Up to ten civilians were reported killed in an alleged Coalition evening strike at Al Arshaf village on the outskirts of Ekhitrin town, in the northern Aleppo countryside.
Syria Urgent initially said 6 civilians died – 4 women and two men – with another four injured “following an American raid.” The Syrian Observatory placed the death toll at seven, saying all the victims came from one family. And Shaam News said ten died, including 5 women.
The Syrian Network for Human Rights reported that “On Friday evening 20 May 2016 International coalition warplanes launched missiles at the northern eastern parts of Arshaf Town [near subway Akhtarin] in the norther suburbs of Aleppo governorate under the control of ISIS, killing 8 people including 3 children and two women, seven others were injured.”
Responding to a request for clarification about possible involvement given declared UK strikes near Aleppo that day, the MoD told Airwars that “after extensive research, we can confirm that there was no UK involvement” in the alleged event.
VDC later named the following victims, most from one family:
Khadijeh Jamal Rajab – girl
Ineam Jamal Rajab – girl
Mohammad Rajab – man
Bashar Mohammad Bashar – man
Aysha Rajab – woman
Israe Mohammad Rajab – girl
Jamal Rajab – man
Salha Mohammad Jomea – woman
2 unidentified adult males
In its July 2017 monthly report, the Coalition said it had classed the event as non credible based on available information: “May 20, 2016, near Arshaf, Syria, via Airwars report: After a review of available information it was assessed that there is insufficient evidence to find that civilians were harmed in this strike.”
However, based on information published at the time, Airwars continues to assess this event as Fair.
The local time of the incident is unknown.
The victims were named as:
Family members (6)
- Khadijeh Jamal Rajab Child female killed
- Ineam Jamal Rajab Child female killed
- Mohammad Rajab Adult male killed
- Aysha Rajab Adult female killed
- Israe Mohammad Rajab Child female killed
- Jamal Rajab Adult male killed
Sources (16) [ collapse]
Attached to this civilian harm incident is the Pentagon's declassified assessment of this civilian harm allegation, obtained by Azmat Khan and the New York Times through Freedom of Information requests and lawsuits filed since March 2017, alongside the corresponding press release published by the Pentagon. Airwars is currently analysing the contents of each file, and will update our own assessments accordingly.
US-led Coalition Assessment:
Civilian casualty statements
Jul 7, 2017
After a review of available information it was assessed that there is insufficient evidence to find that civilians were harmed in this strike.
Original strike reports
The Coalition reports the following for Ma’ra in Aleppo governorate for May 20th-21st 2016: “Near Mar’a, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and three ISIL command and control nodes.”
‘Friday 20 May – Tornados destroyed two Daesh headquarters north of Aleppo in Syria, while Typhoons provided close air support to Iraqi ground forces around Fallujah…Intelligence analysis pinpointed two Daesh headquarters in north-west Syria, located 10 and 25 miles respectively north of Aleppo near the fighting along the Mar’a Line. A pair of Tornado GR4s were tasked with their destruction on Friday 20 May. One of the command posts was in a very solidly constructed building, this was targeted with two Enhanced Paveway II 1000lb bombs. A pair of 500lb Paveway IVs were used against the second headquarters. Both targets were destroyed by direct hits.