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.
Sources (2) [ 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.
US-led Coalition Assessment:
Civilian casualty statements
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