Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CS956c

Incident date

June 10, 2017

Location

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

Geolocation

35.945636, 38.989906 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (via Airwars) level. 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 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 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 the kitchen of the Al-Mohammed family in Safa Street killing a mother and three of her daughters, and an elderly neighbour (F). Her other children were all injured. Fatima, nine, lost her right leg and her left leg was badly injured: “I was thrown across the yard by the explosion. I lost my right leg and I can’t stand on my left leg; it hurts me very much. When will I be able to walk again?”

In July 2019 the Coalition announced that it had assessed this allegation of civilian harm to be non-credible. Their monthly civilian casualty report noted: “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.”

The incident occured in the morning.

The victims were named as:

Family members (4)

  • Aziza Jumaa al-Abdo 43 years old female mother of Mariam, Amira and Wafa killed
  • Mariam (aka Rima) Hussein Ahmad ibn Mohammed 12 years old female daughter of Aziza Jumaa al-Abdo killed
  • Amira Hussein Ahmad ibn Mohammed 10 years old female daughter of Aziza Jumaa al-Abdo
  • Wafa Hussein Ahmad ibn Mohammed 8 years old female daughter of Aziza Jumaa al-Abdo
  • Older neighbour Adult female killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5
  • (3 children5 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    4
  • 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 (18) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (5) [ collapse]

  • Fatima in the courtyard of her home in the neighborhood of Dara Iya, Raqqa, January 21, 2019. Fatima lost her mother and three sisters when artillery hit her home in June 2017. One of her legs was amputated after she developed gangrene due to her injuries. She is in jeopardy of loosing her other leg if she doesn’t receive immediate medical treatment (via Amnesty International)
  • Fatima Hussein Ahmad Mohamed (via Amnesty International)
  • Fatima Hussein Ahmad Mohamed (via Amnesty International)
  • Fatima Hussein Ahmad Mohamed with her father and siblings (via Amnesty International)
  • Via Amnesty International

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
    Insufficient evidence of civilian harm
  • Stated location
    in Raqqa, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SDV990779
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jul 26, 2019
  • 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

  • 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

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

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5
  • (3 children5 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    4
  • 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 (18) [ collapse]