Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CS411

Incident date

December 11, 2016

Location

خشام, Khusham, Deir ez-Zor, Syria

Geolocation

35.35077, 40.36689 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Within 100m (via Coalition) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Within 100m (via Coalition)

Airwars assessment

Up to eleven civilians died in a Coalition airstrike which at the time was also blamed on Russia and the Assad regime. However the Coalition has confirmed striking oil installations and tankers in the vicinity on this date, and killing five drivers.

According to Ara News, “Unidentified warplanes shelling oil refineries in Badeyet Kisham killed 10 workers and wounded 15. The number of death is likely to rise due to the seriousness of some injuries.” Baladi News placed the initial death toll at 6, again citing unidentified warplanes.

The FSA and Daral Akhbar blamed Russia, while the Syrian Network said the regime was responsible, as did Syrian Newsdesk which reported: “Seven civilians were killed, including three children, and 15 others wounded yesterday evening, due to regime warplanes targeting with four raids the town of Khisham which is under the control of the organization of the Islamic state east of Deir al-Zour city.”

Shaam News initially blamed Russia, but later said the Coalition was responsible for 11 civilians killed. Syrian PC also reported that “Coalition warplanes carried out raids in Badeyet Al kisham oil fields and killed 11 civilians – most are drivers and civilians who work in the industry – and wounded dozens. The death toll is likely to rise due to serious injuries.”

Deir Ezzor 24 named three victims.

The Coalition noted in February 2017 that the incident was still being assessed. On March 4th it confirmed responsibility: “Dec. 11, 2016, near Dayr Az Zayr, Syria, via self-report: During a strike on an ISIS oil tanker trucks it is assessed that five civilians were unintentionally killed. After warning shots were fired truck drivers vacated their vehicles and moved a safe distance away. Aircraft engaged targets and following munition release five of the drivers returned to their vehicles and were killed by munition’s impact.”

In July 2019, the Coalition provided Airwars with coordinates for the event, accurate to within a 100 metre box.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Nour Al-Deen Sabah Al-Amash Age unknown male killed
  • Ibrahim Ali Albadran Age unknown male killed
  • Bassam Ramadan Al Saleh Age unknown male killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5 – 11
  • (3 children)
  • Civilians reported injured
    15
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (20) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Prior to the Coalition releasing the MGRS for this incident, Airwars had geolocated it to the nearest village at 35.3020098, 40.2914143

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Credible / Substantiated
    The investigation assessed that although all feasible precautions were taken and the decision to strike complied with the law of armed conflict, unintended civilian casualties regrettably occurred.
  • Given reason for civilian harm
    Entered target area just prior to or after munition released
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    5
  • Stated location
    near Dayr Az Zayr, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SFV242128
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Mar 4, 2017
  • Dec. 11, 2016, near Dayr Az Zayr, Syria, via self-report: During a strike on an ISIS oil tanker trucks it is assessed that five civilians were unintentionally killed. After warning shots were fired truck drivers vacated their vehicles and moved a safe distance away. Aircraft engaged targets and following munition release five of the drivers returned to their vehicles and were killed by munition’s impact.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For December 10th-11th 2016, the Coalition publicly reported that “Near Dayr Az Zawr, three strikes destroyed five oil well heads, an oil storage tank, and an oil tanker truck.”

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5 – 11
  • (3 children)
  • Civilians reported injured
    15
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (20) [ collapse]