In what several sources described as “a massacre”, at least 8 and as many as 70 civilians were alleged killed in an alleged Coalition airstrike on Osman Bin Affan Mosque in the village of Al-Sousse after Friday prayers.
The incident occurred after two other reported incidents on October 18th in and around al Soussa, targeting the home of Mohammed al-Obeid al-Hattab in Al-Soussa and the Ammar bin Yasser mosque in Al Boubadran village near al Soussa. Some reports confused elements of these separate events.
The lowest death count at the Osman Bin Affan Mosque was given at 8, by Smart News. It said that bombing caused the deaths of more than 40 people, “including eight civilians”. The source went on to say that the rest of those killed were “elements of Daesh, mostly Iraqis.” It should be noted, however, that “elements of Daesh” does not specifically refer to ISIS fighters and can also include ISIS family members, which may explain why other sources put the death toll higher.
The Syrian Network for Human Rights reported that “at least 16 civilians, including five children, were killed as International Coalition forces warplanes fired missiles on Othman Bin Affan Mosque, also known as Hajji Mohammad Mosque, in al Boubadran neighborhood in al Sousa town”.
Marsad Al Hasaka put the death toll higher at 23 civilians including 3 children, of whom it said 6 were overall reportedly Syrians and the rest of Iraqi nationality. It added that 11 members of ISIS also died, noting that the airstrike hit the mosque and surrounding houses.
The majority of sources put civilian deaths in the range of between 30-46, although some sources referred to the total while others refer to the number as civilian casualties.
For example, Euphrates Post said that a total of 37 people, including a large number “members of Daesh” died, whereas Sana News said that 37 civilians were killed.
Sana’s sources stated that the death toll was likely to rise as most of the wounded sustained serious injuries and many people remained trapped under the rubble of destroyed homes.
Al Jazeera quoted German medical sources of the opposition in Deir al-Zour, stating that in total more than 35 people were killed and 60 others wounded. In addition, “the sources pointed out that a number of bodies and wounded are still under the ruins of the mosque, which was completely destroyed…”
Sound and Picture put the death toll even higher, at 46 civilians with 100 wounded. In a subsequent post, this source posted a video reportedly showing F-16 international coalition planes flying over the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor just minutes before the airstrike.
A number of sources, including Baladi, @saaraaa2011 and @NorsForStudies tweeted that as many as 70 civilians died in this event.
The local time of the incident is unknown.
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US-led Coalition Assessment:
Original strike reports
For October 18th – 19th, the Coalition reported: “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."
For October 19th-20th: “Near Hajin, 10 strikes engaged 11 tactical units, and destroyed one vehicle-borne IED, one armored vehicle, three vehicles and five supply routes."
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.