Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CS1762

Incident date

June 4, 2018

Location

الجزاع, Al Helo or al-Jazza village, Hasakah, Syria

Geolocation

36.09601, 41.08939 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (other) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Exact location (other)

Airwars assessment

Several sources reported up to fifteen civilians killed, including ten children and an unspecified number of women, when Coalition or other aircraft allegedly targeted the village of al Helo/ Al Jazza near al Dashisha, in southern Hassaka.

Marsad al Hassaka initially stated that the bombardment took place “at dawn today” and caused the death of 8 civilians, among whom were members of the al Mudhi family. The source also claimed that “internationally banned cluster bombs” were used in the strike. In a second post it raised the tally, noting that “warplanes carried out a new massacre in the southern countryside of Al-Hasakah. The likely Coalition aircraft targeted the village of Al-Jazaa, resulting in a new massacre and the deaths of 11 civilians from the village, in addition to the injury of others. The number of martyrs is still increasing due to the presence of serious injuries and missing persons under the ruins caused by the aerial bombardment of the village.”

Zaman al Wasl also made mention of the specific munitions used, stating that the Coalition “bombed the village of ‘Jazaa’ north of the town of ‘al Dashisha’ with cluster munitions”, killing and wounding about 10 people.

Baladi News reported the highest tally: fourteen civilians, mostly women and children and “dozens seriously injured”. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported eleven civilians killed, including five children. SOHR stressed that the death toll is expected to rise due to the critical situation that some victims were in and the fact that there were still people missing underneath the rubble caused by the strike.

Step News Agency reported a death toll of fourteen civilians. However, Al Hayat has made clear that this number is based on the total number of civilians casualties in that area since the start of the month.

Cluster munitions are not known to be used by Coalition or Iraqi forces – though have been documented as being fired by both Assad government and Russian aircraft. There is however confirmation through tweets from both the ‘SDF Front’ and Iraqi mobilization units that they launched a campaign in the vicinity of the Iraqi-Syrian border near al Dashisha.

In July 2019, Human Rights Watch published the following assessment of this event: “On or around June 4, 2018 at 5 a.m., an airstrike hit a house on the outskirts of al-Helo village, killing 15 civilians, including 10 children, and injuring 2 more, according to witnesses and relatives of victims. Both the US-led coalition and Iraqi forces reported engagements near al-Shaddadi, where al-Helo village is located, at this time, Airwars reported.

“Witnesses said that the plane dropped one large and later two smaller munitions. The first strike killed 9 of the 17 civilians in the house. Three survivors fled and were then hit in a strike outside the house. A third strike killed a man and two of his children who had survived the initial strike and were attempting to flee.

“Witnesses said that they were concerned about follow-up strikes so only went to the strike site around 5 p.m. Only two victims there survived.

“Human Rights Watch visited the site on February 9 and could identify a large crater where a house had been. Satellite imagery reviewed showed the destruction of a single building from detonation of at least one large air-dropped munition between about 10:30 a.m. on June 3 and 10:30 a.m. on June 4, 2018. Two additional detonation sites were identified during the same period corresponding to witness accounts.

“Human Rights Watch spoke to one survivor of the attack and a witness from the village. They said that no ISIS fighters were in the house, which was located on a road leading to the oil rig under ISIS control. ISIS members guarding the rig often used the road.

“One of the survivors said she had received medical treatment supported by the World Health Organization. However, she said that neither the SDF nor the coalition had contacted them or provided assistance, and that she did not know how to file a claim.

“The coalition assessed the strike and found that ‘After a review of available information it was assessed that no coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area that correspond to the report of civilian casualties.’ On May 29, the coalition told Human Rights Watch that based on information provided they would assess the allegations.”

In their monthly civilian casualty reports, the US-led Coalition has indicated that the credibility of this civilian harm allegation is in the process of being assessed.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (1)

  • al Mudhi family Up to eight members of one family killed

Summary

  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    15
  • (10 children2 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2–24
  • 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
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (17) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • 'Iraqi heavy artillery heavily bombarded terrorist barracks in the Syrian town of al dashisha near the Iraqi border, where battles are currently taking place between the SDF and the terrorist organisation Daesh.'

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

According to Human Rights Watch, which visited the scene, the village’s name is al-Helo: “GPS Coordinates: 41°5’22″E 36°5’46″N (MGRS: 37SFV 88096 96619)”.

  • Satellite image taken June 6, 2018 of US-led coalition airstrike locations in al-Helo village. Damage analysis by Human Rights Watch; Imagery © DigitalGlobe-Maxar Technologies 2019; Sources: EUSI, Google Earth. [Human Rights Watch]

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Open incident
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    near Jazaa village, Syria
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Oct 26, 2018
  • June 4, 2018, near Jazaa village, Syria, via Airwars. After a review of available information it was assessed that no Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area that correspond to the report of civilian casualties.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For June 4th, the Coalition stated that “On June 4 in Syria, Coalition military forces conducted 17 strikes consisting of 20 engagements against Daesh targets.... Near Al Shadaddi, two strikes engaged one Daesh tactical unit and destroyed one Daesh logistics hub and one Daesh heavy machine gun."

United Kingdom
  • English
    /
    Original

Monday 4 June – a Reaper destroyed an armed terrorist truck concealed under cover in eastern Syria…A Reaper provided further close air support to the Syrian Democratic Forces in the Euphrates valley on Monday 4 June. An armed terrorist truck was reported to be to the north of Abu Kamal, and the Reaper’s crew were able to identify the vehicle, parked under cover in an attempt to conceal it, after a thorough search. A Hellfire missile destroyed the vehicle, with a number of subsequent secondary explosions as ammunition on the vehicle caught fire.

France
  • English
    /
    Original

France report that the Wagram Task Force continues to support the offensive against the last pockets of Daesh present in the Euphrates Valley. Since the launch of the offensive on May 1st, it has carried out 111 shooting missions including 16 for the past week – May 30th to June 5th. Over the past week, the aircraft of Operation Chammal have carried out 20 sorties in support of local forces engaged on the ground, mainly missions of intelligence gathering and aerial reconnaissance. No airstrikes were carried out.

‘CHAMMAL SITUATION MILITAIRE DU THEATRE Sur le théâtre irako-syrien, l’activité majeure demeure l’offensive contre les dernières poches de Daech en Syrie. Offensive contre les dernières poches de Daech en Syrie En Syrie, les forces démocratiques syriennes conduisent actuellement l’offensive finale contre les dernières poches de Daech présentes au nord-est de la Syrie. Cette offensive finale a été préparée avec soin par la Coalition qui a fourni un effort conséquent pour affiner le renseignement sur le dispositif de Daech et préparer le terrain pour les forces engagées au sol. Dans ce cadre, le nombre de frappes menées par la Coalition en mai a augmenté de 123 % par rapport à son niveau du mois d’avril. L’offensive est coordonnée avec les forces de sécurité irakiennes qui ont augmenté leur présence le long de la frontière irako-syrienne pour empêcher toute fuite de terroristes des zones de combat vers l’Irak. Poursuite des actions de sécurisation en Irak En Irak, l’action des forces de sécurité irakiennes se poursuit sur un rythme élevé, notamment dans l’Anbar et les monts Hamrim, mais aussi plus au nord en Ninive, et plus à l’ouest dans le désert de Jazirah. ACTIVITE DE LA FORCE Task Force Monsabert : poursuite de l’accompagnement de la 6e division irakienne Cette semaine, trois nouvelles formations ont débuté : une séquence d’entrainement au profit de compagnies commandos irakiennes, une instruction armement et une instruction à la lutte contre les engins explosifs improvisés. La Task Force Wagram en appui de l’offensive contre les dernières poches de Daech présentes dans la vallée de l’Euphrate La Task Force Wagram demeure engagée en appui de l’offensive menée contre Daech dans la vallée de l’Euphrate. Depuis le lancement de l’offensive le 1er mai, elle a réalisé 111 missions de tirs dont 16 pour la semaine écoulée (bilan du 30 mai au 5 juin inclus). Depuis le début de son engagement, elle a réalisé 1770 missions de tirs. Les bases aériennes en Jordanie et aux EAU en appui des opérations Sur la semaine écoulée, les aéronefs de l’opération Chammal ont réalisé 20 sorties aériennes en appui des forces locales engagées au sol (bilan du 30 mai au 5 juin inclus), essentiellement des missions de recueil de renseignements et de reconnaissance aérienne. Aucune frappe n’a été réalisée. Bilan total de l’action du pilier appui aérien depuis le 19/09/14 : 8115 sorties / 1450 frappes / 2241 objectifs neutralisés.’

Netherlands
  • English
    /
    Original

For the 2nd straight week, Dutch F-16s fired weapons near Abu Kamal and Hajin in Deir Ezzor. The Dutch MoD reported that between May 30th-June 5th, aircraft targeted ISIS fighters and logistics centers in three missions. Jets supported ground troops in 9 missions, including in Nineveh, Iraq.

‘Weekoverzicht Defensieoperaties Nieuwsbericht | 06-06-2018 | 12:00 In de strijd tegen terreurorganisatie ISIS ondersteunden Nederlandse F-16’s grondtroepen tijdens 9 missies. Bij 3 daarvan zijn wapens ingezet. Dat gebeurde in de omgeving van Abu Kamal en Hajin in de provincie Deir Al Zour in Oost-Syrië. Hierbij zijn onder andere ISIS-strijders en logistieke opslagplaatsen aangevallen. Ook is gevlogen boven de Irakese provincie Ninawa. Een overzicht van Defensieoperaties in de week van 30 mei tot en met 5 juni 2018. Militaire instructeurs in Irak leren Koerdische strijders gebieden te beveiligen. Daarbij staan onder meer wapenhandelingen, medische verzorging, oorlogsrecht en civiel-militaire samenwerking op het programma. De door de coalitie opgeleide instructeurs verzorgen een deel van de opleiding. Een Nederlands chirurgisch team opereert in een Amerikaans role 2-hospitaal in westelijk Irak. Het team werkt nauw samen met Noorse medici.’

Summary

  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    15
  • (10 children2 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2–24
  • 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
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (17) [ collapse]