Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CS1994

Incident date

July 7, 2023

Location

بزاعة, Bza’a, Idlib, Syria

Airwars assessment

A civilian was injured by declared US drone strikes which killed an ISIS member on July 7, 2023 on the road between Al Bab and Bza’a, Syria.

The @SyriaCivilDefe reported that a person was killed while driving a motorcycle on the road between Al Bab and Bza’a and a civilian was slightly injured while passing through the location when unknown drones carried out strikes on the motorcycle. The civil defense volunteers transferred the remains of the person killed to Al-Bab Hospital.

Local source @mzmgr941 identified the person killed as Hammam Abu Anas al-Shami, born in 1993, who was originally from the Levant, lived in Al-Hasakah, and resided near the post office in the security square of al-Hamzat in Bza’a. The source added that Hammam’s wife is Kurdish and works at Al-Farabi Hospital in Al-Bab, and his parent’s names are Yasser and Zahia. @mzmgr941 identified the person injured as Adnan Al-Dari’i.

A tweet from @a1lsharqiapost added that the person on the motorcycle was killed immediately, and that the injured civilian Adnan is from the city of Al-Hasakah.

Two days after the incident, on July 9th, CENTCOM released a statement taking responsibility for the strike: “On July 7, U.S. Central Command conducted a strike in Syria that resulted in the death of Usamah al-Muhajir, an ISIS leader in eastern Syria.” CENTCOM also acknowledged the reporting that a civilian was injured but did not admit the civilian harm: “There are no indications that any civilians were killed in this strike, and the coalition is assessing reports of a civilian injury.”

Researchers told Sky News Arabia that Osama Al-Muhajir, also known as “Anas Al-Shami” and “Hammam Al-Shami” (the name referred to above by local sources), is a prominent security cadre in ISIS who has held several important positions, including “Wali of Al-Khair Province”, which is the Deir ez-Zor region. He was among those tasked with rebuilding ISIS networks and he resided in Idlib for nearly two years, after which he moved to the “Bza’a” area near the Syrian Al-Bab region.

Both CENTCOM and local source pointed out that the drone that carried out the strike is a MQ-9s, and that earlier in the day the same drone had been harassed by Russian aircraft.

In a civilian casualty assessment released on November 30th 2023, the Coalition classed this event as ‘non credible’, claiming that “Based on a thorough review of all available information, the allegation was found not credible because the actions were not attributable to U.S. or Coalition Forces.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Adnan Al-Dari'i عدنان الدريعي
Age unknown injured

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • 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
  • Known target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1

Sources (23) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (19) [ collapse]

  • Remnants of a US drone strike in Bza’a on July 7, 2023. (Image posted by Waleed Post via Facebook)
  • Remnants of a US drone strike in Bza’a on July 7, 2023. (Image posted by @bolad_h)
  • Civil Defense volunteers with the victim of a US drone strike in Bza’a on July 7, 2023. (Image posted by @SyriaCivilDefe)
  • Remnants of a US drone strike in Bza’a on July 7, 2023. (Image posted by @bolad_h)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    ISIS leader killed by a US drone strike in Bza’a on July 7, 2023. (Image posted by @bolad_h)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    ISIS leader killed by a US drone strike in Bza’a on July 7, 2023. (Image posted by @bolad_h)
  • Remnants of a US drone strike in Bza’a on July 7, 2023. (Image posted by @alkhabour21)
  • Remnants of a US drone strike in Bza’a on July 7, 2023. (Image posted by @mzmgr941)
  • Remnants of a US drone strike in Bza’a on July 7, 2023. (Image posted by @a1lsharqiapost)
  • Remnants of a US drone strike in Bza’a on July 7, 2023. (Image posted by @HalabTodayTV)
  • Remnants of a US drone strike in Bza’a on July 7, 2023. (Image posted by @HalabTodayTV)
  • Remnants of a US drone strike in Bza’a on July 7, 2023. (Image posted by @HalabTodayTV)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    ISIS leader killed by a US drone strike in Bza’a on July 7, 2023. (Image posted by @DeirEzzore)
  • Remnants of a US drone strike in Bza’a on July 7, 2023. (Image posted by Waleed Post via Facebook)
  • Remnants of a US drone strike in Bza’a on July 7, 2023. (Image posted by Waleed Post via Facebook)
  • Victim of a US drone strike in Bza’a on July 7, 2023. (Image posted by Waleed Post via Facebook)
  • Remnants of a US drone strike in Bza’a on July 7, 2023. (Image posted by Waleed Post via Facebook)
  • Remnants of a US drone strike in Bza’a on July 7, 2023. (Image posted by Waleed Post via Facebook)
  • Remnants of a US drone strike in Bza’a on July 7, 2023. (Image posted by Waleed Post via Facebook)

US-led Coalition Assessment:

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

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Nov 30, 2023
  • July 07, 2023, near Al-Bab, Syria, via White Helmets and Associated Press. Based on a thorough review of all available information, the allegation was found not credible because the actions were not attributable to U.S. or Coalition Forces.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

Release Number 20230709-01

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TAMPA, Fla. – On July 7, U.S. Central Command conducted a strike in Syria that resulted in the death of Usamah al-Muhajir, an ISIS leader in eastern Syria.

“We have made it clear that we remain committed to the defeat of ISIS throughout the region,” said Gen. Michael “Erik” Kurilla, commander of U.S. Central Command. “ISIS remains a threat, not only to the region but well beyond.”

There are no indications that any civilians were killed in this strike, and the coalition is assessing reports of a civilian injury.

This will disrupt and degrade ISIS’s ability to plan and conduct terror attacks. However, CENTCOM’s operations against ISIS, alongside partner forces in Iraq and Syria, will continue in order to achieve the group’s enduring defeat.

The strike on Friday was conducted by the same MQ-9s that had, earlier in the day, been harassed by Russian aircraft in an encounter that had lasted almost two hours.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • 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
  • Known target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1

Sources (23) [ collapse]