Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CS1747

Incident date

May 1, 2018

Location

القصر, Al Qasr village, Al Hasakah, Syria

Geolocation

36.039279, 41.126139 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (via Airwars) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Exact location (via Airwars)

Airwars assessment

According to local sources, at least 13 and up to 30 civilians were killed and “tens of others” were injured in airstrikes on al Qasr village, also known as al Fadel, near the Syrian-Iraqi border in the Tal al Jayer area of al Hassaka governorate. Reports identified both the Coalition and the Iraqi air force as the likely culprit.

Most sources reported 25 or more civilians killed. The Syrian Network for Human Rights reported a lower tally of “at least 13”, whereas Shaam News detailed the higher figure of 30 civilians killed. Nearly all reports detailed that many women and children were among the killed and injured. Bukmalna described it as “a massacre against the al Jabour tribe”, but was the only source mentioning the tribal background of the victims.

An Al Khabour correspondent detailed that the bombing “targeted al Sheikh petrol station” where “the largest concentrations of displaced people in the region” are settled. The reporter stated that the bodies were buried in a mass grave in the town of Tel Jair.

A number of sources published the names of civilians killed in the strike. Marsad al Hassaka reported the most comprehensive list of 22 fatal victims, which included the names mentioned by all other sources:

Local journalist Mudar al Assad confirmed to Zaman al Wasl that most of the victims of the bombing were children, women and elderly members of the Khashman al-Assad family and pointed out that “the air raid targeted them as they slept in their homes last night.”

Other sources, including Sound and Picture, reported that “war planes coming from the side of #Iraq” were behind the initial airstrikes. Al Sham al Fadha tweeted that “The Iraqi Shiite crowd targets al Qasr village in al-Shadadi inside Syria”. Marsad al Hassaka stated that the “Iraqi Popular Militia Units (PMU)” subsequently struck the village with rockets, which “hindered the ambulance getting to the wounded from the Coalition bombing”.

A Euphrates Post reporter reiterated this in an interview with Orient News, stating that “they were also targeted again during the rescue operation from the raid.” In the same item, the reporter claims ISIS were no longer present in the village. An Al Jisr TV report reiterated that the PMU at the Tal Safok border crossing fired “dozens of mortars and artillery shells” on ISIS positions in Syria.

Most sources however, including the Syrian Network for Human Rights, identified the Coalition as the primary culprit.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights instead emphasized that it was not known whether the airstrikes “belong to the Iraqi Air Force or to the International Coalition”.

On May 6th the Iraq National Army tweeted a video of the Air Force carrying out airstrikes “against Daesh leadership HQs in the al Dashisha area inside Syrian territory”. This report was reiterated by Kurdistan 24. However, Hassaka Youth Union stated that this was in fact a video of the raid on the village of al Qasr. Airwars researchers have reached out to the source and are waiting for clarification to verify whether or not the video is related to this specific incident.

Nedaa quoted local sources reporting that “buildings located in al Sheikh fuel station, which housed displaced people from Deir Ezzor and Iraq were targeted killing 30 people”.

The report went on to say that that the Coalition killed 23 more civilians in the village of al Fadil. Al Sharq News also reported on both incidents, but noted that there “were conflicting reports about the second massacre”. Indeed, it is important to stress that in a private conversation, Hassaka Youth told Airwars researchers that the village of al Fadil does not exist. The sources are likely referring to the same incident in al Qasr, in which some of the casualties were from the al Fadil tribe – accidentally confusing the tribe for a village.

CJTF’s director of public affairs confirmed to Airwars around this time that some Iraqi air and artillery strikes against ISIS targets within Syria were now being counted as Coalition actions – though with Baghdad still also conducting its own unilateral actions. This meant that all recent civilian harm events allegedly involving Iraqi aircraft in Syria should be considered likely Coalition civilian casualty events.

In the second 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 incident was first reported on May 1, 2018 at 12:00 pm by .

The victims were named as:

Family members (6)

  • Zahra Ahmed Al Omar Adult female Wife of Badi’ Al Khashman Al Fadhel killed
  • Abdullah Badi’ Al-Khashman 16 years old male killed
  • Siham Badi’ Al Khashman Age unknown female killed
  • Khadija Badi’ al Khashman Adult female killed
  • Child of Khadija Badi’ al-Khashman Child killed
  • Name unknown

Family members (5)

  • Abdul Salam Badi Khashman Adult male killed
  • Hind Nuhair al Fadel Adult female Abdul Salam Badi Khashman killed
  • Unnamed victim 1 Child Child of Abdul and Hind killed
  • Unnamed victim 2 Child Child of Abdul and Hind killed
  • Unnamed victim 2 Child Child of Abdul and Hind killed

Family members (5)

  • Abdul Qadir Badi Khashman Adult male killed
  • Wife of Abdul Qadir Badi Khashman Adult female killed
  • Unnamed victim 1 Child Child of Abdul and his wife killed
  • Unnamed victim 2 Child Child of Abdul and his wife killed
  • Unnamed victim 3 Child Child of Abdul and his wife killed

Family members (11)

  • Wife of Abd al-Salam al Omar Adult female killed
  • Child of Abd al-Salam al Omar Child killed
  • Abd al-Salam al Omar Adult male injured
  • Munther Child male Son of Abd al-Salam al Omar’ injured
  • Fatima Abdel Salam al Omar 8 years old female killed
  • Ahmed Abdel Salam Al Omar 7 years old male killed
  • Abdulqader Abdel Salam al Omar 5 years old male killed
  • Haneen Abdel Salam al Omar 3 years old female killed
  • Anfal Abdel Salam al Omar 5 months old years old female killed
  • Hammad Ahmed Al Omar Age unknown male Listed as missing
  • Thamer Abdul Hamid Al-Omar Age unknown female Listed as missing

Family members (4)

  • Wife of Khattab al Fadel Adult female killed
  • Unnamed victim 1 Child Child of Khattab al Fadel killed
  • Khattab al Fadel Adult male injured
  • Unnamed victim 1 Child Child of Khattab al Fadel injured

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    24 – 30
  • (5–14 children3–5 women7 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    10–20
  • 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 (29) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (5) [ collapse]

  • A photo of two children who were allegedly killed in the shelling on the village of Al Qasr, May 1st (via Al Hassaka Youth Union)
  • Unnamed child victim of reported Coalition strike on Umm Qasr, Syria on May 1st 2018 (via Hassakah Youth Union)
  • Unnamed victims of reported Coalition strike on Umm Qasr, May 1st 2018 (via Hassakah Youth Union)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    GRAPHIC: Unnamed victims of reported Coalition strike on Umm Qasr, May 1st 2018 (via Hassakah Youth Union)
  • An Iraqi military video reporting airstrikes on Hassakah, May 6th 2018

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention the villages of Al Qasr (القصر) or al Fadel, both of which Airwars was unable to locate. It’s reportedly in the Tell al Jayer area, for which the coordinates of its midpoint are: 36.034837, 41.097579. Some reports mention the Sheikh fuel station, for which the coordinates are: 36.039279, 41.126139. The incident was first reported on May 1, 2018, after noon local time

  • Tell al Jayer area and the Sheikh fuel station

    Imagery:
    © 2018 Google

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
    37SFV915903
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Sep 9, 2020
  • May 1, 2018, in Al Qasr, 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. 3167/CS1747 37SFV915903

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For May 1st, the Coalition reported that “On May 1 in Syria, Coalition military forces conducted five strikes consisting of five engagements against Daesh targets. Near Abu Kamal, four strikes damaged one Daesh-held building. Near Al Shadaddi, one strike engaged one Daesh tactical unit and destroyed two headquarters buildings."

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    24 – 30
  • (5–14 children3–5 women7 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    10–20
  • 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 (29) [ collapse]