In a major casualty incident, up to 73 civilians including 15 children and six women died and up to 120 others were wounded airstrikes on Abu Kamal, according to local media. The majority of the victims were reportedly displaced people.
Conflicting sources blame the US-led Coalition and the Iraqi air force. Additionally, one source attributed the incident to Russia. The Coalition, however, later denied responsible.
Death counts varied and ranged from 25 civilians upwards. According to Syrialive54 and Omar Madniah, up to 73 non-combatants – many of them woman and children – were killed. These sources blamed Iraqi warplanes, as did Al Jazeera, Qasioun, Deir Ezzor News and Euphrates Post, among other sources.
But according to Moaz Alshami, Step News, Madar Daily, the Syrian Network for Human Rights and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights – among others – the Coalition was responsible. Madar Daily put the death toll at 72 with up to 120 more injured.
Syria News Desk said that the event was “believed to be by the International coalition and the Iraqi Air Force”, adding that “at least eight members of the organization [IS] were killed in the attack near the Rahman Mosque in the center”.
Ahmed Zahlan was alone in claiming that the strike was Russia. He put the death toll at 66. Comments on his tweet, however, challenged this and wondered why he was blaming Moscow.
Sources reported that multiple locations in Abu Kamal were hit, including homes near al Hajana barracks, al Rahman mosque and surrounding area, Post Office Street, Al Malaki restaurant and Al-Rusafa Association.
According to the Step News Agency 15 civilian homes were destroyed, while Euphrates Post said that “warplanes launched a phantom raid during the funerals of several of the victims in Abu Kamal.”
Both Euphrates Post and Syria-mirror published reports in which the Coalition denied responsibility.
Syria-mirror said: “According to US military spokesman Col. Ryan Dillon, coalition aircraft did not hit the town on Sunday and Monday, but only targeted oil production facilities run by the state organization more than 50 kilometers outside the town.”
Dillon said in a statement that the coalition aircraft did not carry out strikes in the time period during which the casualties occurred alleged, stressing the implementation of strikes on Boukmal on those two days, without mentioning the names of the countries that carried out the raids.”
Euphrates Post added that the Syrian regime also denied any link to the bombing, adding this “reinforced the theory that Iraqi forces had targeted the city following Iraq announcing that it would target Syrian territory in which IS was present – and that the Coalition is aware of the identity of any warplanes flying over Deir Ezzor.
The following victims have been listed in addition to those named below:
Two members of Musleh Mohammed Al-Tarrad’s family
The wife of Irfan Farid al-Abd al-Rahman
The daughter of Nuri Jamil Soloh and three of his sons
Ahmed Abdulrazzaq Al-Haj Mohammed’s mother.
Eight martyrs of the displaced from Deir Ezzor
Nine martyrs from displaced families from the countryside of Raqqa and Aleppo
Nine Iraqis displaced
Four unidentified persons whose bodies were burnt
The local time of the incident is unknown.
The victims were named as:
Family members (7)
- Ahmed Suleiman Al-Hussein Age unknown male killed
- Fayadh Hussein Age unknown male killed
- Mohammed Ahmed Al-Hussein Child male killed
- Alaa Ahmed Al Hussein Child male killed
- Faris Ahmed Al-Hussein Child male killed
- Azzam Ahmed Al-Hussein Child male killed
- Fayyad Ahmed al-Hussein Child male killed
Family members (11)
- Wife of Abdul Latif Al-Mari Adult female killed
- Nasser Abdul Latif Al-Mari Adult male killed
- The wife of Nasser Al-Mari Adult female killed
- Basil Nasser Al-Mari Age unknown male killed
- Sami Nasser Al-Mari Age unknown male killed
- Hani Nasser Al-Mari Age unknown male killed
- Majd Ragheb Abdul Latif Al-Mari Child male killed
- Rawan Thaer Abdul Latif Al-Mari Child male killed
- Majed Ragheb Al-Mari Child male killed
- Rowan Thaer Al Mari Child male killed
- The daughter of Jamal Nasser Al-Mari Child female killed
Family members (4)
- Saad Moawafak Hammadi Khatlan Al Rawi Age unknown male killed
- Haitham Moawafak Hammadi Khatlan Al Rawi Age unknown male killed
- Abdel Rahman Moawafak Hammadi Khatlan Al Rawi Age unknown male killed
- Mohammed Sabti Khatlan Al Rawi Adult male killed
- Mohammed Abdul Salam Matar Adult male killed
- Ahmed Younis Al-Daribi Child male killed
- Tufoush Ali Hamed Age unknown male killed
- Sabria Allawi Ahmad Age unknown female killed
- Ahmed Abdulrazzaq Al-Haj Mohammed Age unknown male killed
Sources (68) [ 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 May 14th-15th, the Coalition reported: “Near Dayr Az Zawr, five strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed three ISIS fuel trucks, two ISIS well heads, and an ISIS pump jack.”