Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CS790

Incident date

May 9, 2017

Location

الصالحية, Al Salhiya, Raqqa, Deir ez-Zor, Syria

Geolocation

34.7146658, 40.7555866 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

Twelve civilians including up to eight women and four children died and dozens more were wounded in alleged Coalition airstrikes on Al Salhiya village, according to local sources.

The Syrian Network for Human Rights put the death toll at ten victims including four children and four women – and blamed the Coalition, while Bassam Jaara specifically blamed a “US bombardment”.

In a video published by the IS media agency Al’Amaq, a long haired bearded man says [at 1’07]: “The crusader coalition today carried out a raid on al Salhiya village north of Raqqa city. They bombed a home belonging to Muslims. When the residents of the village came to rescue the family from under the rubble the planes came back again and bombed the gathering with two further raids killing many more. We have dead and injured children and muslims stuck under the rubble.”

Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently published a series of graphic images from the video which depicted children among the casualties.

Al Raqqa truth named 11 victims of a Coalition strike.

Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently named an additional victim and said the death toll had risen to 12.

An August 2017 Amnesty International report documented a civilian casualty incident on a farm in Al Salhiya/Hukumya area, north of Raqqa, killing 14 members of the same family and severely wounding two children on the evening of May 11th, 2017. Aiwars researchers have assessed that given the same specific location of the airstrike and the similar number of men, women and children perished and injured, this event is likely related. It is important to note that there is a slight discrepancy in the reporting on the exact date of the airstrike: most local sources state that the civilians were killed on May 9th, whereas Amnesty pinpoints the date of the incident at May 11th.

Amnesty International’s researchers interviewed two survivors of the strike, aged 14 and 15, who stated that apart from the 14 family members who lived there no one had been present in the farm. One of the children stated to Amnesty: “The planes were circling all night and we could not even approach the house to get the two injured children out from under the rubble until the following day.”

When the organization’s researchers visited the site it was clear to them that the destruction was a result of air strikes. Additionally, the field researchers found a fragment of a GPS-guided air-delivered bomb.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (5)

  • Ismail Ibrahim al Khalaf Age unknown male killed
  • Hamadi Ismail al Khalaf Abu Mayzar Age unknown male killed
  • Fatima Ismail al Khalaf Age unknown female killed
  • Shamsa al Khalaf Age unknown female killed
  • Sara Ibrahim al Khalaf Age unknown female killed
  • Ibrahim Khalaf al Himmo Age unknown male killed
  • Bra’a Ismail al Jumaa Age unknown female killed
  • Wife of Ismail al Ibrahim Hanaa Age unknown female killed
  • Huda Khalil al Halawi Age unknown female killed
  • Rahaf Ismail al Ibrahim Age unknown female killed
  • Sajida Khalaf al Ismail Age unknown female killed
  • Omar Ramadan Al Allous Age unknown male killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    12 – 14
  • (4 children7–8 women4 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    12–24
  • 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 (26) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (12) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    ISIL's media wing released a graphic video depicting children reportedly killed and injured in an alleged Coalition strike on Al Salhiya, May 9th 2017
  • Fragment of a guidance fin from a Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) - a GPS-guided air-delivered bomb (via Amnesty).
  • Photographs of a civilian home destroyed in alleged Coalition strikes on Raqqah - the images appear in CS789, May 9th therefore it is unclear whether they are to be attributed to this incident (via RBSS)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    A young boy wounded following alleged Coalition raids on Al Salhiya, May 9th (via RBSS) [Page no longer available accessed via Airwars archive - photo is a still from Ala'maq video]
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    A small child victim of alleged Coalition raids on Al Salhiya, May 9th (via RBSS) [Page no longer available accessed via Airwars archive - photo is a still from Ala'maq video]
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    A photograph of a small child who appears wounded following alleged Coalition raids on Al Salhiya, May 9th (via RBSS) [Page no longer available accessed via Airwars archive - photo is a still from Ala'maq video]
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    A distressing image of two child civilians severely wounded or killed following alleged Coalition raids on Al Salhiya, May 9th (via RBSS) [Page no longer available accessed via Airwars archive - photo is a still from Ala'maq video]
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    An elderly man killed or severely wounded in alleged Coalition raids on Al Salhiya, May 9th (via RBSS) [Page no longer available accessed via Airwars archive - photo is a still from Ala'maq video]
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    A child is treated for injuries following alleged Coalition raids on Al Salhiya, May 9th (via RBSS) [Page no longer available accessed via Airwars archive - photo is a still from Ala'maq video]
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    A young boy wounded following alleged Coalition raids on Al Salhiya, May 9th (via RBSS) [Page no longer available accessed via Airwars archive - photo is a still from Ala'maq video]
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    A civilian child wrapped in injured and wrapped in blankets following alleged Coalition raids on Al Salhiya, May 9th (via RBSS) [Page no longer available accessed via Airwars archive - photo is a still from Ala'maq video]
  • Omar Ramadan al Alloush killed in alleged Coalition raids on Al Salhiya, May 9th (via RBSS)

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
  • Stated location
    near Al Shalhiya, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SFU606432
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • 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

US-led Coalition

For May 8th-9th: “Near Raqqah, three strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit; destroyed five weapons storage caches and an ISIS barge. Near Tabqah, eight strikes engaged seven ISIS tactical units and destroyed five fighting positions.” It later added that “Additionally, four strikes were conducted in Syria on May 8 that closed within the last 24 hours. Near Tabqah, Syria, four strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit; destroyed a fighting position and a mortar system; and damaged an ISIS supply route.”

For May 9th-10th: "Near Tabqah, seven strikes engaged six ISIS tactical units; destroyed six fighting positions, three vehicles; damaged a fighting position; and suppressed an ISIS tactical unit" It later reported, "Additionally, 10 strikes were conducted in Syria on May 9th that closed within the last 24 hours. Near Raqqah, Syria, 10 strikes engaged six ISIS tactical units; destroyed nine fighting positions, a VBIED factory, an ISIS headquarters; damaged a bridge, a road; and suppressed an ISIS tactical unit."

For May 10th - 11th: "Near Raqqah, 11 strikes engaged five ISIS tactical units; destroyed seven vehicles, three fighting positions, an ISIS barge, a VBIED factory, a weapons storage facility; and damaged two ISIS supply routes. Near Tabqah, two strikes engaged two ISIS tactical units and destroyed two fighting positions "

For May 11th: From CJTFOIR on May 11th:

‘SAC and SDF Liberate Tabqah

SOUTHWEST ASIA – The Syrian Arab Coalition and their Syrian Democratic Force partners completed the liberation of the Tabqah Dam, as well as the city of Tabqah and its nearby airfield May 10.

The multi-ethnic SDF forced the surrender of Tabqah Dam and the remainder of Tabqah City, continuing the trend of ISIS’s diminished control of territory and people. The SDF has now further isolated ISIS in Raqqah, the terror group’s stronghold, and will continue to pursue the military defeat of ISIS throughout Syria.

“This is yet another victory by the SAC and the SDF, our most committed and capable ground force partners in the fight against ISIS who remain hard at work erasing ISIS from the battlefield, liberating their own people and lands,” said the Coalition Spokesman, Col. John Dorrian.

In Tabqah, the SDF’s increased pressure on ISIS from each flank allowed it to accelerate the pace of the fight, clear the final neighborhoods of the city, and isolate Tabqah Dam. Approximately 70 ISIS fighters conceded to the SDF’s terms, which included the dismantling of IEDs surrounding the dam, the surrender of all ISIS heavy weapons, and the forced withdrawal of all remaining fighters from Tabqah City.

The SDF accepted ISIS’s surrender of the city to protect innocent civilians and to protect the Tabqah dam infrastructure which hundreds of thousands of Syrians rely on for water, agriculture, and electricity.

The Coalition tracked fleeing fighters and targeted those that could be safely hit without harming civilians.

The SAC and SDF liberation of the ISIS stronghold of Tabqah, an operation that began March 22 with a surprise aerial infiltration behind enemy lines to the south of Lake Assad, severs ISIS’s ability to reinforce Raqqah and denies ISIS a key coordination hub that its foreign terrorist fighters used since 2013 to plan local operations and external attacks against the West.

With its seizure, the coalition has prevented a potential humanitarian disaster and ensured local citizens will continue to receive the dam’s basic services.

After ISIS’s defeat in northern Syria, ISIS moved its foreign fighters and external attack planning operations to Tabqah in order to avoid coalition airstrikes within Raqqah. The operation to seize the Tabqah dam, airfield and city disrupts ISIS operations in Raqqah and their ability to defend the city and plan and execute external attacks against the West.

With Tabqah now liberated and Raqqah further isolated, the Coalition and its partner forces continue to hinder ISIS’s ability to reinforce its self-proclaimed capital in Raqqah, prevented a potential humanitarian disaster, and ensured local citizens will continue to receive the dam’s basic services.

“The SDF’s success against ISIS demonstrates the power of working by, with and through local partner forces fighting ISIS, among their own people, in their own territory” said Dorrian. “The SDF, fighting to liberate their own people and lands, have freed more than 8,000 square kilometers of Syria from ISIS since November.”

United Kingdom
  • English
    /
    Original

‘Wednesday 10 May – Typhoons struck a terrorist mortar team north of Raqqa, Syria, while Tornados attacked a sniper team and another Daesh position in Mosul…The following day [May 10th], Typhoons also patrolled over Syria, and successfully struck a Daesh mortar team that was firing on Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) some five miles north of Raqqa. Tornados also operated over western Mosul, where they used a Brimstone missile to silence a sniper team which had opened fire on Iraqi troops, and used a Paveway IV against a Daesh-held building.

France
  • English
    /
    Original

[In the past week, France reports nine strikes in Iraq and Syria. Eight of them were carried out in support of the ongoing operations in Mosul and Tabqah and a planned strike occurred in Iraq to destroy a site used to assemble and store suicide vehicles. Task Force Wagram carried out 76 artillery strikes.] Situation of Operations FRENCH ARMY - MILITARY OPERATIONS · THURSDAY, 11 MAY 2017 CHAMMAL ASSESSMENT OF SITUATION In Syria, the flight of the last jihadists entrenched in isolated neighborhoods in the north of the city and on the edge of the dam allowed the Syrian democratic forces (SDF) to liberate the city of Tabqah and its dam. In the Raqqah region, the SDS maintains offensive pressure on Daesh positions around the city to weaken them or detect weaknesses. In Iraq, ISIS is again strongly under pressure from the Iraqi security forces (ISF) in Mosul and is still seeking to compensate for its military setbacks by a resurgence of its harassing actions elsewhere in the country, mainly in the Anbar regions. from Hawijah. In the Mosul region, the week was marked by the resumption of the ISF offensive that opened a new front north of the city. The 9th Division, supported by TF Wagram, has progressed rapidly since its positions around Badush. It has seized all the western suburbs of the city still in the hands of Daesh. After working with the ICTS, she then continued her efforts to reach the banks of the Tigris River and is now looking for progress towards the Medina. In this sector, Daesh is still fighting hard, but it does not succeed in blocking the isolation that is continuing from the south. ACTIVITIES OF THE CHAMMAL FORCE Fire support - TF Wagram The Task Force (TF) Wagram supported this week the 9th Iraqi Division's offensive to seize the western suburbs of the city. It carried out 76 firing missions in support of the Iraqi units, contributing by firing of destruction to the rapid progression of the division between Badush and the urban area, then by firing of illumination and prohibition to the securing of the zone against Daesh's counterattack attempts. Air support to the Levant This week, the aircraft of Operation Chammal made 40 sorties, including 31 armed reconnaissance or ground support (CAS), 1 air command and control, 4 refueling, and 4 intelligence gathering. 9 strikes were made by French planes in Iraq and Syria. 8 of these were conducted in support of ongoing operations in Mosul and Tabqah, and a planned one in Iraq to destroy a site used to assemble and store suicide vehicles.

‘Point de situation des opérations ARMÉE FRANÇAISE – OPÉRATIONS MILITAIRES·THURSDAY, 11 MAY 2017 CHAMMAL APPRÉCIATION DE SITUATION En Syrie, la fuite des derniers djihadistes retranchés dans des quartiers isolés du Nord de la ville et aux abords du barrage a permis aux forces démocratiques syriennes (FDS) de libérer la ville de Tabqah et son barrage. Dans la région de Raqqah les FDS maintiennent une pression offensive sur les positions de Daech autour de la ville afin de les fragiliser ou de déceler les faiblesses. En Irak, Daech subit à nouveau fortement la pression des forces de sécurité irakiennes (FSI) à Mossoul et cherche encore à compenser ses revers militaires par une recrudescence de ses actions de harcèlement ailleurs dans le pays, essentiellement dans les régions de l’Anbar et de Hawijah. Dans la région de Mossoul, la semaine a été marquée par la reprise de l’offensive des FSI qui ont ouvert un nouveau front au Nord de la ville. La 9e division, appuyée par la TF Wagram, a rapidement progressé depuis ses positions autour de Badush. Elle s’est emparée de l’ensemble des faubourgs Ouest de la ville encore aux mains de Daech. Après avoir opéré sa jonction avec l’ICTS elle a ensuite poursuivi ses efforts pour atteindre les berges du Tigre et cherche désormais à progresser en direction de la Médina. Dans ce secteur Daech oppose toujours une vive résistance sans pour autant réussir à entraver la manœuvre d’isolement qui se poursuit depuis le Sud. ACTIVITÉS DE LA FORCE CHAMMAL Appui feu – TF Wagram La Task Force (TF) Wagram a appuyé cette semaine l’offensive de la 9e division irakienne pour s’emparer des faubourgs Ouest de la ville. Elle a réalisé 76 missions de tir en appui des unités irakiennes, contribuant par des tirs de destruction à la progression rapide de la division entre Badush et la zone urbaine, puis par des tirs d’éclairement et d’interdiction à la sécurisation de la zone face aux tentatives de contre-attaque de Daech. Appui aérien au Levant Cette semaine, les aéronefs de l’opération Chammal ont réalisé 40 sorties aériennes dont 31 de reconnaissance armée ou d’appui au sol (CAS), 1 de commandement et de contrôle aérien, 4 de ravitaillement, et 4 de recueil de renseignements. 9 frappes ont été réalisées par les avions français en Irak et en Syrie. 8 d’entre elles ont été conduites en appui des opérations en cours à Mossoul et Tabqah, et une planifiée, en Irak, afin de détruire un site servant à assembler et stocker des véhicules suicides.’

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    12 – 14
  • (4 children7–8 women4 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    12–24
  • 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 (26) [ collapse]