Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CS1498 RS2457

Incident date

September 16, 2017

Location

محكان, Mahkan, Deir ez-Zor, Syria

Geolocation

34.974444, 40.485556 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

Nine to 19 civilians, including an “entire family,” died following airstrikes on Mahkan, about 45km southeast of Deir Ezzor, local media reported. Sources were conflicted as to who was to blame, some attributing blame to the US- led Coalition and others to Russian warplanes.

There were no reports of wounded.

According to Ortas, Coalition aircraft struck residential areas of the town, which resulted in damage to homes and property, Ortas put the death toll at 12.

Step News however reported that “Nine people from one family were killed in the town of Mahkan in the eastern countryside by coalition raids”.

In a subsequent report Geroun said 19 died, quoting an eyewitness who said “”among the victims of the town of Mahkan, a family consisting of a man, his wife and their seven children” died, the source added “it is difficult to reach the target location; because of the siege imposed by the [so-called Islamic State] organisation”.

Out of the sources obtained, four blamed the US-led Coalition and four sources suspected Russia. The aircraft were unidentified by all other sources. @DeirEzzor24 referred to “Al-Harbi” aircraft, though did not specify which faction was operating the planes. Shaam – which also said the warplane identity was unknown – claimed “two Bahri families” were among those killed.

Mohammed Ahmad Awad al-Bu’ali and his wife, Suqra Muhammad Eid al-Bu’ali, along with a number of their children and children in the neighbouring house, were documented killed by the Euphrates Post. Reportedly, the air raid occurred at dawn and targeted Mohammed Ahmad Awa al Bu’ali’s home.

The incident occured around dawn.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    9 – 19
  • (7 children1 woman1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    US-led Coalition, Russian Armed Forces

Sources (32) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (5) [ collapse]

  • "A picture of the children of Mohammed Al-Awad Al-Bawali, who were martyred for two days as a result of the bombing of their home in the town of Muqan in the eastern suburb of Deir Al-Azur", 16th September 2017. (via Syria 2014)
  • The aftermath of an airstrike on Mahkan, 16th September 2017. (via Euphrates Post)
  • The aftermath of an airstrike on Mahkan, 16th September 2017. (via Euphrates Post)
  • The aftermath of an airstrike on Mahkan, 16th September 2017. (via Euphrates Post)
  • News bulletin reporting on the alleged Russian and Coalition airstrikes on Mahkan, 16th September 2017. (via Euphrates Post)

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention the village of Mahkan (محكان), of which the coordinates are: 34.974444, 40.485556. We were unable to verify the location further, but on satellite imagery available to Airwars from October 15, compared to September 7, 2017, a significant amount of traces of destruction and craters as a result of airstrikes can be seen throughout the town, which indicates it was being targeted during this period of time.

  • Traces of destruction and craters in the village of Makhan (محكان), marked in red, seen on satellite imagery of November 2, 2017

    Imagery:
    © 2018 Google

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible / Unsubstantiated
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    No Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    near Mahkan, Deir Ez Zor, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SFU356712
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • 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

US-led Coalition

For September 15th – 16th the Coalition reported “Near Dayr Az Zawr, three strikes engaged three ISIS tactical units and destroyed two fighting positions.” It additionally added that “On Sept. 15, near Dayr Az Zawr, Syria, five strikes engaged three ISIS tactical units and destroyed two fighting positions and a command and control node.”

Russian Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    9 – 19
  • (7 children1 woman1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    US-led Coalition, Russian Armed Forces

Sources (32) [ collapse]