paveway IV. Survivors of the attack then attempted to move to another position on a motorcycle, but were successfully engaged with a Brimstone missile.’
‘Tuesday 12 September – a Reaper successfully guided a coalition airstrike onto a truck-bomb workshop near Dayr az Zawr…The following day [Sept 12th], a Reaper remotely piloted aircraft operated in the same area near Dayr az Zawr, and provided precision targeting that enabled a coalition air strike to destroy a truck-bomb workshop and a vehicle that was being prepared there.’