Up to 19 civilians including 3 children were killed – and as many as 41 people injured – when airstrikes hit the village of Al Thaltanah. Multiple reports initially assigned blame to the Coalition or Turkish forces. However, on December 1st 2016 the Coalition conceded it had injured one civilian in the event.
The Syrian Network and Syria News Desk reported that seven civilians died, and assigned responsibility to the Coalition. Several other reports also blamed the Coalition. The Syrian Observatory reported that “warplanes” targeted the village “inhabited by Kurdish civilians,” leaving 60 civilian casualties, including 13 confirmed civilian deaths.
In a separate report, the Observatory clarified the airstrikes were carried out “likely by Turkish warplanes,” and reported that the death toll rose to 19 civilians, including 3 children, noting “the number of the dead is likely to rise.” ISIL’s news arm Al A’maq News reported that 10 civilians died and several were injured in an “American raid.”
Reflecting the confusion, al Jazeera cited the Observatory and wrote, “it was unclear whether the strike was carried out by the US-led coalition fighting ISIL, or Turkey, which is leading an operation against the group in the area with support from Syrian rebel forces.”
In its December 1st report the Coalition stated: “During a strike targeting ISIL fighters it is assessed that one civilian was inadvertently killed as a result of the blast following the strike.”
This was later amended on April 30th 2017: “Oct. 4, 2016, near Talatanah, Syria: Number 5 on the Dec. 1, 2016, CJTF-OIR press release reported that one civilian was killed during a strike on ISIS fighters. That was incorrect, it was assessed that one civilian was unintentionally injured.”
Halab News identified 11 civilians, 9 of which it named, who it said were victims of “Coalition plane shelling.”
In July 2019 the Coalition provided Airwars with the location for this incident, accurate to within a 100 metre box.
The local time of the incident is unknown.
The victims were named as:
Family members (2)
- Unidentified from Kleisharo family Age unknown from Kafr Sgheer village killed
- Unidentified from Kleisharo family Age unknown killed
Family members (3)
- Mohammad Yahiya al Ibo Age unknown male killed
- Mahmoud Yahiya al Ibo Age unknown male killed
- Mustapha Yahyia al Ibo Age unknown male killed
Family members (2)
- Rashid Risho Age unknown male killed
- Ahmad Rashid Risho Age unknown male killed
Family members (3)
- Illo al Haj Illo Age unknown male killed
- Yahiya Yusuf Al Hajj Illo Age unknown male killed
- Ibrahim Yahyia al Hajj Illo Age unknown male killed
- Mohammad al Qarmatli Age unknown male killed
Sources (18) [ collapse]
Prior to the Coalition releasing the MGRS for this incident, Airwars had geolocated it to the nearest village at 36.4457989, 37.3436021
US-led Coalition Assessment:
Civilian casualty statements
Oct. 4, 2016, near Taltanah, Syria: During a strike targeting ISIL fighters it is assessed that one civilian was inadvertently killed as a result of the blast following the strike.
Oct. 4, 2016, near Talatanah, Syria: Number 5 on the Dec. 1, 2016, CJTF-OIR press release reported that one civilian was killed during a strike on ISIS fighters. That was incorrect, it was assessed that one civilian was unintentionally injured.
Original strike reports
For October 3rd-4th 2016, the Coalition reported no strikes in the near vicinity, though others for Aleppo governorate: ”Near Manbij, one strike destroyed an ISIL machine gun. Near Mar’a, four strikes engaged three ISIL tactical units and destroyed two fighting positions and a command and control node.”