US-led Coalition in Iraq & Syria

Civilians in the ruins of Mosul city. (Maranie R. Staab)

Belligerent
US-led Coalition
Country
Iraq
Libya
start date
end date
Airwars Grading
Belligerent Assessment

Incident Code

CI493

Incident date

February 27, 2017

Location

near Al Qa’im, Anbar, Iraq

Airwars assessment

In an incident previously unknown to Airwars the Coalition assessed that it didn’t harm civilians: “72. Feb. 27, 2017, near Al Qa’im, Iraq, via social media report: After review of available information and strike video it was assessed that there is insufficient evidence to find that civilians were harmed in this strike.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (1) [ collapse]

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
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jul 7, 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.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For Sept 27th-28th, the Coalition reported: "Near Al Qaim, 10 strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed two VBIED factories, two ISIS media facilities, an IED factory, a weapons storage facility, an anti-air artillery system, a vehicle, a fuel storage tank, an ISIS staging facility and an ISIS financial facility."

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI557

Incident date

March 18, 2017

Location

Mosul, Risala, West Mosul, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.331578, 43.088901 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (via Coalition) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Exact location (via Coalition)

Airwars assessment

In an incident not previously tracked by Airwars, on September 1st 2017 the Coalition said it had concluded an assessment on claims of civilian harm “near Mosul, Iraq” via an NGO report. According to the Coalition report, “March 18, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via NGO report: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.”

The Coalition shared the location of this assessed strike with Airwars. The location was stated as the Risala district in West Mosul.

Puk Media quoted a report by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Seven displaced persons were interviewed, who said that their house in in al Risala district “was completely destroyed by the aerial bombardments”.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (2) [ collapse]

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
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    near Mosul, Iraq
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    1 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    38SLF2847122421
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Sep 1, 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.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For March 17th-18th the Coalition reported: “Near Mosul, four strikes engaged three ISIS tactical units; destroyed 56 ISIS vehicles, 25 fighting positions, five rocket-propelled grenade systems, two medium machine guns, two mortar systems, and an ISIS VBIED; and suppressed 20 ISIS mortar teams and four ISIS tactical units.”

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI688

Incident date

May 4, 2017

Location

الرطبة, Ar Rutbah, Anbar, Iraq

Geolocation

33.036997, 40.285862 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

In a previously unknown allegation, the Coalition denied involvement in an incident that they said was reported on social media. In their July 2017 civilian casualty report, the Coalition wrote: May 4, 2017, near Ar Rutbah, Iraq, via social media report: No Coalition strikes were conducted on that day in the geographic area of the reported civilian casualties. The closest strike to the report of possible civilian casualties was 160 km away.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Civilians reported injured
    0–1
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (1) [ collapse]

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
    No Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    near Ar Rutbah, Iraq
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jul 7, 2017
  • No Coalition strikes were conducted on that day in the geographic area of the reported civilian casualties. The closest strike to the report of possible civilian casualties was 160 km away.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For May 3rd-4th, the Coalition reported no strikes in the area.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Civilians reported injured
    0–1
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI754

Incident date

June 8, 2017

Location

حي الزنجيلي, Mosul, Zinjili, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.351963, 43.112984 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (via Coalition) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Exact location (via Coalition)

Airwars assessment

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.

Incident Code

CI438

Incident date

January 25, 2017

Location

Wadi Hajjar, Nineveh, Iraq

Airwars assessment

Three civilians were reportedly injured by ISF (or possibly Coalition) mortars according to eyewitness interviews by Amnesty International.

A previously unpublished assessment which Amnesty shared with Airwars reads as follows: “On 25 January an ISF mortar [Airwars note: presumed – but possibly US, see below] landed on their house in Wadi Hajjar and caused it to collapse. XX believes it was an ISF mortar as he saw a drone in the skies above the house five minutes before the explosion. The house was completely destroyed. The target was likely to have been the neighbouring house, which had been taken over by ISIS. ISIS had also taken over their house 20 days previously. They had had no choice in the matter and had mainly hidden in the basement since then.

XX’s mother – “I have a five year old son whose legs were broken (when the house collapsed due to the mortar strike).” It also opened a wound on her 17 year old daughter’s head. XX’s 17 year old wife suffered a shrapnel wound to her back.”

US forces used heavy mortars in support of ISF during the battle for West Mosul. However it is unclear on which date these began. A senior Coalition official told Airwars that “Mortar fire is not recorded as a strike so we do not have data to provide on specifically where and when they have been used. I spoke to the unit on the ground though, and due the positioning of Coalition forces to support the liberation of East Mosul and the limited range of the mortars, it is very doubtful they were fired prior to the initiation of the liberation of West Mosul.”

While it appears most likely this reported event was a result of ISF actions, it remains possible that it was a Coalition event.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Civilians reported injured
    3
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    US-led Coalition, Iraq government forces

Sources (1) [ collapse]

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For January 24th-25th 2017, the Coalition reported: “Near Mosul, five strikes engaged four ISIL tactical units; destroyed four mortar systems, two vehicles, two weapons caches, an ISIL headquarters, an anti-air artillery system, a fighting position, a supply cache, a tunnel entrance, a VBIED, a VBIED facility, an ISIL guard post, an ISIL-held building, and an IED factory; damaged a supply route; and suppressed an ISIL mortar team.”

Iraq government forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Iraq government forces
  • Iraq government forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Civilians reported injured
    3
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    US-led Coalition, Iraq government forces

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI766

Incident date

June 17, 2017

Location

Mosul, Al Shafaa, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.35263, 43.12194 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Within 1m (via Coalition) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Within 1m (via Coalition)

Airwars assessment

In an incident not previously tracked by Airwars, on September 29th, 2017 the Coalition said it had concluded an assessment on social media claims of civilian harm “near Mosul, Iraq”. According to the Coalition report, “112. June 17, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via social media report: The report contains insufficient information of the time, location and details to assess its credibility.”

The Coalition shared the location of this assessed strike with Airwars. The location was stated as al Shafaa neighbourhood in Mosul.

No additional details are presently known.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (1) [ collapse]

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 information on the time and location
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    near Mosul, Iraq
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    1 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    38SLF3087024668
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Sep 29, 2017
  • The report contains insufficient information of the time, location and details to assess its credibility.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For June 16th-17th the Coalition reported that “Near Mosul, three strikes [1 Australian] engaged three ISIS tactical units; destroyed 15 fighting positions, two supply caches, a mortar team, and a VBIED; damaged seven fighting positions; and suppressed an ISIS tactical unit.”

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI879

Incident date

January 3, 2020

Location

مطار بغداد الدولي‎, Baghdad International Aiport, Baghdad, Iraq

Geolocation

33.266781, 44.231191 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

Possibly one civilian was killed and an unknown number of civilians injured in a confirmed U.S. airstrike that killed Iranian national Qassam Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force, on Baghdad International Airport at January 3rd, 2020.

The New York Times reported that an “American MQ-9 Reaper drone fired missiles into a convoy that was leaving the airport”.

Janoubia reported that the “the security media cell of the Iraqi Prime Minister’s Office announced that ‘three Katyusha rockets landed on Baghdad International Airport near the air cargo hall, resulting in the burning of two vehicles and the injury of a number of citizens.'”

Qassam Soleimani’s son-in-law was also declared killed. While sources do specify the roles of the other persons in the convoy killed, his combatant status remains unclear. Hence, we have listed Soleimani’s son-in-law as a possible civilian casualty.

The belligerents named killed were:

Abu Mahdi Al Muhandis (deputy head of the Popular Mobilization Forces)
Qassem Soleimani (commander of the Iranian Quds Force)
Samer Abdullah (head of External Operations Agency for Hezbollah and brother-in-law of Imad Mughniyeh)
Muhammad Reda Al Jabri (director of the Hashdat Al-Hashd at the airport)
Hassan Abdul-Hadi (PMU)
Muhammad Al Shaibani (PMU)
Haider Ali (PMU).

Muhammad Al Kawtharani, senior member of Hezbollah, was also reported to be among the dead, but these reports remain unconfirmed.

Iranian officials also listed the following officers who accompanied Soleimani as killed, as reported by Nors:

Brigadier Hussein Jafir
Colonel Shahrud Muzaffari
Major Hadi Tarmi
Captain Waheed Zamanian.

The Pentagon confirmed responsibility for the airstrike in a statement on January 3rd, stating that “this strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans.”

The incident occured at approximately 1:00 am local time.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Belligerents reported killed
    11–13

Sources (29) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (13) [ collapse]

  • Bodies of those killed in the U.S. airstrike near Baghdad International Airport after midnight on January 3rd, 2020 (via @madallh_skaren).
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Iranian Qassam Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force, was killed on January 3rd 2020 after his convoy was bombed by an American airstrike. On the right a photo of his body, zooming in on the ring he was wearing when he was alive, left (via @SUUFp1).
  • Iranian Qassam Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force, was killed on January 3rd 2020 after his convoy was bombed by an American airstrike (via @IRaqiRev).
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Photo of the body of Iranian Qassam Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force, who was killed on January 3rd 2020 after his convoy was bombed by an American airstrike (via @IRaqiRev).
  • Aftermath of US drone strike on Baghdad International Airport in January 2020 which assassinated Iranian General Qasem Soleimani (via Arab48).
  • Iranian Qassam Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force, was killed on January 3rd 2020 after his convoy was bombed by an American airstrike. Here pictured during a visit to Deir Ezzor end of 2019 (via Euphrates Post).
  • Money found near the location of the incident on January 3rd, 2020, that allegedly belongs to "Assad gangs" (via Nors).
  • Photo of a car near the location of the incident, allegedly from "Assad gangs" (via Nors Studies).
  • Iraqi official tv announces the killing of Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mehdi Al Muhandis on January 3rd, 2020 (via Nors Studies).
  • Iranian Qassam Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force, was killed on January 3rd 2020 after his convoy was bombed by an American airstrike (via Al Arabiya).
  • Muhammad Al Kawtharani (senior member Hezbollah), who was killed in an American drone strike on Bagdhad International Airport on January 3rd, 2020. Reports of his death remain unconfirmed (via Al Arabiya).
  • Muhammad Reda Al Jabri (director of the Hashdat Al-Hashd at the airport), who was killed in an American drone strike on Bagdhad International Airport on January 3rd, 2020 (via Al Arabiya).
  • Photo of Qassem Soleimani (left) and Abu Mahdi Al Muhandis (right), both killed in an American drone strike on Bagdhad International Airport on January 3rd, 2020 (via Al Arabiya).

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention a strike on the road connecting Baghdad International Airport (مطار بغداد الدولي) to the city of Baghdad. The generic coordinates for the airport are: 33.266781, 44.230898

United States Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    United States Armed Forces
  • United States Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Belligerents reported killed
    11–13

Sources (29) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI033

Incident date

January 24, 2015

Location

الموصل‎, Mosul, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.34585235, 43.09857692 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

The previously-secret CENTCOM file also noted reports by redacted “prominent anti-ISIL Twitter users” that “civilians are being killed in the bombardment.”

With so few details to go on, CENTCOM concluded that there was “insufficient evidence to determine date and time of any specific allegation.”

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (1) [ collapse]

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
    a:1:{i:0;s:24:"insufficient_information";}
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    near Mosul, Iraq
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • May 1, 2015
  • ISIL promoters claimed bombardment of Mosul was bringing about CIVCAS. Insufficient evidence to determine date and time of any specific allegation.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

COALITION-ASSESSED CASUALTY INCIDENT

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (1) [ collapse]