Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CS1649 ISSY002

Incident date

October 23, 2017

Location

سحم الجولان, Sahm al Jolan, Dara'a, Syria

Geolocation

32.781247, 35.935592 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

Local sources reported the death of up to seven civilians, including three women and two children, and up to ten ISIS affiliated militants from Jaish Khalid bin al Walid, as a result of either Coalition or Israeli airstrikes on Sahm al Jolan.

The Daraa Martys Documentation Office reported Coalition airstrikes on Sahm al Jolan, “where two consecutive missiles targeted a residential neighborhood in the town of Sahm al Jolan”. According to the report, the neighbourhood in the western Dara’a countryside was under the control of the “Khalid Bin Al Waleed Army”. The office documented “7 martyrs”, including two women and two children, as well as a number of wounded individuals in addition to three fighters who were also killed in the attack.

Hayat News and RT both reported 10 fighters killed and identified Israeli jets as the culprit instead of the Coalition. Both reports noted that in addition to the ten fighters, two women who were believed to be wives of militants were killed. Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also attributed the strikes to Israel but quoting them, Jewish Press reported that “there was no concrete evidence indicating Israel had carried out the attack”.

Sahm al Jolan listed two unidentified children “killed after an attack by an international coalition aircraft on the town”. Daraa Martyrs Documentation Office was the only source who had identified by name a civilian casualty. According to a center report of October 28th, Sabah Ibrahim al-Masalmeh “died of her wounds after being hit by a raid by the international coalition aircraft on the town of Sahm al Jolan”.

In the first of their September 2020 civilian casualty reports, the US-led Coalition assessed reports that they were responsible for civilian harm in this strike as “non-credible”, stating that no Coalition actions were conducted in the geographical area at that time.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Sabah Ibrahim al-Masalmeh Age unknown female killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2 – 7
  • (2 children2–3 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • 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, Israeli Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    3–10

Sources (8) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the village of Sahm al Jolan (سحم الجولان), for which the generic coordinates are: 32.781247, 35.935592. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

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
  • MGRS coordinate
    36SYB749310
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Sep 9, 2020
  • Oct. 23, 2017, in Sahm al Jolan, Syria, via Airwars report. After a review of all available records it was assessed that no Coalition actions were conducted in the geographical area that corresponds to the report of civilian casualties. 3163/CS1649 36SYB749310

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For both October 22nd-23rd and October 23rd-24th the Coalition did not publicly report any strikes in the Dara’a governorate.

Israeli Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2 – 7
  • (2 children2–3 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • 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, Israeli Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    3–10

Sources (8) [ collapse]