Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CS1569

Incident date

October 3, 2017

Location

al Qitar Street north of city centre, Ar Raqqah, Syria

Geolocation

35.961828, 39.010559 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Street level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Street

Airwars assessment

Up to 45 civilians reportedly died and 15 were wounded following alleged US-led Coalition airstrikes to the north of Raqqah city, at the outskirts of the al-Tawassiya area. The victims were “gathered around a water well on Qitar (train) street” collecting water “due to the ongoing water cuts in the city for more than three months” local sources said.

Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently reported that the two remaining water wells in neighbourhoods controlled by the so-called Islamic State organizations were now out of service.

The lowest claimed death toll at 13 was reported by Raqqa24, the Syrian Network for Human Rights placed the toll at 16 whilst The Syrian Observatory documented 18 killed, including women and children. All other sources alleged 21 killed, with UNOCHA reporting up to 45 killed.

Al Jazeera noted the original report of the incident was released by the so-called Islamic State organization.

Sources who spoke to Al Bawaba said “The raids of the international coalition and the bombing of the Syrian Democratic Forces destroyed the water tanks that went out of service, and was targeting the last bakeries in the city for days.”

All sources suspected the US-led Coalition carried out the airstrike. However the Coalition itself pushed back, with the official spokesman openly attacking an AFP tweet: “To clarify: this is an ALLEGATION from a single source. takes extraordinary efforts to protect civilians & strike valid mil targets”

The UN however directly accused the Coalition of the event, reporting that “In early October, and preceding the SDF reported control over Ar -Raqqa city, intensified airstrikes and heavy shelling continued to result in civilian deaths, widespread destruction, and deteriorating humanitarian conditions for civilians remaining in Ar-Raqqa city. More than 400 airstrikes over a two-day period during the first week of October were reported, with airstrikes reportedly killing more than 70 people in Al Bado and Suhada’a neighborhoods. On 2 October, an airstrike hit a water well located in the outskirts of the Al Tawassoiya area in the north of Raqqa city, reportedly killing 45 civilians.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    13 – 45
  • (2 children2 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    14–15
  • 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 (14) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Response from the OIR spokesman to the allegation

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention a water well on Al Qitar street (القطار). This could refer to a water tower at a water company or administration on that street, located north of the city centre on the outskirts of the neighbourhood of Al Tawassiya (التوسعیة). This was one of the few remaining water towers that was not destroyed at that time, the coordinates for this water tower are: 35.957566, 39.011378.  A second water tower on Al Qitar street was also still standing, the coordinates for this tower are: 35.963037,39.009959.  In addition, other sources mention a “water well in Al Hadiqa Al Bayda which is in Al Tawassiya (التوسعیة) area” 

  • The two water towers on Al Qitar street (القطار) located north of the city centre on the outskirts of the neighbourhood of Al Tawassiya (التوسعیة).

    Imagery:
    © 2018 Google

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For October 2nd – 3rd the Coalition reported “Near Raqqah, six strikes engaged three ISIS tactical units and destroyed three fighting positions and three ISIS supply routes.” It additionally reported that “On Oct. 2, near Raqqah, 23 strikes engaged eight ISIS tactical units, destroyed nine fighting positions and damaged five fighting positions.” And that “On Oct. 2, Near Raqqah, 10 strikes engaged 10 ISIS tactical units.”

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    13 – 45
  • (2 children2 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    14–15
  • 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 (14) [ collapse]