Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CS1780

Incident date

July 16, 2018

Location

السوسة, Al Soussa, Deir ez-Zor, Syria

Geolocation

34.52491, 40.95789 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Within 100m (via Coalition) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Within 100m (via Coalition)

Airwars assessment

Up to thirteen civilians were allegedly killed when Coalition aircraft struck two or more houses in al Soussa, local sources reported.

In September 2019, the Coalition’s monthly civilian casualty report noted: “In Deir ez-Zor, Syria, via self-report. Coalition aircraft conducted an airstrike against a Daesh explosive factory. Regrettably, two civilians were unintentionally killed as a result of the strike.”

Coalition officials subsequently indicated to Airwars that their own report was possibly a match to this incident. And in May 2020, the Pentagon declared this to be a US-perpetrated civilian harm event.

According to Boukamalna, the house of Haj Ali Al Mohsen Al Faress was targeted on July 16th. This was reiterated by most sources, stating that this led to “his death along with his wife.” Euphrates Post later identified his wife as Mrs. Nabieh and also noted that their daughter or grand-daughter Mona was also killed, in addition to five victims of Iraqi nationality in a neighbouring house.

Later reports noted that the house of Hamid al-Ali, located next to the Mohsen family house, was struck while it was inhabited by an Iraqi refugee family. Baladi News Agency reported that this resulted in “the death of all members of his family of five people, including women and children”.

Al Soussa Youth stated that the strike took place “ten minutes ago”, which corresponds to around 7:20am and Euphrates identified the location of the airstrikes to the Filasteen neighbourhood.

Most sources, including an initial report by Smart News Agency, noted the death of eight civilians, “including at least one woman and several others wounded.” Step News Agency however later reported the highest tally of thirteen civilians killed. According to the news outlet, four airstrikes targeted “the homes of civilians in the town of “Sousse” at seven o’clock this morning”, causing the destruction of three houses.

The report added that the number of victims was likely to rise as people were still trapped under the rubble, “due to the lack of medical staff or civil defense teams in the town, amid a severe shortage of medical and ambulatory materials.”

Al Soussa Youth later reported that Ali Al Muhsin Al-Faris, his wife and the daughter of Muhammad Ali Al-Mohsen had been buried and that “the son of Saleh Al Mohammed Al-Salim and the mother of Walid are in hospital and in a stable condition”.

The incident occured at approximately 7:20 am local time.

The victims were named as:

Family members (6)

  • Haj Ali Al Mohsen Al Faress Adult male pictured killed
  • Mrs Nabieh Adult female Wife of Haj Ali Al Mohsen Al Faress killed
  • Mona Age unknown Daughter or grand-daughter of Haj Ali Al Mohsen Al Faress and Mrs Nabieh killed
  • Son of Muhammad Al-Ali Al-Muhsin Age unknown male Said to have been severely injured injured
  • Son of Saleh Al Mohammed Al-Salim Age unknown male injured
  • Mother of Walid Adult female Association with family unclear injured

Family members (5)

  • Unnamed victim 1 Adult male Iraqi refugee family killed
  • Unnamed victim 2 Adult female killed
  • Unnamed victim 3 Child killed
  • Unnamed victim 4 Child killed
  • Unnamed victim 5 Child killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    8 – 13
  • (1 child1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS

Sources (29) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • Ali Muhsen al Fares, killed in reported Coalition airstrikes on al Soussa (via Syrian Network for Human Rights)
  • A reported photograph of the aftermath of a lethal Coalition raid on al Soussa, July 16th 2018 (via Euphrates Post)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the village of Al Soussa, for which the coordinates are: 34.528889, 40.9675. The alleged Coalition airstrike targeted the “house of Hamid al-Ali, located next to Mohsen family house,” Airwars was unable to verify the exact location of these civilian houses Prior to the Coalition releasing the MGRS for this incident, Airwars had geolocated it to the nearest village at 34.528889, 40.9675

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Credible / Substantiated
    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
    2
  • Stated location
    in Deir ez-Zor, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SFU797221
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Sep 26, 2019
  • July 16, 2018, in Deir ez-Zor, Syria, via self-report. Coalition aircraft conducted an airstrike against a Daesh explosive factory. Regrettably, two civilians were unintentionally killed as a result of the strike.

United States
  • May 6, 2020
  • Since last year’s Section 1057 report, CJTF-OIR assessed that an additional seven reports of civilian casualties during 2018 were credible, with approximately eight civilians killed and approximately one civilian injured as result of U.S. military operations. With these additional assessments, CJTF-OIR assessed that a total number of 19 reports of civilian casualties during 2018 were credible, with approximately 37 civilians killed and approximately 17 civilians injured. 16-Jul-18 As Susah, Syria Air 0 civilians injured 2 civilians killed

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

The Coalition publicly reported at the time that: “On July 16 in Syria, Coalition military forces conducted four strikes consisting of four engagements against Daesh targets. Near Abu Kamal, four strikes engaged one Daesh tactical unit, and destroyed one Daesh vehicle, two Daesh supply routes and one Daesh-held building."

France
  • English
    /
    Original

From July 11th to 17th, France report that Task Force Wagram carried out six artillery ‘shooting missions’ in the Euphrates Valley. In total since the start of the offensive on May 1st, it’s conducted 195 shooting missions. Aircraft conducted 24 sorties but there were no strikes.

‘IRAK – SYRIE – CHAMMAL SITUATION MILITAIRE DU THEATRE Offensive contre les dernières poches de Daech en Syrie En Syrie, l’offensive contre les deux dernières emprises territoriales de Daech a marqué un temps d’arrêt durant quelques jours, afin de stabiliser les zones récemment libérées. L’objectif des forces démocratiques syriennes reste d’éviter que des éléments de Daech ne se laissent dépasser et tentent de conduire des actions sur leurs arrières. L’offensive a depuis repris. Poursuite des actions de sécurisation en Irak Pour contrer l’organisation terroriste, plusieurs opérations sont menées par les forces de sécurité irakienne en Ninive et dans le désert de l’Anbar. Elles ont permis cette semaine la destruction de plusieurs tunnels, la mise hors de combat de dizaines de terroristes et la neutralisation de nombreux engins explosifs improvisés. ACTIVITE DE LA FORCE Formation au profit des forces de sécurité irakiennes Élaboré à la demande de l’état-major de la 6e division irakienne, un stage « combat en zone urbaine » a été conduit par la Task Force Monsabert du 9 au 12 juillet. Le format retenu pour cette instruction résulte de l’analyse des retours d’expériences français et irakiens sur l’importance de la maîtrise des actes élémentaires du combat en zone urbaine. Cette formation couvre les techniques de progression, de sécurisation de bâtiment, ainsi que l’ensemble des savoir-faire caractéristiques du combat en zone urbaine. Ce stage, qui s’inscrit dans une dynamique de long terme, devrait contribuer chaque mois à la formation de quinze soldats des bataillons commando de la 24e brigade. La Task Force Wagram en appui de l’offensive contre les dernières poches de Daech présentes dans la vallée de l’Euphrate Les artilleurs de la Task Force Wagram demeurent engagés 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, la Task Force Wagram a réalisé 195 missions de tirs, dont 6 sur la semaine écoulée (bilan du 11 au 17 juillet inclus). Depuis le début de son engagement, la Task Force Wagram a réalisé 1854 missions de tirs. Les bases aériennes en Jordanie et aux EAU en appui des operations Sur la semaine écoulée, les aéronefs de l’opération Chammal ont réalisé 24 sorties aériennes en appui des forces locales engagées au sol (bilan du 11 au 17 juillet inclus). Aucune frappe n’a été réalisée. Bilan total de l’action du pilier appui aérien depuis le 19/09/14 : 8238 sorties / 1453 frappes / 2244 objectifs neutralisés.’

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    8 – 13
  • (1 child1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS

Sources (29) [ collapse]