Seven civilian fuel truck drivers were killed and two more injured following what appeared to have been multiple Coalition strikes in the vicinity of Al Tanak. The Coalition confirmed destroying 83 oil tankers that day – though it would be five years before it publicly admitted civilian harm resulting from the event.
Deir Ezzor 24 reported on the day that civilians were killed and wounded when eight oil tankers were burnt in a Coalition raid.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights noted at the time: “Warplanes believed to belong to the International Coalition targeted areas in al-Tanak oil field in the desert of Deir Ezzor, which resulted in the death and injury of several people and also killed several members from the Islamic State, in addition to the outbreak of fire in the fuel tankers at the area.”
Local Syria Civil Defence said eight vehicles were destroyed at al Tank.
According to Al Hal, “7 civilian workers were killed and others wounded including machinery drivers following the targeting of coalition planes al Tank oil field in the eastern countryside yesterday evening. 6 oil tankers were also burnt.”
Airwars flagged the incident to the UK’s Ministry of Defence, which initially claimed that ”we can confirm that there was no UK involvement” in the civilian harm event. However this was later clarified by the MoD, which noted in a lengthy response to an Airwars followup query that “The radius Airwars has quoted of 7km presents too great an area to give fidelity about the actual location of alleged civilian casualties. Our strike was 6km away, to the North of the location you have cited. The mission report records that the UK aircraft were ordered to “target vehicles not already struck”. We doubt that anyone would remain in the midst of an airstrike and wait for the next wave and this is supported by our recorded data which shows that the vehicles struck by the RAF were unoccupied. Therefore our judgement is that there is no evidence of UK involvement in non-combatant casualties.”
In August 2021 – five years after the event – the US-led Coalition confirmed that it had in fact killed civilians during the attacks, noting that “Aug. 7, 2016, near Al Tanak Oilfields, Syria, via Airwars report. United States aircraft conducted multiple strikes against a Daesh facility. Regrettably, seven civilian were unintentionally killed and two others unintentionally wounded as a result of the strike.”
The local time of the incident is unknown.
Sources (9) [ collapse]
from sources (2) [ collapse]
US-led Coalition Assessment:
Civilian casualty statements
Jul 9, 2021
Aug. 7, 2016, near Al Tanak Oilfields, Syria, via Airwars report. United States aircraft conducted multiple strikes against a Daesh facility. Regrettably, seven civilian were unintentionally killed and two others unintentionally wounded as a result of the strike. 3025/CS289 37SFU677647
Original strike reports
For August 7th-8th 2016, the Coalition reported: “Near Abu Kamal, one strike destroyed 83 ISIL oil tankers.”
‘Sunday 7 August – Tornados destroyed a number of Daesh tankers in a Syrian oilfield. Typhoons and a Reaper provided further close air support near Qayyarah in northern Iraq…Daesh were observed to be attempting to extract oil from one of the eastern Syrian oilfields which had been successfully targeted by previous coalition air strikes earlier this year. On Sunday 7 August, two Tornados attacked a convoy of tankers north of Abu Kamal. Four Paveway IVs and four Brimstone missiles accounted for a number of vehicles, denying the terrorists the oil revenue they desperately seek.