A 7-year-old child was killed and his mother and brother were injured when an alleged US-led Coalition mortar shell hit the family’s home in the town of Al Azbat, Deir Ezzor governorate, on January 9th, 2021. Local sources reported that the incident occured during a military training near the Coalition base near the Koniko oil field.
According to a Euphrates Post correspondent, “a mortar shell landed in a house in the vicinity of the Koniko oil field base, east of Deir Ezzor, during training of the American forces.” The source added that the “the shell landed in the house of the civilian Hani Hussein Al Toukan, killing his son Ahed and seriously injuring his wife and other son, Fahed.” The US forces reportedly brought the victims to a nearby medical point.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights wrote that “a child was killed and his mother was injured, as a result of an unknown explosion near their house in the Azbat area north of Deir Ezzor city, Koniku Oil, where the International Coalition forces and the SDF conduct joint military exercises.”
Several other sources wrote that the civilian house was targeted. @SyriawatanNews, for example, tweeted that “the ‘American occupation’ forces present in the Koniko oil field targeted the town of Ezbet in the northern countryside of Deir Ezzor with mortar shells, killing a child and wounding others.”
@SalamaAlhussein tweeted that it was not the village of Al Azbat that was hit, but the village of Khasham. All other sources mentioned Al Azbat village.
In a civilian casualty assessment released April 16th 2021, the Coalition classed this event as ‘non credible’, claiming that ” 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.”
The local time of the incident is unknown.
The victims were named as:
Family members (3)
Sources (14) [ collapse]
Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention the Al Azbat (العزبة) area, south of the Conoco Oil Refinery, for which the generic coordinates are: 35.321848, 40.307980. 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
Apr 16, 2021
Jan. 9, 2021, in al Azbat, 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. 3293/CS1955 37SFV188095