Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

LN048

Incident date

September 25, 2011

Location

الحي رقم 3, Neighbourhood No. 3, Sirte, Libya

Geolocation

31.204873, 16.600943 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

On 25 September 2011 at about 4 am, NATO struck a residential building in Sirte that ended up in killing a family that consists of four children and three women.

Amnesty International said: “It is not clear whether another relative, Mosbah Ahmed Diyab, a Brigadier-General in al-Gaddafi’s forces who lived in another area of the city, was in the house at the time of the attack. According to surviving relatives he had visited earlier that evening and may or may not have been in the house at the time of the NATO attack.”

A Human Rights Watch field investigation found: “On September 25, around 4:30 a.m., during heavy fighting in the town of Sirte, 450 kilometers east of Tripoli, NATO aircraft twice struck the home of Salem Dyab in District 3. A possible target was the owner’s brother, Brig. Gen. Musbah Ahmed Dyab, who may have been there at the time. Some family members told Human Rights Watch that the strike killed General Dyab, 53. That remains unconfirmed, but seven civilian members of the family did apparently die in the strike. Human Rights Watch obtained copies of death certificates for three women and four children, the youngest of whom was 15 months old. Four civilian family members were wounded, the family said.”

It added: “Three-quarters of the house was flattened, and the rest was heavily damaged. The basement was still intact. A few remnants of NATO munitions were found in the rubble, but the type of weapon could not be determined. On the premises, Human Rights Watch also found several empty ammunition boxes for small arms. Family members said the house had not been used for any military purpose and no weapons or other military equipment were there prior to the attack. The ammunition boxes were placed there after the family left, they said.

According to family members, at least 13 members of the extended family were staying at the home on the day of the attack, after another home belonging to the family in western Sirte was damaged in fighting. The family was also hosting guests in the basement to receive condolences after the September 12 death of a relative, Muhammad Khalifullah Zaroug, 24, who was allegedly killed in a NATO air strike on a checkpoint 50 kilometers west of Sirte. All of the family members and neighbors said there was heavy fighting between Gaddafi and opposition forces in Sirte on the day of the attack.”

Several condolence pages commemorated the victims over the the following years on Facebook.

NATO on that day reported hitting: “1 command and control node, 2 ammunition/vehicle storage facility, 1 radar facility, 1 multiple rocket launcher, 1 military support vehicle, 1 artillery piece, 1 ammunition storage facility.” in the vicinity of Sirte.

The incident occured between 4:00 am and 4:30 am local time.

The victims were named as:

Family members (8)

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    7
  • (4 children3 women)
  • 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 (18) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (16) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Children victims from the bombing of NATO on the city of Sirte on 9/25/2011 (via TVarrai)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    A video capturing four bodies of killed civilians in a hospital in Sirte due to NATO strike on their house on September 25th 2011 (via Surt son)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Transcription : seven were killed and another 4 injured by NATO attack on Sirte, video also shows the destruction in the house (via Surt son)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    The video captures an old woman and her children being killed by NATO strike on Sirte on September 25th 2011 (via Surt son)
  • Amnesty's International caption on the image: "Home of Salem Diyab in Sirte, where four children and three women were killed on 25 September 2011
  • Ghufran Dyab Ahmed Dyab, two years old, was killed by NATO in Sirte on September 25th 2011 (via Alrassed alliby)
  • Intissar Ahmed Diyab and her child who were killed by NATO in Sirte on September 25th 2011 (via Shhda Aljmahyryt Alzm)
  • An image of Marjuha Salem Zarruq who was killed by NATO in Sirte on September 25th 2011 (via Sirt boys)
  • This is an image of Diab's family who was killed by NATO in Sirte on September 25th 2011 (via Swt algdadfa)
  • A memorial image of Heba Mesbah Dyab who was killed by NATO in Sirte on September 25th 2011 (via All of us Sirte martyrs)
  • A collective images for the memorial of the family who was killed by NATO on September 25th 2011 (via Sirt boys)
  • Names of civilians who were killed by NATO on September 25th 2011 (via Mustafa Al Fiyouri book)
  • The house in Sirte before and after being bombed by NATO on September 25th 2011 (via Anvwl)
  • A picture of Ahmed Ali Ahmed Diyab who was 9 years old when he was killed by NATO strike in Sirte on September 25th 2011 (via Anvwl)
  • Collage of images of the family that was killed by NATO strike in Sirte on September 25th 2011 (via Anvwl)
  • The names and the pictures of the civilians who were killed in NATO strike in September 25th 2011 (via Anvwl)

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention the third neighbourhood (الحي رقم 3) of Sirte (سرت‎), for which the generic coordinates are: 31.204873, 16.600943. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

  • Reports of the incident mention the third neighbourhood (الحي رقم 3) of Sirte (سرت‎).

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

NATO forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    NATO forces
  • NATO forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

NATO forces

In the vicinity of Sirte: 1 command and control node, 2 ammunition/vehicle storage facility, 1 radar facility, 1 multiple rocket launcher, 1 military support vehicle, 1 artillery piece, 1 ammunition storage facility.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    7
  • (4 children3 women)
  • 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 (18) [ collapse]