Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CS1945

Incident date

May 16, 2020

Location

بالقرب من مسجد أبو بكر الصديق ,البصيره, Vicinity of Abu Bakr Al Siddiq mosuqe, Al Basira , Deir Ezzor, Syria

Geolocation

35.152540, 40.423494 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Nearby landmark level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Nearby landmark

Airwars assessment

The homes of civilians were reportedly raided and bombed by alleged Coalition forces in a possible joint action with the Syrian Democratic Forces in the city of Al Basira, Deir Ezzor governorate, on May 16th, 2020, leading to the death of five possible civilians. Sources additionally reported that two to three men likely linked to ISIS were killed.

Euphrates Eye reported that Coalition forces had targeted three houses of Internally Displaced People (IDP) in Al Basira. The source indicates that five possible civilians were killed in one of the raids: “In Ibrahim Al Baraka’s house, inhabited by displaced people from Albukamal, there were clashes because the displaced people refused to surrender.” Five of the displaced people present were reportedly killed in the house, after which Coalition forces bombed the building. It is not specified whether the victims were civilians or militants.

According to Euphrate Eye, men and women were arrested and interrogated after raids on the house of Hassan (“pharmacist of Albufahd”) and the house of Hammoud Abu Hani, which were both in use by internally displaced people from Albukamal. According to the source, all those arrested were later released.

@DeirEzzor24 wrote that “three persons believed to be linked to ISIS were killed, and a number of others were arrested, by the international Coalition forces, in an airdrop operation in a neighbourhood of the city of Al Basira, east of Deir Ezzor, on Saturday, May 16, 2020. Special forces from SDF participated in the operation.” The source added that the operation lasted for an hour, while the Coalition requested civilians through loudspeakers to remain in their homes.

Other sources also report the victims were “likely” ISIS members. According to Eye On Hasaka, the operation took place in the evening, whereas Step Agency reported the incident occured around dawn.

According to Euphrates Post “the Coalition aircraft targeted with heavy machineguns around the Abu Bakr Al Siddiq mosque in Al Basira after a military convoy of SDF forces arrived in the city from the side of the Al Safa mosque.”

Whereas all sources reported the operation to be a joint action, Step Agency wrote that “it is worth noting that this raid operation did not witness the participation of the “Qasd militia”, unlike the previous times that the American forces raided the areas of Deir Ezzor.” Hence, Airwars graded the strike status of this incident as contested.

In the second of their September 2020 civilian casualty reports, 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 incident occured during the night.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    US-led Coalition, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)
  • Suspected target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    2–7
  • Belligerents reported injured
    2

Sources (8) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention a residential building being struck in the vicinity of Abu Bakr Al Siddiq mosque (مسجد أبو بكر الصديق), in the village of Al Basira (البصيره). Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for Abu Bakr Al Siddiq mosque are: 35.152540, 40.423494

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
    37SFU296908
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Sep 9, 2020
  • May 16, 2020, in Al Basira, 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. 3182/CS1945 37SFU296908

Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)
  • Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    US-led Coalition, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)
  • Suspected target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    2–7
  • Belligerents reported injured
    2

Sources (8) [ collapse]