Up to eleven civilians including a family of three were reportedly killed in an alleged Coalition airstrike near the town of Ziban, to the south of Raqqa city.
The civilians were reportedly crossing the Euphrates River in small boats in order to flee the violence at Raqqa, when they were hit in the alleged strikes. A number of people were also reportedly injured.
Four sources – Baladi News, 24Raqqa, Syrian Press Center and Shaam News Agency – alleged that the Coalition was responsible, whereas the remainder of the sources did not apportion blame.
Syria News Desk included the following report: “Local media activist Mohammed Othman added that 11 civilians were killed and three others, all from one family, were injured following two raids by the International Coalition targeting water boats on the Euphrates River as they tried to leave the city towards the southern countryside. The source said that among the dead were four children and two women who died drowning as a result of the damage of boats carrying them, while escaped three young men arrived on the other bank of the river Euphrates injured.”
The local time of the incident is unknown.
- Mahmoud Hameed Al-Awad. Adult male "a young engineer" killed
Sources (12) [ 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
Feb 22, 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 June 13th-14th, the Coalition reported: “Near Raqqah, 20 strikes engaged 14 ISIS tactical units; destroyed 12 fighting positions, five vehicles, five ISIS boats, two VBIEDs, a recoilless rifle, a command and control node, and a tunnel; and suppressed an ISIS tactical unit.” It additionally reported that “On June 13, near Raqqah, Syria, 10 strikes engaged four ISIS tactical units and a sniper and destroyed a fighting position, a tunnel, an ISIS headquarters, a weapons cache, a vehicle, and a VBIED.”
For June 14th-15th, the Coalition reported: “Near Raqqah, 11 strikes engaged eight ISIS tactical units; destroyed nine fighting positions, three ISIS boats, and a vehicle; and suppressed an ISIS tactical unit.”