Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Belligerent
Country
start date
end date
Civilian Harm Status
Belligerent Assessment
Declassified Documents
Infrastructure

Incident Code

CS162

Incident date

January 5, 2016

Location

الرقة‎, Ar Raqqah, Raqqa, Syria

Geolocation

35.95088, 39.00887 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Within 100m (via Coalition) level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Airstrikes targeted the Water Foundation building on the outskirts of Raqqah around midnight, killing an employee of the organization and two building guards according to the Syrian Observatory (which did not attribute the strike to any particular party.)

Other sources made no mention of casualties, although a propaganda video released by Daesh appeared to show damage to adjacent homes and shops.

On July 7th, 2017 the Coalition admitted responsibility for the incident, reporting: “Jan. 5, 2016, near Raqqah, Syria, via Airwars report: During a strike on an ISIS headquarters building, it was assessed that three civilians were unintentionally killed.”

In July 2019, the Coalition provided Airwars with the location of this incident, accurate to within a 100 metre box.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Geolocation notes

Prior to the Coalition releasing the MGRS for this incident, Airwars had geolocated it to the nearest city at 35.9505639, 39.0094148

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • Aftermath of an apparently confirmed Coalition strike January 5th, which may have killed three non-combatants (via Raqqah Is Being Slaughtered Silently)
  • Tweet and images via @trbrtc relating to confirmed Coalition strike on Raqqa water facility.

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Credible / Substantiated
    The investigation assessed that although all feasible precautions were taken and the decision to strike complied with the law of armed conflict, unintended civilian casualties regrettably occurred.
  • Given reason for civilian harm
    No reason given
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    3
  • Stated location
    near Raqqah, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SEV008785
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jul 7, 2017
  • Jan. 5, 2016, near Raqqah, Syria, via Airwars report: During a strike on an ISIS headquarters building, it was assessed that three civilians were unintentionally killed.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For January 5th-6th 2016, the Coalition reported that “Near Ar Raqqah, one strike struck an ISIL headquarters building.”

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS343

Incident date

January 5, 2016

Location

ابطع, Abtaa, Daraa, Syria

Geolocation

32.79283, 36.15175 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Five to six civilians including two children were killed and several others injured in alleged Russian airstrikes on Abtaa, according to the Violations Documentation Center and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights – though reports are unclear whether the deaths were the result of raids by Russian warplanes or shelling by regime forces.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said warplanes “believed to be Russian” carried out six raids on Abtaa, but that this was accompanied by “intense shelling by the regime forces”.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (2)

Child male grandson of Fawaz killed
Adult male killed

The victims were named as:

Adult male killed
Age unknown male killed
Adult male was also listed by VDC as having died at Abtaa, though is listed for January 3rd which may be an error killed
15 years old male died in Jordan from injuries sustained in this strike killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5 – 6
  • (2 children4 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    40
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Military, Syrian Regime

Sources (11) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (7) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    A member of the White Helmets holding the body of a deceased child. (via, All4Syria)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Fawaz Soud al-Nsairat, killed by alleged Russian and Syrian Regime raids. (via, VDC)
  • Ziyad Abdul Kader al-Jahed, killed by alleged Russian and Syrian Regime raids. (via, VDC)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Abdul Jaleel al-Nsairat, killed on 5th January 2016. (via, VDC)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Mahmoud Fadel al-Jahed, killed in raids on 5th January 2016. (via, VDC)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Mahmoud Fadel al-Jahed, killed in raids on 5th January 2016. (via, VDC)
  • News story reporting on the riads. (via, ElAraby Television)

Russian Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Military
  • Russian Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

Russian Military

In its report for military actions on January 11 2016, the Kremlin reports carrying out strikes in Dara’a governorate: “In the course of 10 days of the year 2016, the Russian aircraft have performed 311 combat sorties engaging 1097 objects in the Aleppo, Idlib, Latakia, Hama, Homs, Damascus, Deir ez-Zor, Hasakah, Daraa, and Raqqah provinces.“

Syrian Regime Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Syrian Regime
  • Syrian Regime position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5 – 6
  • (2 children4 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    40
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Military, Syrian Regime

Sources (11) [ collapse]

Incident Code

LQ021

Incident date

January 5, 2016

Location

بنغازي‎, Benghazi, Libya

Airwars assessment

The LNA reported that it conducted airstrikes against what it described as terrorists in the neighbourhoods of Hawari, the fish market, and Bosnib, along with other targets in the Western part of the city. Al Arabiya reported that a MiG-21 was also shot down by ISIS during the bombings, crashing without reported loss of life in a suburban area.

Despite the heavy strikes on the city, no civilian casualties were publicly reported at the time. 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Suspected attacker
    Libyan National Army

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Libyan National Army Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Libyan National Army
  • Libyan National Army position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Suspected attacker
    Libyan National Army

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS342

Incident date

January 4, 2016

Location

الباب, Al-Bab, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.371972, 37.51631 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Five civilians were killed and several others injured in alleged Russian and/or Assad regime airstrikes on Al Bab, according to local sources.

The Shaam News Network produced two reports on the alleged incident. The first report put the death toll at two and an unspecified number of wounded, while the second report said five civilians were killed in addition to “casualties”.

The Daesh agency Al A’maq blamed Russia. However others claimed Assad regime helicopters had also participated in the attacks.

According to the VDC, Farouk Bakeer – a White Helmet volunteer – died in al-Bab on January 4th, though it attributes his death to an Assad regime airstrike. All 4 Syria blamed Russia, noting; “Activists said Russian warplanes raided Daesh-occupied al-Bab four times, targeting Osama bin Zaid Mosque and a field hospital in the city, and causing the deaths of five civilians according to a preliminary toll, including a civil defense worker  called Farouk Bakir. In addition a number of civilians were wounded.”

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Adult male White Helmet volunteer killed

Summary

  • Civilian infrastructure
    Healthcare facility
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5
  • (1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Military, Syrian Regime

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Russian Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Military
  • Russian Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

Russian Military

In its report for military actions on January 11 2016, the Kremlin reports carrying out strikes in Aleppo governorate: “In the course of 10 days of the year 2016, the Russian aircraft have performed 311 combat sorties engaging 1097 objects in the Aleppo, Idlib, Latakia, Hama, Homs, Damascus, Deir ez-Zor, Hasakah, Daraa, and Raqqah provinces.“

Syrian Regime Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Syrian Regime
  • Syrian Regime position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilian infrastructure
    Healthcare facility
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5
  • (1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Military, Syrian Regime

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS341

Incident date

January 3, 2016

Location

الشيخ مسكين‎, Sheikh Miskeen, Daraa, Syria

Geolocation

32.827948, 36.158664 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

A woman and man were killed in Sheikh Miskeen according to local sources – though it is not clear whether regime air or ground forces, strikes by Russian warplanes, or both were responsible for the deaths.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights produced two reports on the incident. The first report said that Russian warplanes carried out 12 strikes on Sheikh Miskeen amid clashes between regime forces and rebels, and that the corpse of an old woman was found “around the town” with activists accusing the regime of killing her. But according to a second report a woman from Sheikh Miskeen died from injuries sustained when warplanes “believed to be Russian” carried out several raids on the town.

The VDC also lists Mohammad Ramadan as having died in the vicinity “Due to Russian air forces shelling.” And al Jazeera reported that “a woman and a child were seriously injured.” The VDC also later listed Basemah Fayez Muneif from the town as having died in al Ramth hospital in Jordan as a result of injuries sustained in regime shelling on January 3rd – which may match this incident.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Adult male named as as having died in the vicinity “Due to Russian air forces shelling.” killed
Adult female having died in al Ramth hospital in Jordan as a result of injuries sustained in regime shelling on January 3rd – which may match this incident killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2 – 3
  • (1–2 women1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Military, Syrian Regime

Sources (11) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • The exact moment that the raids fell on Shiekh Miskeen. (via, Step News Agency)

Russian Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Military
  • Russian Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

Russian Military

In its report for military actions on January 11 2016, the Kremlin reports carrying out strikes in Dara’a governorate: “In the course of 10 days of the year 2016, the Russian aircraft have performed 311 combat sorties engaging 1097 objects in the Aleppo, Idlib, Latakia, Hama, Homs, Damascus, Deir ez-Zor, Hasakah, Daraa, and Raqqah provinces.“

Syrian Regime Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Syrian Regime
  • Syrian Regime position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2 – 3
  • (1–2 women1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Military, Syrian Regime

Sources (11) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS038

Incident date

January 3, 2016

Location

الباب, Al Bab, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.371972, 37.51631 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

According to local sources, 11 civilians were killed and 26 injured in an alleged Turkish airstrike on Al Bab, Syria.

Al Jazeera posted on Twitter that “11 people were killed and 26 wounded and an ambulance destroyed after Turkish bombardment of the city of Bab in the countryside of eastern Aleppo.”

Al Bab Al Hadath published a similar report.

Other sources like Smart News also reported airstrikes as well as artillery shelling but did not mention civilian harm.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the city of Al Bab (الباب), for which the generic coordinates are: 36.371972, 37.51631. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    11
  • Civilians reported injured
    26
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Military

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • 11 people were killed and 26 wounded and the destruction of an ambulance after the Turkish bombardment of the city of Bab in the countryside of eastern Aleppo (via AJASyria)
  • Footage showing the aftermath of the alleged Turkish airstrike on Al Bab, 3rd January 2017. (via Nadia Abdulaziz)

Turkish Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Turkish Military
  • Turkish Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    11
  • Civilians reported injured
    26
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Military

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS338

Incident date

January 2, 2016

Location

مارع, Mare', Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.482582, 37.19593 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

One possible civilian was reported killed and several others injured in alleged Russian airstrikes on Mare’ in the northern countryside of Aleppo, according to multiple sources.

The Shaam News Network reported that Russian planes carried out raids on various areas, in particular the towns of Mare’, Tal Rifa’at, Izaz, Mangh and Deir Jamal, leading to the death of one civilian and injury of several others.

According to the White Helmets, there were three raids by “warplanes” (they did not state who they belonged to) on Mare’, resulting in deaths and injuries, although precise casualty figures were not given.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that warplanes “believed to be Russian” carried out several airstrikes on areas in the towns of Mare’, Tal Rifa’at and Mangh, leading to the death of at least one person in Mare’ and injury of several others, in addition to damage  of civilian property.

One victim Alae Abdel Al Khateeb was named by the Violations Documentation Center (pictured above). However, an image of Mr al Khateeb carrying a gun (below) – and an image of his body held by a person in military fatigues – suggest he may have been linked to rebels in Mare’.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Adult male killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Military, Syrian Regime

Sources (22) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (4) [ collapse]

  • Footage showing the destruction in the aftermath of the contested raids. (via, abo al Majd)
  • Alae Adel al-Khateeb, killed in a contested airstrike. Photograph shows him posing with a weapon, looks like a militant but extensive research shows no other signs of militancy. (via, Nazir al Hafz)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Alae Adel al-Khateeb, killed on 2nd January 2016. (via, Homs Media Network Facebook)
  • Alae Adel al-Khateeb, killed on 2nd January 2016. (via, Mare’ the city of Martyrs)

Russian Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Military
  • Russian Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

Russian Military

In its report for military actions on January 11 2016, the Kremlin reports carrying out strikes in Aleppo governorate: “In the course of 10 days of the year 2016, the Russian aircraft have performed 311 combat sorties engaging 1097 objects in the Aleppo, Idlib, Latakia, Hama, Homs, Damascus, Deir ez-Zor, Hasakah, Daraa, and Raqqah provinces.“

Syrian Regime Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Syrian Regime
  • Syrian Regime position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Military, Syrian Regime

Sources (22) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS339

Incident date

January 2, 2016

Location

معارة الارتيق, Maarat al Arteek, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.247681, 37.053483 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Two civilians including one unnamed woman and a member of the White Helmets were killed – and 10 others injured – in alleged Russian airstrikes on Maarat al Arteek, according to multiple sources.

The Shaam News Network reported that a woman died when Russian warplanes targeted the town in several spatial missile strikes. They said that 10 others were injured, and while the White Helmets were attempting to assist the wounded a plane raided again, killing a member of the White Helmets.

The White Helmets reported the death of one of their team, named as Hassan Al Haj Omar and posted a video showing his funeral.

According to the Syrian Network for Human Rights, he died following the raid by “suspected Russian warplanes” targeting Omar bin Al Khattah Mosque in the town. Their report said that 10 medical staff had been killed in January.

The member of the White Helmets was also named by the Violations Documentation Center as Hasan Abd Al Azeem Haj Omer.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Adult male member of the White Helmets killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (1 woman1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    10
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Military

Sources (17) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (4) [ collapse]

  • Video taken by citizen journalist in the immediate aftermath of the alleged Russian raids. (via, Citizen Journalist)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Video taken by citizen journalist of a child receiving stitches in a medical facility. (via, Citizen Journalist)
  • Hasan Abd al-Azeem Haj Omer, killed on 2nd of January by alleged Russian raids. (via, VDC)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Hasan Abd al-Azeem Haj Omer, killed on 2nd of January by alleged Russian raids. (via, VDC)

Russian Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Military
  • Russian Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

Russian Military

In its report for military actions on January 11 2016, the Kremlin reports carrying out strikes in Aleppo governorate: “In the course of 10 days of the year 2016, the Russian aircraft have performed 311 combat sorties engaging 1097 objects in the Aleppo, Idlib, Latakia, Hama, Homs, Damascus, Deir ez-Zor, Hasakah, Daraa, and Raqqah provinces.“

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (1 woman1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    10
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Military

Sources (17) [ collapse]