Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CS956a

Incident date

June 10, 2017

Location

حي الدرعية, Dar’iya neighbourhood, Ar Raqqah, Syria

Geolocation

35.945841, 38.988815 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (via Airwars) level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Exact location (via Airwars)

Airwars assessment

Initially this incident was reported on by several sources as mass artillery shelling in the Dar’iya neighbourhood in the city of Raqqa, in which 6 to 12 cilivilians, including a maximum or 6 children and 2 women died and 9 were wounded. During investigations of this event for the April 2019 joint Airwars and Amnesty report War in Raqqa: Rethoric versus Reality (www.raqqa.amnesty.org), Amnesty field researchers were able to identify 4 separate locations where civilians (some of the same family in 2 different locations) were killed in artillery shelling on the morning of the 10th of June, described in CS956a, CS956b, CS956c and CS995. They all took place in Safa Street, in the neighbourhood Dar’iya.

A prior August report by Amnesty International featured an interview with Ahmad Mahmoud who was himself injured in the shelling along with a boy and girl who were in the same room. He stated that at least 12 people were killed by the shelling between 1 and 2pm: “I can only speak about the 12 people I know who were killed in five houses near where I was. I don’t know if the other shells killed more people.”

Most sources (M3nati and Ahmad Al Shibli) blamed the Coalition for the artillery strikes, some pointed to the SDF (Al Jisirtv and the Syrian Network for Human Rights), but the Coalition has confirmed to Airwars that it was the only force using artillery on Raqqa during the battle. Sources were able to name a number of people who we’ve now attributed to the aforementioned 4 separate incidents: Mahmoud al-Ahmad al-Sulaiman al-Mala Ali (age unknown, male), Rajha al-Ahmad al-Sulayman al-Mala Ali (age unknown, female), Tabarak (5 years old, female, daughter of Rajha al-Mahmoud al-Ahmad), Muna (1 year old, female, daughter of Rajha al-Mahmoud al-Ahmad), Rajha al-Mahmoud al-Ahmad (55 years old, female, mother of Mahmoud al-Suleiman al-Sulaiman al-Mala Ali), Ibrahim (adult, male), son of Ibrahim (1 year old, male), daughter of Husein Kenjo (8 years old, female), daughter of Husein Kenjo (10 years old, female), Suleiman Omar al Suleiman (age unknown, male), Rahmoun (age unknown, male), Hisham (age unknown, male).

The joint Amnesty/Airwars report War in Raqqa: Rethoric versus Reality notes: An artillery shell struck two adjacent houses of the Malla Ali family in Safa Street, killing five members of the family. The first impact killed a woman and her two young daughters and her aunt. Part of the shell struck the next door house, killing another member of the family, Hisham. Hisham’s wife, Lina, spoke to Amnesty researchers: “We were at home with our four children, our youngest was only five months old. At about 11.30 am a shell struck the next door house and came through to our home and killed my husband.”

The incident occured at 11:30 am local time.

The victims were named as:

Family members (5)

  • Hisham A’hamid Al-Bidagh 40 years old male killed
  • Rajaha Ahmad Malla Ali 41 years old female mother of Mona and Tabarak killed
  • Mona Omar Malla Ali 1 year and 3 months old years old female daughter of Rajaha Ahmad Malla Ali killed
  • Tabarak Omar Malla Ali 5 years old female daughter of Rajaha Ahmad Malla Ali killed
  • Rajaha 76 years old female aunt of Rajaha Ahmad Malla Ali (father’s sister)

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    5
  • (2 children4 women1 man)
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (18) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (3) [ collapse]

  • Tabarak Omar Malla Ali (via Amnesty International)
  • Mona Omar Malla Ali (via Amnesty International)
  • Hisham A’hamid Al-Bidagh (via Amnesty International)

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    Insufficient evidence of civilian harm
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    near Al Deriya, Raqqah, Syria
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Dec 28, 2017
  • After a review of available information and strike video it was assessed that there is insufficient evidence to find that civilians were harmed in this strike

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For June 9th-10th: “Near Raqqah, 20 strikes engaged 12 ISIS tactical units; destroyed seven fighting positions, four vehicles, three ISIS headquarters, a VBIED, and an ISIS-held building; and suppressed an ISIS tactical unit.” It additionally added that “On June 9, near Raqqah, Syria, nine strikes engaged three ISIS tactical units and destroyed four fighting positions, two VBIEDs, two weapons caches, and an ISIS staging area.”

For June 10th-11th: "Near Raqqah, 17 strikes [2 British] engaged 15 ISIS tactical units and destroyed six fighting positions, four vehicles, two ISIS front-end loaders, two ISIS headquarters, an ISIS UAS and an ISIS barge"

United Kingdom
  • English
    /
    Original

"Saturday 10 June – In Raqqa, a Reaper struck a group of terrorists engaged in a fire fight with Syrian Democratic Forces, and Typhoons hit two tunnel entrances…The following day [June 10th] , a Reaper intervened in a fire fight in western Raqqa between the SDF and a group of Daesh fighters. The Reaper hit the latter with a very effective Hellfire attack. The same day, Paveway-armed Typhoons struck two entrances to a network of tunnels built beneath a factory in the north-east of the city."

France
  • English
    /
    Original

On the 15/6-17, the French MoD reported: "In the past week, France reports his 31 sorties, 28 of which were Armed Reconnaissance or Ground Support (CAS) and 3 were intelligence gathering. Two strikes were conducted by French planes in Iraq and Syria, one in the west of Raqqah city, and the other in the Al Qaim region, both against ISIL fighters. Task Force Wagram carried out 80 artillery strikes in Mosul."

Cette semaine, les aéronefs de l’opération Chammal ont réalisé 31 sorties aériennes dont 28 de reconnaissance armée ou d’appui au sol (CAS) et 3 de recueil de renseignements. 2 frappes ont été conduites par les avions français en Irak et en Syrie, l’une à l’Ouest de la ville de Raqqah, et l’autre dans la région d’Al Qaim, toutes deux contre des combattants de Daech

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    5
  • (2 children4 women1 man)
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (18) [ collapse]