Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CS149 RS175

Incident date

November 20, 2015

Location

البوكمال, Abu Kamal, Deir ez-Zor, Syria

Geolocation

35.32887, 40.12997 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Within 100m (via Coalition) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Within 100m (via Coalition)

Airwars assessment

The Violations Documentation Center listed five non-combatants, including two women and one child, as killed in an alleged Russian or Coalition airstrike near Al Bukamal. At least two of those killed were said to work for the local electricity company, who died when an oil tank was targeted.

VDC named two male victims and additionally they listed three unidentified victims – 2 women and a male child.

The Syrian Observatory also reported a man and child killed.

The United States later said it was responsible, noting a year later that “near Dayr Az Zawr, Syria, against an ISIL tactical unit, it is assessed that five civilians were killed and three individuals were injured after the civilians entered the target area after the aircraft released its weapon.”

In July 2019, the Coalition provided Airwars with the location of this incident, accurate to within a 100 metre box.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5
  • (1 child2 women2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    3
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Armed Forces

Sources (14) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (4) [ collapse]

  • @DeirEzzor24 tweets a photo of the alleged Russian raids on al Mayadeen on 20/11/2015
  • tweet reporting death of two employees of the electricity company following an air raid that targeted a fuel tank near the company. [Via: ahraralmayadein]
  • Tweet reporting dead and wounded among employees in the electricity company in the town of al Boukamal following alleged coalition raids. [Via: @JisrTV]
  • Tweet reporting Russian raids on al Sukariya neighbourhood in al Boukamal and on the town of Hatla Tahtani. [Via: @Syria_Rebels]

Geolocation notes

Prior to the Coalition releasing the MGRS for this incident, Airwars had geolocated it to the nearest city at 34.466049, 40.907593

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
    Entered target area just prior to or after munition released
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    5
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    3
  • Stated location
    near Dayr Az Zawr, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SFV027101
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Nov 9, 2016
  • November 20, 2015, near Dayr Az Zawr, Syria, against an ISIL tactical unit, it is assessed that five civilians were killed and three individuals were injured after the civilians entered the target area after the aircraft released its weapon.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

The Coalition has confirmed in its November 20th-21st reports to attacking the city that day: “Near Abu Kamal, one strike struck an ISIL crude oil collection point.”

Russian Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Armed Forces
  • Russian Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

Russian Armed Forces

Russia reported that “On November 20, the ships of the Caspian flotilla performed launches of 18 cruise missiles against 7 targets in the Raqqah, Idlib and Aleppo provinces. All the aims were hit.” It added that “29 aircraft of long-range and bomber aviation made strikes from the zone of the Caspian Sea,” though gave no details of the areas targeted.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5
  • (1 child2 women2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    3
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Armed Forces

Sources (14) [ collapse]