Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CS578

Incident date

March 16, 2017

Location

الجينة, Al Jina, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.117309, 36.802243 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

A unilateral US drone strike on a mosque complex near al Jina town killed between 37 and 62 civilians according to multiple reports and eyewitness statements. While the US has admitted it carried out the attack, officials have claimed that al Jina’s Omar Ibn al Khattab mosque where the casualties occurred was not targeted in the raid. The Pentagon instead insisted that “an al Qaeda in Syria meeting location” had been struck – though announced an investigation into reported civilian deaths.

The evening attack at al Jina – which was initially blamed by many on Russia – was in fact according to the Washington Post conducted by two US Reaper drones , which fired six Hellfire missiles at the location at around 7pm before dropping a 500lb bomb. The results were devastating.

At least 300 people were reportedly present for an evangelical religious class at Jina’s new mosque when it was struck – among them some children. According to Step News, “US aircraft targeted a Dawah centre of al Dawah Wa al Tabligh. The group holds a weekly meeting in one of their centres every Thursday which is attended by dozens of students of religious studies, sheikhs, shariaa experts and fighters in the Islamic factions and civilians from the region.” In Islamic theology according to Wikipedia, “the purpose of da’wah is to invite people, both Muslims and non-Muslims, to understand the worship of Allah as expressed in the Qur’an and the sunnah of the prophet Muhammad and to inform them about Muhammad.”

Suspicions of US involvement were first raised by online monitors including Bellingcat, after missile fragments were found at the scene. After initially claiming a unilateral strike that day was in Idlib, CENTCOM confirmed to Airwars late on the night of March 16th that the attack at Al Jina had in fact been by the US.Spokesman Major Josh Jacques told reporter Samuel Oakford that the target was “assessed to be a meeting place for al Qaeda, and we took the strike… It happened to be across the street from where there is a mosque.” He said the mosque was not the target, and that it wasn’t hit directly. Both CENTCOM and the Pentagon told Airwars that they were further investigating the attack.

In an effort to discredit claims that it had targeted worshippers, the Pentagon also issued a photograph which it said showed the mosque at al Jina intact. However this appeared to backfire, with most commentators noting that both buildings including that targeted were in fact mosques.

The White Helmets – more usually seen aiding casualties from Assad regime or Russian strikes, led the rescue effort. It eventually estimated that at least 50 people had died. As Shaam News reported, “The bombing was following by residents and rescue teams putting out a call to all defense teams in the region calls for help for all defense centers and ambulance crews in the area to go to the site shelling and help lift the martyrs out of the basement.”

One angry eyewitness told Smart News: “This is a praying center. For those aged from 8 to 60 years old. Unarmed civilians. Where is the terrorism? They are unarmed, not terrorists. Peaceful civilians praying. I am one of them, there are no terrorists here. There are almost 250 people including children and the elderly. Many are under the rubble and we don’t have the equpiment to lift them. Assad, Europe and Russia took everything from us, how can we lift them? By our hands? All you do is send us a food basket, we don’t need it anymore. Keep it for yourselves.” A number of cities and towns in the area reportedly cancelled Friday Prayers for fear of further attacks.

Syria News Desk claimed that 15 children were among the dead. While this number cold not be verified, the White Helmets have named five victims under the age of 17, and a child was filmed being rescued from the rubble at al Jina.

The militant Islamic rebel group Ahrar al Sham – the apparent target of the US attack – later issued a statement attacking “the shameful spectacle where the an international community has turned from a passive silent party in towards the Syrian case to a contributor to the killing of the Syrian people.”

Turkey’s deputy Prime Minister condemned the US attack as a ‘war crime.’ However Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that “In principle, we have no doubts that the US military targeted terrorists.”

The White Helmets have named 29 civilian casualties and  26 of 100 or more people reportedly injured in the attack.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Mohammad Khaled Orabi Child killed
  • Hasan Omar Orabi Child
  • Ahmad Nouri Issa Adult killed
  • Mustapha Nashat Said al Sheikh Adult killed
  • Ahmad Kiyali Age unknown killed
  • Ali Mustapha Child killed
  • Abd al Rahman Hasim Child killed
  • Ahmad al Zein Age unknown killed
  • Ismail Hamada al Sheikh Age unknown killed
  • Nadim Abu Bashir Kababi Adult male killed
  • Nassim Hussein Abbas Adult killed
  • Adel Mohammad Qitaz Child killed
  • Ibrahim Abboud Adult killed
  • Kinjo Haj Yusuf Adult killed
  • Abu Hussein Taliha Age unknown killed
  • Abd al Al Qader Janat Adult killed
  • Abd al Latif Mu’del Age unknown killed
  • Nader Fatloun Age unknown killed
  • Safwat al Zein Adult killed
  • Bashir al Ghabra Age unknown killed
  • Abd al Ghafour Abd al Ghafour Age unknown killed
  • Adel Mohammad Rashid Age unknown killed
  • Mohammad Abd al Salam Age unknown killed
  • Saleh Fatloun Age unknown killed
  • Mustapha Nasser Yasin Age unknown killed
  • Mufid A’kal Age unknown killed
  • Ibrahim Qatiba Age unknown killed
  • Ibrahim Bassamiya Age unknown killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    37 – 62
  • (5–15 children1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    100
  • 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 (97) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (27) [ collapse]

  • Post by Aleppo White Helmets on March 17th, 2017, depicted the aftermath of an alleged Coalition airstrike on Al Jina.
  • Video of the aftermath of the alleged airstrike on Al Jina, posted by Step News Agency on March 16th, 2017.
  • Video of the aftermath of the alleged airstrike on Al Jina, posted by HNN on March 16th, 2017.
  • Video of the aftermath of the alleged airstrike on Al Jina, posted by SNN on March 16th, 2017.
  • Video of the aftermath of the alleged airstrike on Al Jina, posted by SNN on March 16th, 2017.
  • Video of the aftermath of the alleged airstrike on Al Jina, posted by SNN on March 16th, 2017.
  • Video of the aftermath of the alleged airstrike on Al Jina, posted by HNN on March 16th, 2017.
  • Post by Airwars revealing that the US admitted to have carried out the strike on the mosque in Al Jina.
  • Tweet by @sonawa1
  • Al Touba mosque in al Jina village after it was struck in an alleged Coalition airstrike, according to an SNN Facebook post on March 16th, 2017
  • Al Touba mosque in al Jina village after it was targeted in an alleged airstrike, according to Halab Today TV on March 16th, 2017
  • Al Touba mosque in al Jina village after it was targeted in an alleged airstrike, according to Halab Today TV on March 16th, 2017
  • Al Touba mosque in al Jina village after it was targeted in an alleged airstrike, according to Smart News Agency on March 16th, 2017
  • Al Touba mosque in al Jina village after it was targeted in an alleged airstrike, according to SNN on March 16th, 2017
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Al Touba mosque in al Jina village after it was targeted in an alleged airstrike, according to SNN on March 16th, 2017
  • Al Touba mosque in al Jina village after it was targeted in an alleged airstrike, according to SNN on March 16th, 2017
  • Al Touba mosque in al Jina village after it was targeted in an alleged airstrike, according to SNN on March 16th, 2017
  • Al Touba mosque in al Jina village after it was targeted in an alleged airstrike, according to SNN on March 16th, 2017
  • Al Touba mosque in al Jina village after it was targeted in an alleged airstrike, according to SNN on March 16th, 2017
  • Pictures of the destructing in Al Jina after an alleged Coalition airstrike targeted this mosque, posted by Aleppo Media Center on March 17th, 2018.
  • Pictures of the destructing in Al Jina after an alleged Coalition airstrike targeted this mosque, posted by Aleppo Media Center on March 17th, 2018.
  • Pictures of the destructing in Al Jina after an alleged Coalition airstrike targeted this mosque, posted by Aleppo Media Center on March 17th, 2018.
  • Pictures of the destructing in Al Jina after an alleged Coalition airstrike targeted this mosque, posted by Aleppo Media Center on March 17th, 2018.
  • Pictures of the destructing in Al Jina after an alleged Coalition airstrike targeted this mosque, posted by Aleppo Media Center on March 17th, 2018.
  • Pictures of the destructing in Al Jina after an alleged Coalition airstrike targeted this mosque, posted by Aleppo Media Center on March 17th, 2018.
  • Cleaning up the rubble after an alleged airstrike targeted Al Jina, posted by the Aleppo White Helmets Facebook page on March 17th, 2018.
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Video showing the remains of one of the victims being pulled out of the rubble, posed by SNN on March 17th, 2018.

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Duplicate
    Assessed to be a duplicate of another report that has already been assessed.
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    near al-Jina town, west Aleppo, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SCV022991
    Military Grid Reference System

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

A CENTCOM press release issued in the early hours of March 17th 2017 stated: “U.S. forces conducted an airstrike on an Al Qaeda in Syria meeting location March 16 in Idlib [later corrected to Aleppo], Syria, killing several terrorists.”

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    37 – 62
  • (5–15 children1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    100
  • 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 (97) [ collapse]