At least 9 and as many as 15 civilians were reported killed, described as women and children of Iraqi origin, following a reported Coalition airstrike on the home of Mohammed al-Obeid al-Hattab in al Soussa. The event may be confused in some media and social media reports with one or two nearby additional civilian harm events over a 30 hour period.
Euphrates Post – which timelined a number of civilian harm events in the town over a period of hours, – stated that “According to our correspondent, the killing of nearly 15 civilians, including women and children of Iraqi nationality, following an air strike targeted a house in the neighborhood of Al-Aaliyya in the town of Al Sousse in Al Bukamal countryside early Thursday.“
Free Deir Ezzor Radio placed the toll at 13 civilians killed. The Syrian Network placed the toll at a minimum of nine killed, noting “at least 9 civilians, including 4 children and 2 women, killed as International Coalition forces warplanes fired missiles on a house in al Aliyat neighborhood.”
Smart News said that a number of houses were targeted by the Coalition, particularly in the al Sarat area of al Soussa: “The source pointed out that the houses that were destroyed belonged originally to expatriate civilians in the GCC countries and to others who have recently moved to the village of Al-Shaaf’a, as the organization seized them and turned them into headquarters and houses for its members and their families.”
Halab Today instead said that those harmed were IDPs from nearby villages: “the raid targeted a house where displaced people from neighboring villages, resulting in the deaths and injuries of an unknown number.”
The Syrian Observatory initially placed the toll for this and the following event at al Soussa on October 18th at 24 civilian fatalities, noting that “the number of martyrs is still increasing due to some wounded being in a serious condition, and the presence of missing persons.” On October 22nd the Observatory lowered its estimate to 18 killed on both events, along with 11 ISIS fighters: “18 Iraqi citizens of the families of Daesh including 7 children and 4 women, were killed in the bombardment which targeted a mosque and a house in Al-Susah town, on 18th October 2018.”
Madar News, citing a local activist, said 43 people died in the two October 18th events. Marsad al Hassakah placed the toll for the two events lower, reporting that “Eighteen Iraqi civilians, including seven children and four citizens, were martyred in the air bombardment of a mosque and an adjacent house.”
According to reports, multiple Coalition airstrikes targeted the ISIS-occupied town of al Soussa between Thursday October 17th and Friday October 18th causing mass casualties. As well as the Ammar bin Yasser mosque which was struck at noon on the Thursday along with the home of Mohammed al-Obeid al-Hattab earlier that same morning, the Othman mosque was also reported hit the following day at Friday prayers.
Deir Ezzor Radio said that overall, 60 to 70 civilians including 10 children died in the three Coalition strikes on the town. Sana News placed the overall death count at 62. The Syrian Observatory placed the toll for the three events at 47 civilians and 9 ISIS fighters killed. Al Jazeera said approximately 65 civilians were killed with dozens injured in the three events.
In its December 2020 monthly civilian casualty report, the Coalition assessed this event as ‘non credible’, claiming that it had conducted no strikes in the geographical area which corresponded with civilian harm claims.
The incident occured around dawn.
Sources (6) [ collapse]
from sources (1) [ collapse]
US-led Coalition Assessment:
Civilian casualty statements
Dec 15, 2020
Oct. 18, 2018, near al Soussa, 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. 3205/CS1811 37SFU962237
Original strike reports
On Oct. 18 in Syria, coalition military forces conducted 10 strikes consisting of 14 engagements against ISIS targets. Near Abu Kamal and Hajin, 10 strikes engaged 29 tactical units, and destroyed two command and control centers, one IED facility, one vehicle-borne IED facility, one mortar team headquarters, one building and two staging areas.
France report that between Oct 17th-23rd, the three CAESAR guns of Task Force Wagram conducted 17 firing missions, from Iraqi territory. Aircraft carried out 18 sorties and conducted eight strikes north of Abu Kamal in Syria.
OPÉRATION CHAMMAL SITUATION MILITAIRE DU THEATRE Offensive contre les dernières poches de Daech en Syrie L’opération pour reprendre la poche d’Hajine dans la moyenne vallée de l’Euphrate, lancée le 10 septembre, se poursuit. Poursuite des actions de sécurisation en Irak En Irak, les opérations de sécurisation des forces de sécurité irakiennes (FSI) se poursuivent sans évènement particulier relevé cette semaine. ACTIVITE DE LA FORCE Le dispositif français déployé au Levant n’a pas évolué en volume. 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 appuie l’offensive des forces démocratiques syriennes contre Daech dans la région d’Hajine. Les trois canons CAESAR ont ainsi réalisé, depuis le territoire irakien, 17 missions de tir (éclairement, harcèlement, destruction – bilan du 17 au 23 octobre inclus). Depuis le début de son engagement, la Task Force Wagram a réalisé 1992 missions de tirs. Les bases aériennes en Jordanie et aux EAU en appui des opérations. Au sein de la coalition, les aéronefs français basés en Jordanie et aux Émirats arabes unis poursuivent leurs actions contre Daech. Cette semaine, les aéronefs de l’opération Chammal ont réalisé 18 sorties aériennes (bilan du 17 au 23 octobre inclus) et conduit 8 frappes, en appui des FDS au nord d’Abou Kamal en Syrie. Bilan total de l’action du pilier appui aérien depuis le 19/09/14 : 8582 sorties / 1472 frappes / 2271 objectifs neutralises.
For Oct 17th-24th, Dutch MoD reports that Dutch F-16s supported ground troops during nine missions. Weapons were deployed in six of these missions – against ISIS fighters and vehicles near Abu Kamal, Deir Ezzor.
Midden-Oosten In de strijd tegen terreurorganisatie ISIS ondersteunden Nederlandse F-16’s grondtroepen tijdens 9 missies. Bij 6 zijn wapens ingezet tegen ISIS-strijders en voertuigen. Dat gebeurde in de provincie Deir al Zour, in de omgeving van Abu Kamal.