Up to 40 civilians including a woman and her six children died after their boat sank while it was crossing the Euphrates River near Sho’aib Al-Zikir. While most local sources blamed the UIS-led Coalition, one news organisation said the boat had instead capsized because there were too many people onboard.
The Smart News Network reported: “Another local source said 11 bodies of civilians, including children and women, were found on the banks of the Euphrates River near the village of Shu’ayb al-Dhakr west of the town of Al-Talba, without knowing the main cause of deaths. The activists said that the Coalition likely targeted a boat they were using in the Euphrates River.”
Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently produced several reports on Twitter. It said that the boat was carrying 40 civilians who were attempting to escape from an ISIL-controlled area to an SDF controlled area. At least seven people died, it reported, including a mother and her six daughters.
However, Euphrates Post reported that the boat was not attacked by either the Coalition or Daesh but that it had capsized because it was overcrowded.
The local time of the incident is unknown.
Sources (19) [ collapse]
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.
US-led Coalition Assessment:
Civilian casualty statements
Jan 25, 2018
After a review of available information it was assessed that no Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area that correspond to the report of civilian casualties.
Original strike reports
For April 8th-9th, the Coalition reported: “Near Ar Raqqah, two strikes engaged two ISIS tactical units, and destroyed a fighting position and tactical vehicle.”