Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CS1645 RS2645

Incident date

October 17, 2017

Location

Abu Kamal, Al Masriya roundabout, Deir Ezzor, Deir ez-Zor, Syria

Geolocation

34.440995, 40.927527 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (via Airwars) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Exact location (via Airwars)

Airwars assessment

Between eight and nine civilians died in an airstrike on the al Masriya roundabout in Abu Kamal, according to local media – though sources at the time were conflicted as to whether the US-led Coalition or Russia was responsible.

In September 2019 the Coalition accepted responsibility for this incident. Its monthly civilian casualty report noted: “Coalition aircraft conducted an airstrike against a Daesh headquarter building. Regrettably, two civilians were unintentionally killed as a result of the strike.” Nine months later, the Pentagon declared this to have been a US action.

According to Sharqiya Voice at the time of the event, there were “dozens of martyrs and wounded in the city of Abu Kamal as a result of the bombing of warplanes at al Masriya roundabout a short while ago.”

Step News Agency pointed towards the Coalition, reporting that eight civilians died in a strike on trucks and shops near the al Masriya roundabout.

However, Euphrates Post attributed the event to Russia, reporting that nine died and dozens more were wounded when Russian planes struck a gathering of cars and food warehouses near the roundabout.

The Smart News Agency also blamed Russian jets, as did Baladi and Souriatna Press.

According to Marsad al Hassaka, airstrikes targeted the warehouse of Fayez Hamid Al-Alaw at dawn.

A former player with the Al-Fatwa Club was named as one of the victims.

According to a post on the Our Abu Kamal facebook page, eight civilians died, of which three were Iraqis, four from Deir Ezzor and one a local martyr.

In May 2020, in its annual civilian harm report to Congress, the Pentagon conceded this to have been a US military action.

The incident occured during the night.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    8 – 9
  • (1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    12–36
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    ISIS

Sources (18) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (3) [ collapse]

  • A picture of Khalil Ibrahim, a former player of Al-Fatwa Club, killed in the massacre of the city of Albu Kamal on Tuesday, Oct 17th, 2018 (via Euphrates Post)
  • A picture reveals the destruction following an airstrike on the city of Albu Kamal on Tuesday, Oct 17th, 2018 (via Sound and Picture)
  • Table from May 2020 Pentagon report to Congress, conceding additional US civilian harm events in Iraq and Syria during 2017.

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention strikes in the area of Al Masriya roundabout (المصریة), for which the coordinates are: 34.442177, 40.923112, and the Al Alswaiya bridge (السوبعیة) located at these coordinates: 34.440986, 40.929233. Satellite imagery available to Airwars from Oct. 01, 2017 shows structural damage to a building in the area, for which the coordinates are: 34.440995, 40.927527 Coordinates released by the Coalition place the event at 34.45615, 40.91601

  • Reports of the incident mention strikes in the area of Al Masriya roundabout (المصریة), and the Al Alswaiya bridge (السوبعیة). Satellite imagery available to Airwars from Oct. 01, 2017 shows structural damage to a building in the area.

    Imagery:
    © 2018 Google

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Credible
    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
    No reason given
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    2
  • Stated location
    in Abu Kamal, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SFU760144
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Sep 26, 2019
  • October 17, 2017, in Abu Kamal, Syria, via Airwars report. Coalition aircraft conducted an airstrike against a Daesh headquarter building. Regrettably, two civilians were unintentionally killed as a result of the strike.

United States
  • May 6, 2020
  • Since last year’s Section 1057 report, CJTF-OIR assessed that an additional 21 reports of civilian casualties during 2017 were credible, with approximately 71 civilians killed and approximately 13 civilians injured as result of U.S. military operations. With these additional assessments, CJTF-OIR assessed that a total number of 191 reports of civilian casualties during 2017 were credible, with approximately 864 civilians killed and approximately 219 civilians injured. 17-Oct-17 Abu Kamal, Syria Air 0 civilians injured 2 civilians killed

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For October 17th-18th, the Coalition reported: “Near Abu Kamal, two strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed two VBEID factories and an ISIS headquarters.“

Russian Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    8 – 9
  • (1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    12–36
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    ISIS

Sources (18) [ collapse]