Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CS734

Incident date

April 26, 2017

Location

الثورة‎, Tabaqah, al Zouikat, Ar Raqqah, Syria

Geolocation

35.81925, 38.53727 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Within 100m (via Coalition) level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Within 100m (via Coalition)

Airwars assessment

Sixteen named civilians including eight children and five died in an alleged Coalition airstrike near the Al A’jrawi roundabout in Tabaqa, according to local media.

In January 2019, the Coalition accepted responsibility for the event, noting: “ Coalition aircraft engaged with what was positively identified as an ISIS defensive position on the balcony of a house, containing five ISIS combatants. Regrettably, unknown to Coalition observers, 16 civilians were inside the house, and were unintentionally killed when it collapsed as a result of the second strike.”

The Smart News Agency, reported that likely Coalition airstrikes killed seven civilians, including three children and a woman, and injured 12 others. It said that the strikes occurred “on the Zoueikat neighborhood and near the town’s roundabout.”

According to Mohab Naser, “Coalition planes committed a terrible massacre a few days ago in All Tabaqa after targeting a residential home with three families inside it north of aAl A’jrawi roundabout in the city, which led to the deaths of 16 martyrs most of them women and children. Their bodies are still under the rubble.”

The Syrian Network for Human Rights said that 15 members of the same family including eight children and five women were killed by “Coalition missiles”.

Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently named 16 victims.

In September 2017, Human Rights Watch published a field study of the event. It said the attack occurred at coordinates 35.820467, 38.537615 at 11pm-11:30pm on April 25th or 26th, and added the following:

“Local residents told Human Rights Watch that there was heavy fighting between SDF and ISIS on April 25 and 26 in the area around the al-‘Ajrawi roundabout located at the southern entry of Tabqa.They said that ISIS fighters were moving through the streets and using at least one house in the neighborhood to attack the advancing SDF forces. Around 11:30 p.m. on April 25 or 26, they said, an airstrike hit a residential house where the al-Jasem family was hiding. The al-Jasem house was located across the street from the house ISIS was using. The witnesses said they were hiding in their homes at the time of the strike so they were not able to say whether ISIS was present on top of or near the al-Jasem home. Human Rights Watch visited the site. The damage to the house is consistent with damage from an airstrike.

By the following morning, SDF were in control of the area. Local residents said that they collected the bodies of sixteen civilians, including nine children, from the targeted house several days after the attack. They provided Human Rights Watch with the names of the casualties and showed Human Rights Watch the place where they were buried.

In response to questions from Human Rights Watch, the CJTF press desk said that coalition forces conducted precision strikes in the vicinity of the location provided. On September 18 the press desk said that the CJTF was still assessing whether the strike resulted in civilian casualties.

The Coalition provided Airwars with the location of this incident, accurate to within a 100 metre box.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (14)

  • Mariam Ali Al Jassem 9 years old female killed
  • Khaled Ali Al Jassem 5 years old male killed
  • Qais Ali Al Jassem 16 years old killed
  • Loulou Ali Al Jassem 14 years old killed
  • Fawza Ali Al Jassem 38 years old female killed
  • Saja Mustapha al Jassem 11 years old female killed
  • Fadia Mustapha al Jassem 6 months years old female killed
  • Nour Mustapha Al Jassem 7 years old female killed
  • Mariam Mohammad al Jassem 44 years old female killed
  • Ali Mohammad al Jassem 47 years old male killed
  • Hala Ali al Jassem 9 years old female killed
  • Hussein Ali al Jassem 17 years old male killed
  • Fatima ahmad al Jassem 20 years old female killed
  • Fahima Ahmad al Jassem 44 years old female killed
  • Bushra al Milhem 39 years old killed
  • Mustapha al Jassem al Obeid 40 years old male killed

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    16
  • (8 children5 women2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    12
  • Airwars grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • A residential house in Tabqa city that was hit by a coalition airstrike April 25 or 26, 2017, in an attack that killed 16 civilians, including nine children © 2017 Ole Solvang/Human Rights Watch
  • Graves of 16 civilians, including nine children, killed in a coalition airstrike on April 25 or 25, 2017, in Tabqa city. © 2017 Ole Solvang/Human Rights Watch

Geolocation notes

Prior to the Coalition releasing the MGRS for this incident, Airwars had geolocated it to the nearest town at 35.8295049, 38.5360909

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Credible
    The investigation assessed that although all feasible precautions were taken and the decision to strike complied with the law of armed conflict, unintended civilian casualties regrettably occurred.
  • Given reason for civilian harm
    Killed by secondary explosion(s)
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    16
  • Stated location
    near al-Ajrawi roundabout, Tabqah, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SDV582640
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jan 31, 2019
  • Apr. 26, 2017, near al-Ajrawi roundabout, Tabqah, Syria, via Airwars report. Coalition aircraft engaged with what was positively identified as an ISIS defensive position on the balcony of a house, containing five ISIS combatants. Regrettably, unknown to Coalition observers, 16 civilians were inside the house, and were unintentionally killed when it collapsed as a result of the second strike.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For April 25th-26th, the Coalition reported: “Near Tabqah, six strikes engaged four ISIS tactical units; and destroyed four fighting positions and a fuel truck.”

For April 26th-27th, the Coalition reported: “Near Tabqah, four strikes engaged four ISIS tactical units and destroyed three fighting positions”.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    16
  • (8 children5 women2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    12
  • Airwars grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (7) [ collapse]