Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CS587

Incident date

March 18, 2017

Location

شبهر, Shabhar, Ar Raqqah, Syria

Geolocation

36.159560, 38.236989 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Subdistrict level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Subdistrict

Airwars assessment

Seven named civilians including four women and a child died in a reported Coalition strike in Raqqah governorate – though there was confusion about whether they had died at Shabhar or Al Matar.

Orient News, citing Raqqa Post, said that seven civilians – five from the Matar family – died. It blamed the Coalition. Raqqa Post reported that an infant (“a couple of months old”) also died. Alwatan put the death toll higher at nine, specifically blaming “American Coalition warplanes”.

Sharqiya Voice said that the Coalition strike was carried out on Al Matar village.

According to the Syrian Network for Human Rights, missiles from Coalition jets killed “six children and their mother”.

In December 2018, the Coalition announced that it had classed the event as Non Credible due to a lack of available evidence of civilian harm: “Mar. 18, 2017, near Shabhar (Raqqah), Syria, via Airwars report. After a review of available information and strike video it was assessed that there is insufficient evidence to find civilians were harmed in this strike.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (5)

  • Amal Al Matar Age unknown female killed
  • Thuraya al Matar Age unknown female killed
  • Shahad al Matar Age unknown killed
  • Hiba al Matar Age unknown female killed
  • Ali al Matar Age unknown male killed
  • Zahra al Firwan Age unknown female killed
  • New born baby Age unknown female killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    7 – 9
  • (1–6 children4–5 women)
  • 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 (18) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Aftermath of the alleged Coalition airstrike on Shabhar, 18th March 2017. (via Saad Alsabr) ‏ )

Geolocation notes

Out of 17 sources, 16 identify the location as Shabhar (شبهر). Only one refers to Matar village, this likely an error as one of the civilians killed was named Matar. We are unable to geolocate Shabhar (شبهر). Open sources data suggests the village is located within the Al Granya subdistrict, inside the Raqqa governorate. The generic coordinate for Al Granya subdistrict are: 36.159560, 38.236989. Our estimate is that the village is in the vicinity of 35.9495233, 38.3992767.

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
    Insufficient evidence of civilian harm
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    near Shabhar (Raqqah), Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SDV458785
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Dec 30, 2018
  • Mar. 18, 2017, near Shabhar (Raqqah), Syria, via Airwars report. After a review of available information and strike video it was assessed that there is insufficient evidence to find civilians were harmed in this strike.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For March 18th-19th it noted: “Near Ar Raqqah, 11 strikes engaged three ISIS tactical units; destroyed five fighting positions, two ISIS headquarters; and damaged three bridges and two supply routes.”

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    7 – 9
  • (1–6 children4–5 women)
  • 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 (18) [ collapse]