Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

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

Incident Code

RS327

Incident date

December 28, 2015

Location

تدمر, Palmyra, Homs, Syria

Geolocation

34.5655244, 38.2873535 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Three to four civilians including one child were killed and dozens injured in airstrikes on Palmyra, according to multiple sources.

The Shaam News Network reported that it was the second day in a row that Russian  warplanes killed non-combatants in the city and said that three had died in bombing raids carried out by “tens of Russian aircraft over the city.”

They noted that the raids focused on the vital centres of Palmyra – the main electricity directorate, Heer Palacen and the salt factories in the industrial area as well as the archaeological area – and that dozens were wounded in addition to those that died.

According to the Network the raids also caused massive destruction in residential areas as the planes were using highly explosive rockets.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported 40 Russian airstrikes targeting the town of Mahin – the electricity management area, Qasr al-Her school, Tadmur city and al-Sena’ia area, killing four civilians, including a child.

 

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Musaab Ali Batman al-Assad al-Nazar
Adult male killed

Summary

  • Civilian infrastructure
    School
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3 – 4
  • (1 child)
  • Civilians reported injured
    24
  • 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 (3) [ collapse]

Russian Military Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

Russian Military

For December 25th-28th, Russia has reported that “In the course of three days, since December 25, the Russian aviation group has performed 164 combat sorties engaging 556 terrorists’ objects located in the Aleppo, Idlib, Latakia, Hama, Homs, Damascus, Deir ez-Zor and Raqqah provinces.”

Summary

  • Civilian infrastructure
    School
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3 – 4
  • (1 child)
  • Civilians reported injured
    24
  • 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 (3) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI168

Incident date

December 27, 2015

Location

حي المثنى, Mosul, al-Muthanna, al-Masaref, al-Tahrir, and al-Qadisiyah, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.3738889, 43.1718063 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

According to single source the National Iraqi News Agency, 12 civilians died and 11 were “severely wounded” in Coalition airstrikes on the neighbourhoods of al-Muthanna, al-Masaref, al-Tahrir, and al-Qadisiyah, north of Mosul.

MNN cited Kurdish official Ghyath Surja as saying the Coalition had carried out a targeted strike on a vehicle at al-Muthanna, though did not mention casualties

In July 2017 the Coalition said it had classed the event as non credible, on grounds of limited evidence of civilian harm: “Dec. 27, 2015, near Mosul, Iraq, via Airwars 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 local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    12
  • (3 children1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    11
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (4) [ collapse]

CJTF–OIR Declassified Assessment and Press Release

Attached to this civilian harm incident is a provisional reconciliation of the Pentagon's declassified assessment of this civilian harm allegation, based on matching date and locational information.

The declassified documents were obtained by Azmat Khan and the New York Times through Freedom of Information requests and lawsuits filed since March 2017, and are included 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.

Declassified Assessment Press Release

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

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

The Coalition reported for December 26th-27th 2015 that “Near Mosul, seven strikes struck six separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed 15 ISIL fighting positions, two ISIL vehicles, an ISIL heavy machine gun, an ISIL bunker, four ISIL assembly areas, three ISIL command control nodes, and cratered two ISIL roads, and denied ISIL access to terrain.”

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    12
  • (3 children1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    11
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS325

Incident date

December 27, 2015

Location

كحيل, Kaheel, Daraa, Syria

Geolocation

32.616784, 36.266117 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Four or five civilians were reported killed including a woman and dozens wounded, in alleged Russian airstrikes on Kaheel according to multiple sources.

The Shaam News Network reported that four non-combatants died when Russian warplanes struck the town. The seriously wounded were taken to field hospitals.

Five victims were listed by the Violations Documentation Center and one Unidentified adult female was also listed.

The Yaqueen Media Foundation posted two videos, one showing the body of Mustafa Mohammad Mehsen al Mefelani and another depicting his funeral.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Adult male killed
Adult male killed
Adult male killed

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the village of Kaheel (كحيل), for which the generic coordinates are: 32.616784, 36.266117. 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
    4 – 5
  • (1 woman3 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    24
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Unknown

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (6) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    The body of Mustafa Mohammad Mehsen al Mefelani. (via, VDC)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    The burial of Mustafa Mohammad Mehsen al Mefelani. (via, VDC)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Saeid Hamed al-Masri, killed by alleged Russian raids. (via, VDC)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Mustafa Mohammad Mehsen al-Mefelani, male child, killed by alleged Russian raids. (via, VDC)
  • Mohammad Tarek al-Naasan, killed by an alleged Russian raid. (via, VDC)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Mohammad Tarek al-Naasan, killed by an alleged Russian raid. (via, VDC)

Unknown Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Unknown
  • Unknown position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

Unknown

For December 25th-28th, Russia has reported that “In the course of three days, since December 25, the Russian aviation group has performed 164 combat sorties engaging 556 terrorists’ objects located in the Aleppo, Idlib, Latakia, Hama, Homs, Damascus, Deir ez-Zor and Raqqah provinces.”

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4 – 5
  • (1 woman3 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    24
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Unknown

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS326 CS160

Incident date

December 27, 2015

Location

أخترين, Akhtarin, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.511585, 37.336593 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

A child was reportedly killed by alleged Russian and Coalition warplanes in the residential neighbourhood of Akhtarin, Aleppo. However, there are disputed claims as to whether the raids were carried out by Russia or the Coalition.

LCCSY and Quasion News Agency both blamed the Coalition for the airstrikes – with Quasion noting that Russia was shelling parts of Aleppo in the same vicinity with vacuum missiles around the same time. They also claimed this was an IS controlled area and that there were “reports of deaths and injuries amongst Daash as a result of the international raids”. The Syrian News Press and multiple local sources do however blame Russia.

According to local sources –The village of Turkman Bareh, Akhtreen Facebook Page – dozens of women and children were also injured in the raid on residential homes. 

In their January 2020 civilian casualty report, the US-led Coalition assessed reports that they were responsible for civilian harm in this strike as “non-credible”, stating that no Coalition actions were conducted in the geographical area at that time.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the town of Akhtarin (أخترين), for which the generic coordinates are: 36.511585, 37.336593. 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
    1
  • (1 child)
  • Civilians reported injured
    4–24
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Unknown, US-led Coalition

Sources (5) [ collapse]

CJTF–OIR Declassified Assessment and Press Release

Attached to this civilian harm incident is a provisional reconciliation of the Pentagon's declassified assessment of this civilian harm allegation, based on matching date and locational information.

The declassified documents were obtained by Azmat Khan and the New York Times through Freedom of Information requests and lawsuits filed since March 2017, and are included 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.

Declassified Assessment Press Release

Unknown Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Unknown
  • Unknown position on incident
    Not yet assessed

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
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SCA510420
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jan 3, 2020
  • December 27, 2015, in Akhtarin, Syria, via Airwars report. After a review of all available records it was assessed that no Coalition actions were conducted in the geographical area that corresponds to the report of civilian casualties. 2886/CS160 37SCA510420

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For December 26th-27th, the Colaition reported: "Near Manbij, three strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL vehicle, an ISIL weapons cache, and wounded ISIL fighters."

For December 27th-28th: "Near Manbij, eleven strikes struck seven separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL vehicle, an ISIL vehicle borne improvised explosive device (VBIED), an ISIL building, cratered two ISIL-used roads, and damaged an ISIL fighting position."

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 child)
  • Civilians reported injured
    4–24
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Unknown, US-led Coalition

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS323

Incident date

December 27, 2015

Location

تدمر, Palmyra, Homs, Syria

Geolocation

34.5655244, 38.2873535 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Two or three civilians were killed and dozens injured in alleged Russian airstrikes with cluster bombs on Palmyra, according to the Shaam News Network and the Violations Documentation Center.

The Shaam News Network reported that Russian warplanes launched 10 raids targeting the city hospital, resulting in significant damage to buildings and equipment.

They added that 10 other raids were launched on the cultural center and that large fires broke out in the orchards surrounding the city in 30 additional raids with cluster bombs.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that a young man died in raids on parts of the city but did not state who the planes belonged to.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Adult male killed
Adult male killed

Summary

  • Civilian infrastructure
    Healthcare facility
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2 – 3
  • (2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    24
  • 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 (3) [ collapse]

Russian Military Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

Russian Military

For December 25th-28th, Russia has reported that “In the course of three days, since December 25, the Russian aviation group has performed 164 combat sorties engaging 556 terrorists’ objects located in the Aleppo, Idlib, Latakia, Hama, Homs, Damascus, Deir ez-Zor and Raqqah provinces.”

Summary

  • Civilian infrastructure
    Healthcare facility
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2 – 3
  • (2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    24
  • 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 (3) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS324

Incident date

December 27, 2015

Location

Turkmen mount, Latakia, Syria

Geolocation

35.781035, 35.982277 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Nearby landmark level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

One adult male, Fuad Khodr Kerawan, was reported killed in an alleged Russian airstrike in the vicinity of Turkmen mount, according to the Violations Documentation Center.

No additional details are presently known.

 

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)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Military

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Russian Military Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

Russian Military

For December 25th-28th, Russia has reported that “In the course of three days, since December 25, the Russian aviation group has performed 164 combat sorties engaging 556 terrorists’ objects located in the Aleppo, Idlib, Latakia, Hama, Homs, Damascus, Deir ez-Zor and Raqqah provinces.”

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Military

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS321

Incident date

December 26, 2015

Location

الحيدرية, Haidariya, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.2372814, 37.1923256 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Two civilians, a woman and child, were reported killed in an alleged Russian airstrike on the northern roundabout area in Al Haidariya .

The Syrian Observatory reported a number of unspecified casualties, while Halab News named the same woman and child killed as VDC, attributing their deaths to “a Russian Air Force bombing attack on Alhaidariya neighborhood in Aleppo.”

 

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Adult female killed
Child male killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (1 child1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • 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 (3) [ collapse]

Russian Military Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

Russian Military

For December 25th-28th, Russia has reported that “In the course of three days, since December 25, the Russian aviation group has performed 164 combat sorties engaging 556 terrorists’ objects located in the Aleppo, Idlib, Latakia, Hama, Homs, Damascus, Deir ez-Zor and Raqqah provinces.”

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (1 child1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • 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 (3) [ collapse]

Incident Code

RS322

Incident date

December 26, 2015

Location

جرجناز, Jarjanaz, Idlib, Syria

Geolocation

35.617076, 36.783132 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Eight civilians including four children were killed in an alleged Russian airstrike on a school in Jarjanaz, according to the Shaam News Network.

SNN reported that a Russian warplane launched four vacuum missiles on the gate of the Thee Qar school while students were leaving the premises to return to their homes. The Network said that there were a number of people at the gate at the time and that this led to the death of four students, four other non-combatants and the wounding of dozens more.

Activists told SNN the the death toll was likely to rise due to the severity of injuries.

Three victims including 2 unidentified male children were listed by the Violations Documentation Center.

Unidentified 1 – child, male

Unidentified 2 – child, male

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Child male killed

Summary

  • Civilian infrastructure
    School
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    8
  • (4 children)
  • Civilians reported injured
    24
  • 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 (2) [ collapse]

Russian Military Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

Russian Military

For December 25th-28th, Russia has reported that “In the course of three days, since December 25, the Russian aviation group has performed 164 combat sorties engaging 556 terrorists’ objects located in the Aleppo, Idlib, Latakia, Hama, Homs, Damascus, Deir ez-Zor and Raqqah provinces.”

Summary

  • Civilian infrastructure
    School
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    8
  • (4 children)
  • Civilians reported injured
    24
  • 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 (2) [ collapse]