Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

Lib2011-081

Incident date

April 30, 2011

Location

الساحة الخضراء, Green Square, Tripoli, Libya

Geolocation

32.895377, 13.183859 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Nearby landmark level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Nearby landmark

Airwars assessment

Several members of the Gaddafi family were reported to have been killed by a NATO airstrike on Tripoli.

While Saif al-Arab Gaddafi, son of Muammar Gaddafi, was reportedly a member of the military, his children clearly had non-combatant status due to their young age.

CNN reported: “The Libyan government said Sunday that Gadhafi’s son, Saif al-Arab Gadhafi, and three grandchildren died in the strike that destroyed the son’s home in Tripoli. The Libyan government identified the children as Saif al-Arab’s sons Gartaj Hannibal Muammar al-Gadhafi, age 3, and 2-year-old Saif Mohammad al-Gadhafi, as well as Mastoura Hamid Abuzitaia, the daughter of the leader’s daughter Aysha.”

It added that “the building was in a residential area of Tripoli that houses several embassies. Ibrahim called the bombing a “war crime.” The strike destroyed the two-bedroom, single-story house, leaving a massive crater in its place.”

Later, then-Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi casted doubt that Saif al-Arab was actually dead. However his brother’s girlfriend later confirmed his death with The Telegraph.

NATO itself reported that it hit “1 Command & Control Building” and “7 Ammunition Storages” in Tripoli on that day but did not mention civilian harm.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (3)

  • Gartaj Hannibal Muammar al-Gaddafi 3 years old male Son of Saif al-Arab Gaddafi killed
  • Saif Mohammad al-Gaddafi 2 years old male Son of Saif al-Arab Gaddafi killed
  • Mastoura Hamid Abuzitaia Child male Daughter of Aysha Gaddafi killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • (3 children)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    NATO forces
  • Suspected target
    Gaddafi forces

Sources (16) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (9) [ collapse]

  • A picture supposedly from the site of the incident (via Alwatan Voice)
  • Another picture supposedly from the site of the incident (via Alwatan Voice)
  • Another picture supposedly from the site of the incident (via Alwatan Voice)
  • Another picture supposedly from the site of the incident (via Alwatan Voice)
  • Another picture supposedly from the site of the incident (via Alwatan Voice)
  • Another picture supposedly from the site of the incident (via Alwatan Voice)
  • Another picture supposedly from the site of the incident (via Alwatan Voice)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the vicinity of the Green Square (الساحة الخضراء)  for which the generic coordinates are: 32.895377, 13.183859. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

NATO forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    NATO forces
  • NATO forces 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
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None

Civilian casualty statements

NATO forces
  • Mar 8, 2012
  • This site was a key node for regime-associated forces in Tripoli, and served as an alternate command authority site for the Libyan leadership. The critical element of this facility was the command building. While several VIP buildings and satellite communication dishes were also located at this site, these were neither targeted nor struck. Destruction of the command building degraded the regime command authority’s backup command and control capabilities and in turn its overall military effectiveness. As noted above, civilians and specific individuals were at no point targeted during OUP. Full-motion video acquired by manned aircraft and UAVs at the time of the strike indicated that no civilians were in the target area. In addition, the strike was conducted at night to reduce the possibility that transient personal would be in the target area. Multiple smaller munitions were utilized on. A single building to minimize collateral damage to surrounding buildings within the installation.

Original strike reports

NATO forces

30 April: In Tripoli area: 1 Command & Control Building, 7 Ammunition Storages.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • (3 children)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    NATO forces
  • Suspected target
    Gaddafi forces

Sources (16) [ collapse]