Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CS1742

Incident date

April 13, 2018

Location

Damascus, Syria

Airwars assessment

According to a single source, four civilians were killed in US-led bombardments on Al Barzah Scientific Research Facility in Damascus.

The strikes – confirmed as carried out by US, British and French aircraft – were not mentioned in the Coalition strike report for the week, indicating that these may have been unilateral actions.

Al Sura tweeted photos that were said to show the destruction of the research centre after “#US, #UK and #French cruise missile strikes.” The tweet went on to say that nearby residential buildings were hit, leading to the death of 4 civilians.

The state-run news agency SANA stated that although “only a few rockets succeeded in reaching their targets”, that the bombardment still caused “great damage to the structure and facilities of the Institute.” Nevertheless SANA made no mention of civilian harm.

Airwars researchers did not identify any other public reporting of civilian casualties relating to the strikes in the Al Barzah neighborhood. A spokesperson of the Syrian defense ministry publicly stated that “only buildings were damaged.”

In December 2018, the Coalition announced that it had classed the event as non credible due to a lack of available evidence of civilian harm: “Apr. 13, 2018, near Damascus, Syria, via Airwars report. After a review of available information and strike video it was assessed that there is insufficient evidence to find civilians were harmed in this strike.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    4
  • Airwars grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (15) [ collapse]

  • Al Sura was the only source claiming civilian harm in this event.
  • Official Syrian media carried multiple images of the destroyed al Barzah facility - though made no mention of civilian harm (via SANA News)
  • Official Syrian media carried multiple images of the destroyed al Barzah facility - though made no mention of civilian harm (via SANA News)
  • Official Syrian media carried multiple images of the destroyed al Barzah facility - though made no mention of civilian harm (via SANA News)
  • Official Syrian media carried multiple images of the destroyed al Barzah facility - though made no mention of civilian harm (via SANA News)
  • Official Syrian media carried multiple images of the destroyed al Barzah facility - though made no mention of civilian harm (via SANA News)
  • Official Syrian media carried multiple images of the destroyed al Barzah facility - though made no mention of civilian harm (via SANA News)
  • Official Syrian media carried multiple images of the destroyed al Barzah facility - though made no mention of civilian harm (via SANA News)
  • Official Syrian media carried multiple images of the destroyed al Barzah facility - though made no mention of civilian harm (via SANA News)
  • Official Syrian media carried multiple images of the destroyed al Barzah facility - though made no mention of civilian harm (via SANA News)
  • Official Syrian media carried multiple images of the destroyed al Barzah facility - though made no mention of civilian harm (via SANA News)
  • Official Syrian media carried multiple images of the destroyed al Barzah facility - though made no mention of civilian harm (via SANA News)
  • Official Syrian media carried multiple images of the destroyed al Barzah facility - though made no mention of civilian harm (via SANA News)
  • An aerial photo of the damaged site published by Sky News, with no attribution.

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    Insufficient evidence of civilian harm
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    near Damascus, Syria
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Dec 30, 2018
  • Apr. 13, 2018, near Damascus, Syria, via Airwars report. After a review of available information and strike video it was assessed that there is insufficient evidence to find civilians were harmed in this strike.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For April 13th, General Joseph F. Dunford stated during a press conference that “At 9:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, French, British and U.S. forces struck targets in Syria in support of President Trump’s objective to deter the future use of chemical weapons. Our forces were integrated throughout the planning and execution of the operation. The first target was a scientific research center located in the greater Damascus area. This military facility was a Syrian center for the research, development, production and testing of chemical and biological warfare technology.”

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    4
  • Airwars grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (9) [ collapse]