Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CS1958

Incident date

May 4, 2021

Location

الشنان, Al Shanan, Deir Ezzor, Syria

Geolocation

34.976104, 40.576696 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (via Airwars) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Exact location (via Airwars)

Airwars assessment

At least one man was killed in an alleged US-led Coalition drone strike in al-Shanan village in eastern Deir Ezzor on May 4, 2021. While the majority of sources that reported on the incident claimed that the man killed was no longer part of any armed groups, a spokesman for the Coalition identified him as an ISIS operative.

According to Deir Ezzor 24 Network’s correspondent, “a person was killed when a drone believed to belong to the international coalition targeted his car in al-Shanan” and “the targeted car belonged to a former Free Army fighter who worked before his death as a gas official of the Syrian Democratic Forces.”

Euphrates Post identified the man killed as Bassem Atwan Al-Bilal and pointed out that his car was struck “near the Al-Balhawi Mosque in the village of Shannan.” They added that following the strike, “the Qasd imposed a cordon on the town”.

A spokesperson for the Coalition tweeted “.@CJTFOIR conducted an air strike removing a Daesh terrorist from the battlefield near Dayr az Zawr, Syria today. @Coalition and our partners will continue our mission to #defeatdaesh, disrupt their resources and eliminate Daesh remnants.”

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights identified the man killed as being a civilian and Jesr Press reported that “at the present time he does not belong to any military organization, and he is married and has 8 children and two wives.” More details were given by Watan FM that the man killed “has defected from the Assad forces since 2012, and has not yet joined any military faction, and he is currently working as a gas delegate to the Autonomous Administration, and he has 4 brothers who volunteer with the Syrian Democratic Forces, one of whom is a leader called (Rayan Al-Shanan)”.

Eye of Euphrates reported that Al-Atwan was killed “while he was going to work in the harragas in Al-Hawi area near the oil burners” and spoke with a relative of the young man, who reiterated that “Al-Atwan has nothing to do with military matters, and that he works in the field of refining oil through primitive burners.”

Baladi News pointed out that “it is likely that the car he was traveling in was previously monitored, knowing that Al-Atwan bought it recently” which could explain why he was hit.

However, the North Press Agency Syria reported that the man was “said to be affiliated with the Islamic State” and added that he was killed after leaving a mosque.

The airstrike was carried out by an MQ-9 Reaper drone, according to @N0tWoofers. All of the sources that reported on the strike attributed it to Coalition drones or did not identify who was responsible, in addition to the Coalition spokesman verifying that its forces had carried out a strike in the area.

The incident occured in the evening.

  • Bassem Atwan Al-Bilal 30 years old male Status as non combatant disputed by some sources killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (0–1 men)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–1

Sources (21) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (5) [ collapse]

  • On Tuesday, May 4, a person was killed when a drone, believed to belong to the international coalition, targeted his car in al-Shanan village in the easter Deir Ezzor countryside, according to Deir Ezzor 24 network correspondent. (Images posted by @DeirEzzor24)
  • On Tuesday, May 4, a person was killed when a drone, believed to belong to the international coalition, targeted his car in al-Shanan village in the easter Deir Ezzor countryside, according to Deir Ezzor 24 network correspondent. (Images posted by @DeirEzzor24)
  • Destruction caused by "by an unidentified drone that targeted his car near the Al-Balhawi Mosque in the village of Shannan." (Image posted by Euphrates Post via Facebook)
  • Caption translation: A picture of the young man, Bassem Atwan Al-Bilal, who was killed this evening in an air strike by an unidentified drone that targeted his car near the Al-Balhawi Mosque in the village of Shannan. (Image posted by Euphrates Post via Facebook)
  • Caption translation: It is worth noting that “Al-Atwan” was a former commander of the Free Army Brigades in the “Jund al-Rahman” Brigade and is currently working as a delegate for the gas supported by the SDF. Meanwhile, the spokesman for the International Coalition Forces announced on Twitter: that an air strike had been launched near Deir Ezzor to remove an ISIS operative from the battle. (Image posted by Euphrates Post)

Geolocation notes (3) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention a vehicle being struck in the village of Al Shanan (الشنان). Analyzing visual material from sources, we have narrowed down the location to these exact coordinates: 34.976104, 40.576696.

  • Reports of the incident mention a vehicle being struck in the village of Al Shanan (الشنان).

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

  • Tagged satellite imagery according to sources.

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

  • Tagged visual material from sources.

    Imagery:
    Eye of Euphrates

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

.@CJTFOIR conducted an air strike removing a Daesh terrorist from the battlefield near Dayr az Zawr, Syria today.
@Coalition and our partners will continue our mission to #defeatdaesh, disrupt their resources and eliminate Daesh remnants.

- From @OIRSpox

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (0–1 men)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–1

Sources (21) [ collapse]