Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CS1753a

Incident date

May 23, 2018

Location

هجين, Near Hajin, Deir Ezzor, Syria

Geolocation

34.69067, 40.85154 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Within 100m (via Coalition) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Within 100m (via Coalition)

Airwars assessment

Self-reporting by the US-led Coalition identified four civilians killed in a strike in the vicinity of Hajin in Deir Ezzor. Local reports at the time made no reference to civilian harm.

According to a Coalition report issued September 27th 2018, “May 23, 2018, near Hajin, Syria, via self-report. During a strike four civilians were unintentionally killed.” The co-ordinates for the event to within 100m were given as 34°41’26.4″N 40°51’05.5″E.

This incident was not tracked by Airwars researchers at the time. A subsequent search has identified a number of reports relating to heavy fighting in the village that day – though with no specific claims of civilian harm.

Shaam Media noted for example “The launch of six rockets from al Omar the oil field in the direction of the city of Hajin a few hours ago.” The Syrian Observatory reported “the International Coalition fired 12 missiles at least believed to be ground-to-ground, from Al-Omar Oilfield in the first round of shelling, while in the second round, they fired 8 missiles at east of the same kind, which caused material damage, without information about casualties.” It also reported clashes at Hajin and said 4 ISIS fighters had been killed in a strike.

On May 24th, Xeber News reported that “French and US troops have deployed alongside Syria’s democratic forces in the hills overlooking the town of Hajin and the headquarters of Radio Daesh in the countryside of Deir al-Zour, liberated by Syria’s democratic forces with the support and cooperation of French, US and British forces earlier.

“The correspondent of the site Xeber 24 reported  a military source from the countryside of Deir al-Zour saying that the preparation for the liberation of the town of Hijn from the hands of ISIS is underway after besieging from all sides by French and US forces along with the Syrian Democratic Forces overlooking the town. He pointed out that the level of coordination is very high between the French and US forces and Syria’s democratic forces and that coalition aircraft do not leave the skies of the region.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    4
  • Airwars grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Shaam Media and other sources reported heavy Coalition shelling in the Hajin area for May 23rd

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
    4
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    Near Hajin
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SFU696403
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Sep 27, 2018
  • “May 23, 2018, near Hajin, Syria, via self-report. During a strike four civilians were unintentionally killed.”

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For May 23rd 2018, the Coalition reported at the time that
“On May 23 in Syria, Coalition military forces conducted 17 strikes consisting of 30 engagements against Daesh targets.
Near Abu Kamal, 15 strikes engaged one Daesh tactical unit, destroyed four Daesh-held buildings, four Daesh fighting positions, one Daesh vehicle and two Daesh command and control centers.
Near Al Shadaddi, two strikes engaged one Daesh tactical unit, destroyed one Daesh anti-aircraft weapon, two Daesh fighting positions and two Daesh IED belts.”

France
  • English
    /
    Original

France reported that between May 23rd and 29th, its Task Force Wagram conducted 11 artillery firing missions on the Euphrates Valley.

“La Task Force Wagram demeure engagée en appui de l’offensive contre les dernières poches de Daech dans la vallée de l’Euphrate. Depuis le lancement de l’offensive le 1er mai, 95 missions de tirs ont été réalisées, dont 11 sur la semaine écoulée (bilan du 23 au 29 mai).”

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    4
  • Airwars grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition