Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CS1942

Incident date

December 25, 2019

Location

البوكمال, Al Bukamal, Deir Ezzor, Syria

Geolocation

34.45151, 40.918193 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

Around ten people were killed and an unknown number wounded in alleged Coalition artillery strikes that reportedly targeted Iranian and Lebanese militias in the city of Al Bukamal, Deir Ezzor governorate, on December 25th, 2019, according to local sources. It is unclear if those killed were civilians or belligerents.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored several explosions in areas where Iranian militias are active, but stated that information is conflicted “about whether it was caused by drones or if it was the result of long-range missiles. The shelling targeted an Iranian militia headquarters in Al Jam’eyyat neighborhood of Al Bukamal city, also other explosions took place in Al Jala’a Des.”

Step News Agency reported on three attacks, stating that American forces stationed in an oil field in Al Shuaitat area were responsible. The first attack allegedly targeted the headquarters of the 47th Brigade of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Militia in the city center with five missiles. Seven people were killed and others wounded.

The second raid targeted the headquarters of the Lebanese Hezbollah militia, which had recently established itself in the outskirts of the city, killing three people and wounding others.

The third raid targeted two headquarters of Iranian militia on the outskirts of the town of Al Galaa in the countryside of Al Bukamal. The death toll is not yet known.

It is unclear if those killed or injured were civilians or members of armed militias.

In their August 2020 civilian casualty report, the US-led Coalition assessed reports that they were responsible for civilian harm in this strike as “non-credible”, stating that no Coalition actions were conducted in the geographical area at that time.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 3
  • Civilians reported injured
    0–2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Belligerents reported killed
    7–10
  • Belligerents reported injured
    2

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention multiple strikes in the city of Abu Kamal (البوكمال) at: 34.45151, 40.918193, and the city of Al Jalaa (الجلاء) at: 34.632043, 40.830081. Some sources mention the neighbourhood of Al Jam’eyyat also being struck, however, due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

  • Reports of the incident mention multiple strikes in the city of Abu Kamal (البوكمال) and the city of Al Jalaa (الجلاء).

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible / Unsubstantiated
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    No Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SFU762138/37SFU677337
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Aug 22, 2020
  • Aug 22, 2020
  • Dec. 25, 2019, in Abu Kamal, 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. 3135/CS1942 37SFU762138

  • Dec. 25, 2019, in Al Jalaa, 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. 3136/CS1942 37SFU677337

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 3
  • Civilians reported injured
    0–2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Belligerents reported killed
    7–10
  • Belligerents reported injured
    2

Sources (2) [ collapse]