Local sources reported that an unspecified number of civilians died in shelling on the area behind the cultural centre in Raqqa.
Baladi referred to “heavy artillery shelling”, but was among other sources who didn’t identify the culprit. Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently blamed the SDF. However, the Coalition has informed Airwars that only it was using artillery on the city at the time.
The local time of the incident is unknown.
Sources (4) [ 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 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.”
For June 15th-16th the Coalition reported: “Near Raqqah, 20 strikes engaged 14 ISIS tactical units and a sniper and destroyed nine fighting positions, four vehicles, three mortar systems, two supply caches, two ISIS headquarters, a heavy machine gun, and a home-made explosives factory.” It also additionally reported that “On June 15, near Raqqah, Syria, six strikes destroyed eight fighting positions, an ISIS headquarters, and a tunnel, and suppressed two snipers.” And that “On June 15, near Raqqah, Syria, one strike destroyed six fighting positions, five ISIS staging areas, two command and control nodes, an ISIS headquarters, and a supply cache, and damaged 10 fighting positions and two VBIED facilities.”
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."
June 15th 2017, 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. 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.’