Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CS472

Incident date

February 3, 2017

Location

سرمين, Sarmin, Idlib, Syria

Geolocation

35.904042, 36.726111 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

A confirmed US airstrike on a militant group reportedly linked to Al Qaeda also possibly killed or injured a number of civilians.

According to Step News, 12 or more members of new group Hai’at Tahrir al Sham were killed in a raid targeting a meeting on the edges of Sarmin.

As Step News explained, “Hai’at Tahrir al Sham was formed on 28th of the past month under the leadership of Abu Jaber al Sheikh and it includes many factions most notably Fatah al Sham Front and Nour al Din al Zanki movement, and came after the attacks carried out by the front on several factions in rural Idlib and Aleppo, notably Soukour al Sham which has recently come  under the banner of Ahrar al-Sham movement.”

While most reports said only fighters died, both LCCSY and Ara News also reported civilian casualties.

The Pentagon confirmed on February 8th that it had carried out the attack, though made no reference to civilian harm.

In its monthly civilian casualty report for October 2019 – published on December 5th of the same year – the US-led Coalition assessed this event as ‘non credible’, noting: “February 3, 2017, in Sarmin, Syria, via Airwars report. After a review of all available records it was determined that, more likely than not, civilian casualties did not occur as a result of a Coalition action. 2475/S422 37SBV948575”.

The Coalition published a location for the assessment identifying to within 100 metres the area where it had focused its review.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 10
  • Civilians reported injured
    12
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda/HTS

Sources (23) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • A unilateral targeted US strike targeted a meeting of a new militant group near Sarmin - but may also have caused civilian casualties (via Step News)

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
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    in Sarmin, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SBV948575
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Dec 5, 2019
  • February 3, 2017, in Sarmin, Syria, via Airwars report. After a review of all available records it was determined that, more likely than not, civilian casualties did not occur as a result of a Coalition action. 2475/S422 37SBV948575

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

The Pentagon reports that “On Feb. 3, one U.S. strike killed 10 terrorists in a building being used as an al-Qaida meeting place.”

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 10
  • Civilians reported injured
    12
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda/HTS

Sources (23) [ collapse]