Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CS424

Incident date

January 1, 2017

Location

سرمدا, Sarmada, Idlib, Syria

Geolocation

36.18553, 36.72231 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

Targeted air or drone strikes – most likely unilateral US actions – reportedly killed two high ranking militants along with a number of fighters. However sources also claimed there were civilian casualties.

There were two reported evening attacks. In the first, a car was destroyed on the Sarmada-Bab al Hawa road, killing four people inside. Altihad reported that the attack also “wounded people who were present.” And Orient News referenced “the martyrdom of a number of civilians.”

In the second strike “another drone targeted another car near Sarmada roundabout and killed more of the Al Nusra Front, and people were scared and evacuated their cars immediately” according to Altihad. Three fighters reportedly died.

According to the Syrian Observatory, “At least two leaders of the Al-Nusra Front were killed and three of Fatah Al-Sham [Al-Nusra Front’s previous name] were killed on the road between Sarmada and Bab Al-Hawa. One was among the top four leaders of the Islamic Turkistani Jihadi party, and is one of the 10 most jihadists in Syria. A leader of Al-Qaeda was also in the same car between Sarmada and Bab Al-Hawa. It’s not known whether the warplanes belongs to the Coalition or Russia.”

In April 2019 the Coalition announced that it had classed this allegation of civilian harm as non-credible, noting: “After review of all available strike records it was determined that more likely than not civilian casualties did not occur as a result of a Coalition strike.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Abu Omar al-Turkistani Adult male named by Ahlul Bayt killed
  • Khatab al-Qahtani Adult male named by Ahlul Bayt killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    The White Helmets dig burnt bodies out of the rubble following an alleged Coalition airstrike on Idlib, 1st January 2017. (via White Helmets)
  • News report covering alleged Coalition airstrikes on Idlib, January 1st-3rd 2017. (via Al Shahid)

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible / Unsubstantiated
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    Other
  • Stated location
    near Sarmada, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SBA951069
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Apr 25, 2019
  • Jan. 1, 2017, near Sarmada, Syria, via Airwars report. After review of all available strike records it was determined that more likely than not civilian casualties did not occur as a result of a Coalition strike.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For January 1st-2nd the Coalition publicly reported no airstrikes in Idlib governorate. However, US airstrikes against al Nusra are unilateral and are not declared by the Coalition.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (9) [ collapse]