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 civilians, including a maximum of 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: Rhetoric versus Reality (www.raqqa.amnesty.org), Amnesty field researchers were able to identify 4 separate locations in 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: Rhetoric versus Reality notes: An artillery shell struck a third house of the Malla Ali family in Safa Street, killing an 82-year-old man and his eight-year-old grandson and injuring the man’s wife who later died of her injuries. One of the survivors, named Farhan, spoke to Amnesty researchers: “I was sleeping and woke up to chaos and panic. My daughter was screaming. Almost all the houses in our street were bombed. There were many dead and many more injured.”
In July 2019 the Coalition announced that it had asssessed this allegation of civilian harm to be non-credible. Their monthly civilian casualty report noted: “fter a review of available information it was assessed that no Coalition actions were conducted in the geographical area that corresponds to the report of civilian casualties.”
The incident occured in the morning.
The victims were named as:
Family members (3)
- Abaja Suleiman 61 years old female wife of Mahmoud Ahmad Malla Ali killed
- Suleiman Omar Malla Ali 8 years old male son of Rajaha Ahmad Malla Ali killed
- Mahmoud Ahmad Malla Ali 82 years old male father of Rajaha Ahmad Malla Ali
Sources (18) [ 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
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
Jun. 10, 2017, in Raqqa, Syria, via Amnesty International report. After a review of available information it was assessed that no Coalition actions were conducted in the geographical area that corresponds to the report of civilian casualties.
Original strike reports
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"
"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."
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