Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CS662a RS2072

Incident date

April 4, 2017

Location

سلقين, Salqeen, Idlib, Syria

Geolocation

36.13951, 36.45413 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

As many as 37 civilians were killed, and between 12 and 50 were wounded, following an airstrike on Salqeen – according to local sources. Up to 17 children and five women were allegedly killed in this raid on the residential neighbourhood. According to Euphrates Post, “four of them a family from eastern Deir Ezzor”. The number of dead was reportedly likely to rise due to the severity of some of the wounded.

Sources were conflicted as to who was to blame. Many blamed Russia for the strikes, and others blamed the Syrian regime, however Qasioun News blamed the International Coalition for the raid; they were the only source to attribute blame to the Coalition.

Multiple sources such as Orient News, reported that warplanes “targeted a school, mosque and a popular market in the city of Salqeen”. The Syrian Network for Human Rights named al Rawda Mosque. Unayyapress amongst others, reported that residential buildings were also struck, trapping many civilians under the rubble. They added that more than one missile “targeted” the area “which led to the collapse of parts of buildings over the heads of its inhabitants”. Syria News Desk additionally reported that a clock tower was also caught in the raid and partially destroyed. 

The wounded were allegedly taken to medical facilities in other parts of Idlib. 

Multiple sources, including the Step News Agency, reported that vacuum missiles were responsible for the destruction on the vicinity.

In their June 2020 civilian casualty report, the US-led Coalition assessed reports that they were responsible for civilian harm in this strike as “non-credible”, stating that no Coalition actions were conducted in the geographical area at that time.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    7 – 37
  • (14–17 children5 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    12–50
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Military, US-led Coalition, Syrian Regime

Sources (39) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (18) [ collapse]

  • Members of the White Helmets rescue wounded civilians from the rubble in the aftermath of an airstrike on Salqeen, 4th April 2017. (via White Helmets)
  • Members of the White Helmets rescue wounded civilians from the rubble in the aftermath of an airstrike on Salqeen, 4th April 2017. (via White Helmets)
  • Members of the White Helmets rescue wounded civilians from the rubble in the aftermath of an airstrike on Salqeen, 4th April 2017. (via White Helmets)
  • Rubble which once was a mosque, in the aftermath of airstrikes on Salqeen, 4th April 2017. (via SN4HR)
  • The aftermath of airstrikes on Salqeen, 4th April 2017. (via Smart)
  • The aftermath of airstrikes on Salqeen, 4th April 2017. (via Smart)
  • The aftermath of airstrikes on Salqeen, 4th April 2017. (via Smart)
  • The aftermath of airstrikes on Salqeen, 4th April 2017. (via Smart)
  • The aftermath of airstrikes on Salqeen, 4th April 2017. (via Smart)
  • The aftermath of airstrikes on Salqeen, 4th April 2017. (via @ShahbaPress)
  • The aftermath of airstrikes on Salqeen, 4th April 2017. (via @ShahbaPress)
  • The aftermath of airstrikes on Salqeen, 4th April 2017. (via @ShahbaPress)
  • The aftermath of airstrikes on Salqeen, 4th April 2017. (via @ShahbaPress)
  • The aftermath of airstrikes on Salqeen, 4th April 2017. (via @DarAlimantv)
  • The aftermath of airstrikes on Salqeen, 4th April 2017. (via @DarAlimantv)
  • The aftermath of airstrikes on Salqeen, 4th April 2017. (via @DarAlimantv)
  • The aftermath of airstrikes on Salqeen, 4th April 2017. (via @DarAlimantv)
  • The aftermath of airstrikes on Salqeen, 4th April 2017. (via @ALAMAWI)
CJTF–OIR Declassified Assessment and Press Release

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.

Declassified Assessment Press Release

Russian Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Military
  • Russian Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

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
    No Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SBA709024
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jun 24, 2020
  • Apr. 4, 2017, in Salqeen, Syria, via Airwars report. After a review of all available records it was assessed that no Coalition actions were conducted in the geographical area that corresponds to the report of civilian casualties. 3097/CS662a 37SBA709024

Syrian Regime Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Syrian Regime
  • Syrian Regime position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    7 – 37
  • (14–17 children5 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    12–50
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Military, US-led Coalition, Syrian Regime

Sources (39) [ collapse]