Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CS1957

Incident date

April 4, 2021

Location

مبروكة‎, Mabrouka countryside, Al Hassaka, Syria

Geolocation

36.665778, 39.858190 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

At least one named man, whose status as a civilian or belligerent presently remains contested, was killed and a civilian was injured in alleged Coalition airstrikes (or possibly an IED attack) near the city of Ras Al-Ain in the Al Hassaka countryside on April 4th 2021. The UK declared a Reaper drone strike in the near region for that date.

Free Hasska Reporter described and included pictures of what it said was a Kia vehicle, after having been reportedly struck with “three missiles” and named the person killed as Omar Abdel-Fattah. Adar Press indicated that he may have been using another name and ” it was not able to know his real name, but he bears an identity issued by the local council of the city of Ras al-Ain.”

Instead according to Ezdina, “a civilian lost his life and another was wounded, as a result of the explosion of an explosive device, today, Sunday, in the countryside of Sere Kaniye / Ras Al-Ain.” It  also reported that “the explosive device, which was planted in a civilian vehicle, exploded.”

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that ” the dead man was a civilian, not belonging to any armed faction, and he was from the region and belonged to the Adwan clan, which is why it is likely that his death was a result of clan and family disputes.”

Ida2at also identified the man killed as a civilian, stating that he died from “the explosion of a truck transporting petroleum products…as a result of a technical failure that led to the ignition of the refined fuel.” They also added that the road that the incident occurred on was “used by armed factions loyal to the “Turkish occupation”, to allegedly facilitate smuggling operations with Syrian Democratic Forces.

Syrian TV also identified both the man killed and wounded as being civilians, though harmed by an explosive device planted in the car, adding that they had “crossed illegally” coming from areas controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the countryside of Hasaka.”

Euphrates Post quoted local sources as saying “a “Kia 2700” vehicle exploded on Darbasiyah Road before entering Ras Al-Ain, killing the driver, whom it described as a member of the “National Army”, and also wounding a civilian.”

A tweet by the Violations Documentation Centre identified the man killed as being an “ISIS leader” and attributed the strike to “a drone, believed to be by the international coalition to fight ISIS led by the United States.” Rojava Network also noted what it said was the “killing of the leader of the terrorist organization ISIS, Omar Abdel Fattah, in a raid by an international coalition drone”.

Xeber 24 instead reported that “sources suggested that the targeted person was affiliated with the armed factions and organizations supported by Turkey, as the Ankara loyalists struck a large security cordon at the location of the targeting.”

According to NPA Syrian, “this [would be] the first time that the Global Coalition has targeted ISIS or al-Qaeda leaders in this region.”

The British Royal Air Force issued a statement on April 8th that “In a separate operation carried on Sunday 4 April, an RAF Reaper, armed with Hellfire missiles, identified a small group of Daesh terrorists in northern Syria, some fifty miles west of Al Hasakah. Having checked that there were no civilians nearby, the Reaper’s crew attacked the terrorists, striking the target successfully.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Omar Abdel-Fattah Adult male Contested as to whether belligerent or civilian killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike, Ground operation
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (0–1 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attacker
    British Armed Forces
  • Suspected targets
    ISIS, Other
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–1

Sources (15) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (4) [ collapse]

  • Caption translation: Unidentified aircraft targeted a Kia vehicle with three missiles near Al-Sarli village, killing a person named Omar Abdel-Fattah (Images posted by Free Hasska reporter via Facebook)
  • Caption translation: Unidentified aircraft targeted a Kia vehicle with three missiles near Al-Sarli village, killing a person named Omar Abdel-Fattah (Images posted by Free Hasska reporter via Facebook)
  • Caption translation: Unidentified aircraft targeted a Kia vehicle with three missiles near Al-Sarli village, killing a person named Omar Abdel-Fattah (Images posted by Free Hasska reporter via Facebook)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    An image of Omar Abdel Fattah, contested as to whether he was a civilian or belligerent, killed in strikes against Ras al-Ain on April 4, 2021. (Image posted by Roja Ava network via Facebook)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention a vehicle being struck in the vicinity of Mabrouka (مبروكة‎). According to research conducted by @obretix, a possible location for this strike is: 36.665778, 39.858190. However, due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

British Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    British Armed Forces
  • British Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

British Armed Forces

In a separate operation carried on Sunday 4 April, an RAF Reaper, armed with Hellfire missiles, identified a small group of Daesh terrorists in northern Syria, some fifty miles west of Al Hasakah. Having checked that there were no civilians nearby, the Reaper’s crew attacked the terrorists, striking the target successfully.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike, Ground operation
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (0–1 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attacker
    British Armed Forces
  • Suspected targets
    ISIS, Other
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–1

Sources (15) [ collapse]