A heavy air raid on Ar Raqqah left up to 36 civilians dead according to multiple reports. While most blamed Russia, there were some claims that the US-led Coalition was responsible. It has since denied involvement.
According to Raqqa is Being Slaughtered, the afternoon raids were concentrated mainly near the city’s al Dalla roundabout. Euphrates Post said the target was the al A’jili building, while Our Raqqa Media Group described “raids near the Odessa hotel and al Dalla roundabout and there’s a massacre and large number of cars and shops burnt.” It also said 60 people were injured.
ISIL’s media wing blamed Russia, saying it had conducted five raids on the city. Step News was among those who initially blamed the Coalition. But it later put out a correction noting “the raid that targeted al Dalla roundabout was by Russian planes and not coalition planes. It resulted in the deaths of more than 15 people and injury of dozens.”
The dead were named by local monitors.
In an emailed response to a report submitted by Airwars on this and other incidents in December 2016, Coalition officials said the event was presently assessed as ‘not credible.’
The local time of the incident is unknown.
The victims were named as:
Family members (3)
- Aya 7 years years old female killed
- Judy Mahmoud Abadllah al Qaim 3 years years old female killed
- Sahar Mahmoud Abadllah al Qaim 2 years years old female
Family members (1)
- Ibrahim al Satiti's four children Age unknown killed
- Abdallah al Ahmad Age unknown male killed
- Khaled Khalaf al Ali Adult male killed
- Mohammad Hassan al Assa’d Age unknown male killed
- Abd al Qader al Darda Adult male killed
- Mohammed Al-Birawi Child male killed
- Ibrahim Al-Birawi Child male killed
- Turki Mohammad Khalaf al Hassan Age unknown male killed
- Mahmoud Qasem al-Falah Adult male killed
- Ibrahim Omar Hamndales Age unknown male killed
- Mohammed Noor Al-Firomi Adult male killed
- Mohammad al-Fallaj's wife Adult male killed
- Amjad Ahmad Al-Hassoon Age unknown male killed
- Fatima Fadil al Qaim 24 years years old female killed
- Sohaib Walid Al-Jassem Age unknown killed
- Abdulqader Al-Issa Age unknown male killed
- Rashid Khaled Kalo 10 years years old male killed
- Qassem al Khudar Age unknown male killed
- Abd al Qader al Kuwati Adult male killed
- Ibrahim al Matar Age unknown male killed
- Taha Al-Nazal Adult male killed
- Abd al Razzaq al Ibrahim Adult male killed
- Ibrahim Jassem al Salman Age unknown male killed
- Ibrahim Jassem al Salman's brother Age unknown male injured
- Ibraheem Mohammad al-Ibraheem al-Stiti Age unknown male killed
- Hamadi al Sawaf 36 years old male killed
- Majed al Suweiri Age unknown male killed
- Hammoud Qasim Al-Shiban Age unknown male killed
Sources (58) [ 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
Aug 4, 2017
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 11th-12th, the Coalition reported that “Near Ar Raqqah, three strikes engaged an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL chemical weapon facility and an armored vehicle.”
Russian Military Assessment:
Original strike reports
Russia has not reported any specific strikes between December 1st – 31st 2016.
On 6 January 2017, Russia, however, reported: “Since November 8, 2016, the aircraft carrier group of the Northern Fleet consisting of the heavy aircraft carrying cruiser Admiral Kuznetsov, the heavy nuclear missile cruiser Pyotr Velikiy, the large ASW ship Severomorsk, as well as auxiliary vessels of the Black Sea Fleet, has been fulfilling counterterrorist missions on the territory of Syria”, adding that ”in the course of two months of their participation in the combat actions, naval aviation pilots have carried out 420 combat sorties, 117 of them were night ones.”