In the Amnesty and Airwars’s joint April 2019 report “War in Raqqa: Rhetoric versus Reality”, one civilian was reportedly killed in alleged Coalition artillery strikes in Raqqa. Although Airwars assesses single sourced incidents as “weak”, researchers have assessed this incident “fair” due to the depth of material provided by Amnesty.
The report states that “An artillery shell struck a house where a family displaced from another neighbourhood was sheltering, killing a woman, Kafa’ Hassan al-‘Arab.”
Husband of the victim and survivor of the strike, Mohammed, told Amnesty in a testimony that “We tried to flee the city but could not. That day there was heavy air and artillery shelling. We were all huddled together in a room. A shell hit the house. It killed my wife and injured me and our three children.”
According to field notes, the victim and her family were IDPs; their home was near Tal-Abyad Street. They were all at home when the strike occurred at Hay al-Ward, near Hamza mosque; the husband and three children survived with injures.
In July 2019 the Coalition announced that it had classed this allegation of civilian harm as non-credible. Their monthly civilian casualty report noted: “After a review of available information it was assessed that no Coalition actions were conducted in the geographical area that corresponds to the report of civilian casualties.”
The incident occured between 7:30 pm and 7:45 pm local time.
- Kafa’ Hassan al-‘Arab 34 years old female killed
Sources (1) [ collapse]
Attached to this civilian harm incident is the Pentagon's declassified assessment of this civilian harm allegation, obtained by Azmat Khan and the New York Times through Freedom of Information requests and lawsuits filed since March 2017, 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
Jul 26, 2019
Oct. 10, 2017, in Raqqa, Syria, via Amnesty International report. After a review of available information it was assessed that no Coalition actions were conducted in the geographical area that corresponds to the report of civilian casualties.
Original strike reports
Near Raqqah, five strikes engaged four ISIS tactical units and destroyed a