A fierce battle for the town of Kaljibrin left up to 39 civilians dead – with both Daesh and the Coalition blamed for the fatalities.
So-called Islamic State launched a major assault on Kaljibrin, later releasing a video in which it boasted of capturing weapons there. However Coaltion aircraft then reportedly struck at Daesh forces in the town, also hitting residential areas.
Local source Abu Firas al Halabi reported that “16 martyrs occurred including women and children in the village of Kaljabreen, northern Aleppo, after it was targeted by rockets by Daesh yesterday evening and this morning before it gained control of it.”
However, others reported that Coalition airstrikes then killed up to 39 civilians, “most of them women and children.”
A report from the Syrian Observatory later noted: “Casualties have risen since yesterday in the northern countryside of Aleppo, Mare’ and Kaljibrin to at least 68 dead, including 41 or more fighters from rebel and Islamic Factions killed in shellings, bombings and clashes against so-called Islamic State; as well as 27 civilian citizens – including 7 children at least and 5 women – were killed during the military operations which took place in the town of Kaljibrin north of Mare’ city. The fate of another 10 people is still unknown. It is unclear whether they were killed, or were able to flee to areas nearby.”
In a video, Halab Today TV reported testimony from an eye witness (at 0’21”): “on Thursday 26/5/2016 we woke up to noises of clashes in the village which was taking place between IS and the FSA which led to IS gaining control of the village completely.. The next morning coalition planes launched a raid on the village which led to the death of more than 50 martyrs, all of them civilians and most of them women and children and men.”
And then at 1’14”: “after IS withdrew from the village, Russian planes also launched a raid on the village which killed one child and injured two others“.
Syrian Network also blamed the Coalition, citing its own eyewitness: “We were at the cemetery burying the young man who is the son of Ali Marndi where he was killed by ISIS’s bullets when international coalition forces warplanes fired three missiles. One of the missiles fell a few meters away from me. I felt the big explosion of the missile and then headed home which is located 50 meters away from the cemetery to find that it was reduced to ruins over the dead bodies of my family. I pulled out three of my nephews and was able to rescue them. I also was able to save two of my sisters, but I lost my dad and 11 others of my family including children. Also, the head of the village council was killed, and his name was Faraj Shikhou.” The Network has named the following 28 fatalities
In its August 2017 monthly report, the Coalition said it had classed the event as non credible based on insufficient evidence of civilian harm: “May 27, 2016, near Khan Jibran, Syria, via Airwars report: After a review of available information and strike video it was assessed that there is insufficient evidence to find that civilians were harmed in this strike.”
The local time of the incident is unknown.
The victims were named as:
Sources (21) [ collapse]
from sources (15) [ collapse]
Attached to this civilian harm incident is a provisional reconciliation of the Pentagon's declassified assessment of this civilian harm allegation, based on matching date and locational information.
The declassified documents were obtained by Azmat Khan and the New York Times through Freedom of Information requests and lawsuits filed since March 2017, and are included 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
Aug 4, 2017
After a review of available information and strike video it was assessed that there is insufficient evidence to find that civilians were harmed in this strike.
Original strike reports
The Coalition reports for May 27th-28th 2016 that “Near Mar’a, three strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed seven ISIL fighting positions.“