Alleged Coalition airstrikes on a house and vehicles killed at least four and as many as nine civilians, according to local sources – though reports give conflicting accounts on the combat status of some of those killed.
Deir Ezzor 24 reported that Coalition planes targeted a house in al Sha’afa village, leading to the “death of 5 people from one family.” It named the victims (all cousins) as
Other reports, including from Euphrates Post and the Deir Ezzor and al Raqqa legal network, indicated that the bombing took place at the house of Hassan Abdallah al Ali, who was described as hosting members of ISIS. “There were guests in the house, relatives of the house owner, who were not members of Daesh,” reported the legal network.
Euphrates Post however described him as a “leader in Daesh and originally from al Fallujah,” adding that he recently arrived in the village. It further explained that an initial missile caused some in the house to flee, and a second strike hit two cars en route to seek medical care, leading to the death of 5 members of ISIL and 4 others.
However, other reports concerning the second strike on the vehicles gave conflicting accounts of the combatant status of those inside.
Our al Bukamal initially reported an “IS car” was targeted in a raid. The Syrian Network reported instead that 5 civilians perished when “International Coalition warplanes fired 2 missiles on a civilian car.”
Sound and Picture reported that two cars were hit. “The first car was a military car for Daesh in which 4 of its members were killed,” it said. The second car, it added, was occupied by two Iraqi nationals who perished. A third strike injured a displaced Iraqi, and a 4th targeted a car carrying the injured man.
Though reports consistently cited the Coalition and generally reference two distinct attacks – on a home and on a vehicle or vehicles – details varied.
Syria News Desk reported that an initial attack on a house in al Sha’afa left five civilians dead and four wounded. It added that subsequent strikes while the injured were being transported “led to the killing of an IS leader as well as two other members with him.”
However, Al Haall cited a source that said the target was not an ISIL headquarters nor was host to a gathering of its members. It referenced children as being among the dead. A purported local, Yazeed al Maydani, contended on Twitter that the house belong to an Iraqi, but that he had been displaced and that “he was not a member of Daesh.” Sound and Picture also reported that the house belonged to an Iraqi who had been displaced along with his family. Al Araby al Jadid reported that 7 people were killed in “international coalition raids” in Abu Hassan and the village of al Sha’afa in Al Bukamal desert in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor.
The Syrian Network later published the following report, citing the brother of a man who lived in the area: “Two explosions took placed 15 minutes after sunset. There were too close. I couldn’t pinpoint their location because it was dark and the power was out. But I could recognize they were close because of their strong sound. I headed on the next day to the main road to find a completely destroyed car that I knew later was transporting a leader with ISIS along with four of his relatives. They were all killed.”
The local time of the incident is unknown.
The victims were named as:
Family members (2)
- Hassan Abdallah al Ali Age unknown male killed
- Mohammad Khalil al Ali Age unknown male killed
Family members (2)
- Abd Nijm al Suleiman Age unknown male killed
- Abd al Salam Nijm al Suleiman Age unknown male killed
- Abd al Khalek Mohammad al Nazzal Age unknown male killed
Sources (29) [ 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
Sep 29, 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
For October 10th-11th the Coalition reported that “Near Abu Kamal, one strike damaged a supply route.” For October 11th-12th, the Coalition reported “Near Abu Kamal, one strike engaged an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed a vehicle.”