Two families consisting of at least 11 people were killed at al Msheirfa in a Coalition airstrike, according to various sources.
According to All 4 Syria, “18 civilians were killed in Al Msheirfa according to the initial death toll due to coalition warplane shelling. The warplanes targeted the house of Rajab Al-Ali Al-Hilal Al-Taweel and killed all of his family. Ahmad Al-Rajab Al-Askan was also killed with all his family too.” Qasioun also placed the death toll at 18, while Baladi News said ‘dozens’ were injured.
Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently also reported that “Coalition planes launched this morning several raids on the village of al Msheirfa – al Aksan neighbourhood – targeting several homes of which the following homes have been identified: the home of Ahmad al Rajab al A’skan and two other neighbouring homes which led to the total destruction of the houses and the deaths of 18 martyrs including children and a number of wounded.” It also named the family of Ali al Hassan al Hilal as killed – though this may be the same as the al Taweel family. The Syrian Network reported 11 deaths though said the toll was likely to rise.
ISIL’s media wing placed the death toll slightly higher: “20 killed in an American air raid targeting with 4 missiles civilian homes in the village.”
In its February 2017 casualty report, the Coalition noted: “Dec. 7, 2016, near Ar Raqqah, Syria, via social media report: During a strike on a compound occupied by ISIL fighters, it is assessed that seven civilians in the buildings were unintentionally killed.” Airwars had assumed that this referred to this event in the absence of a precise location. In July 2019, the Coalition enabled us to clarify this and it was found that this report of a credible incident does not refer to CS407. The credible incident is now recorded as CS407a.
In August 2017 the Coalition had assessed these civilian harm allegations to be non-credible, noting: “Dec. 6, 2106, near Al Msheirfa, Syria, via Airwars report: After a review of available information it was assessed that no Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area of the reported civilian casualties.”
In July 2019, the Coalition provided Airwars with the location of this event, accurate to within a 100 metre box.
The local time of the incident is unknown.
The victims were named as:
Sources (17) [ collapse]
from sources (1) [ collapse]
Prior to the Coalition releasing the MGRS for this incident, Airwars had geolocated it to the nearest town at 36.412407, 39.1162634
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
Dec. 6, 2106, near Al Msheirfa, Syria, via Airwars report: After a review of available information it was assessed that no Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area of the reported civilian casualties.
Original strike reports
For December 6th-7th 2016, the Coalition publicly reported that “Near Ar Raqqah, three strikes engaged two ISIL tactical units and destroyed two storage sheds, a vehicle, and a decoy tank.”