US-led Coalition in Iraq & Syria

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

Belligerent
US-led Coalition
Country
Iraq
Syria
start date
end date
Airwars Grading
Confirmed
Fair
Belligerent Assessment

Incident Code

CI110

Incident date

September 20, 2015

Location

الموصل‎, Mosul, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

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

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

A reported coalition airstrike on an ISIL IED factory [see CI109] injured ‘dozens’ of civilians, it was claimed, after a chemical cloud spread across local areas. Waradana cited Ghias Surja of the Nineveh Union of Kurdistan National Center as saying: “The lab was used by the criminal organization for terrorist activities against the innocent and defenseless, making improvised explosive devices and rockets that contain toxic materials. After the attack a cloud spread in the sky of Mosul, wounding dozens of civilians who were transferred later to hospitals in Mosul to receive first aid.

Al Araby Al Jadeed said the chemical cloud was chlorine, which had injured 70 civilians: “A senior official in the Kurdistan Alliance, Ribawar Hassan, told al-Araby al-Jadeed: “The coalition airstrike on a chlorine gas factory in the industrial area of Mosul, has led to the gas spreading in the air, which caused 70 civilians to suffer from impaired breathing and shortness of breath in adjacent areas.”The injured were taken to hospitals,” Hassan added, stressing that “the airstrike also killed and wounded many IS members who were stationed inside these factories and workshops.”

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Civilians reported injured
    70
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (4) [ 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

Heavy Coalition strikes in the vicinity were reported for September 20th-21st 2015: “Near Mosul, nine airstrikes struck a large ISIL tactical unit, three ISIL tactical units and destroyed five ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL VBIED facility, an ISIL bunker, an ISIL heavy machine gun, an ISIL building, an ISIL C2 node and wounded an ISIL fighter.” See video above.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Civilians reported injured
    70
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI105

Incident date

September 17, 2015

Location

الحويجة, Hawijah, Kirkuk, Iraq

Geolocation

35.3240179, 43.77335 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

A reported evening airstrike by a drone at Hawijah was said to have killed five civilians and injured a further seven people.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    5
  • Civilians reported injured
    7
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Victims of a reported Coalition drone strike at Hawija, Iraq Sept 17th 2015

US-led Coalition Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

The Coalition has confirmed a strike in the immediate vicinity for September 17th-18th 2015, noting: “Near Al Huwayjah, one airstrike with inconclusive results.”

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    5
  • Civilians reported injured
    7
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI104

Incident date

September 14, 2015

Location

الرطبة, Ar Rutbah, Anbar, Iraq

Geolocation

33.036997, 40.284076 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

The marketplace in Ar Rutbah was hit in an alleged Coalition airstrike according to reports, killing up to five people and injuring eight more. An adult male and a young male child were pictured among the dead.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    5
  • (2 children1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    8
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (8) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (10) [ collapse]

  • Reported Coalition strike on Ar Rutbah, Sept 14 2015 (via Rutbah News)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Child allegedly injured in the attack and his lost body parts (via Iraqi Revolution)
  • Aftermath of the strike (via Iraqi Revolution)
  • Aftermath of the strike (via Iraqi Revolution)
  • Aftermath of the strike (via Iraqi Revolution)
  • Aftermath of the strike (via Iraqi Revolution)
  • Aftermath of the strike (via Iraqi Revolution)
  • Aftermath of the strike (via Rutbah News)
  • Aftermath of the strike (via Rutbah News)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Man allegedly killed in the strike (via Rutbah News)

US-led Coalition Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

No Coalition strikes were publicly confirmed in the direct vicinity for September 14th-15th 2015, though it was noted that “Near Ramadi, one airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL house-borne IED, an ISIL VBIED, five ISIL buildings, an ISIL vehicle and an ISIL motorcycle.”

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    5
  • (2 children1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    8
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (8) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS125

Incident date

September 13, 2015

Location

معدان, Ma'adan, Ar Raqqah, Syria

Geolocation

35.751769, 39.61639 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

Up to 15 Islamic State fighters, including two aged under 16, were reported killed by a Coalition airstrike 10km west of Ma’dan. The teenage boys were said to be members of the ISIL youth movement ‘Cubs of the Caliphate.’ One report said that a checkpoint was targeted.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    0–2
  • (0–2 children)
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (3) [ 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

The Coalition has confirmed a strike at the location for September 13th-14th 2015: “Near Mar’a, one airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit.”

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    0–2
  • (0–2 children)
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI103

Incident date

September 10, 2015

Location

كبيسة, Kabaisa, Anbar, Iraq

Geolocation

33.59604, 42.62267 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Within 100m (via Coalition) level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Within 100m (via Coalition)

Airwars assessment

In a previously unknown casualty event, CENTCOM confirmed on April 22nd 2016 that two civilians were killed and four injured during a US airstrike at Kubaisah.

According to the official release, “On Sept. 10, 2015, in Kubaysah, Iraq, near Hit, during a strike on an ISIL checkpoint, it is assessed that two civilians were killed and four were injured when their vehicle appeared in the target area after weapons were already in flight.”

A year later the Coalition issued the following correction: “Sept. 10, 2015, in Kubaysah, Iraq, near Hit: Number 1 on the Apr. 22, 2016, U.S. Central Command press release reported that two civilians were killed and four injured during a strike on an ISIL checkpoint. This was incorrect, it was assessed that four civilians were unintentionally killed and two injured.”

A secondary Airwars research uncovered three Twitter sources reporting on the incident, with one of them posting a picture of a child supposedly injured in the attack.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    4
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    A child supposedly injured in the strike (via 4_001saad_omari)

Geolocation notes

Prior to the Coalition releasing the MGRS for this incident, Airwars had geolocated it to the nearest town at 33.591421, 42.612228

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Credible
    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
    Entered target area just prior to or after munition released
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    4
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    2
  • Stated location
    in Kubaysah, Iraq, near Hit
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    38SKC794199
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Apr 22, 2016
  • during a strike on an ISIL checkpoint, it is assessed that two civilians were killed and four were injured when their vehicle appeared in the target area after weapons were already in flight.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    4
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS123

Incident date

September 9, 2015

Location

الثورة‎, Al-Thawrah (Tabaqah), Ar Raqqah, Syria

Geolocation

35.8295049, 38.5360909 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

Up to 20 adult civilians were reported killed and injured alongside 15 children after Coalition aircraft reportedly bombed forcibly-engaged civilians who were being forced to dig ditches by Islamic State. The children reportedly belonged to ISIL’s Cubs of Al Khilafa youth organisation. The casualties occurred in the morning at the village of Krin, west of Tabaqah, alongside an estimated 50 Daesh fighters.

Raqaa is Being Slaughtered Silently later published a report on the event: “The bombing resulted in the killing of a number of what the organisation (IS) refers to as “Cubs of the Caliphate”, in addition to more than 20 civilians who had been hired, at 2,500 Syrian pounds a day [c £13], to work on digging trenches. There were also a number of civilians who had been detained on various charges, such as smoking and failure to pray, and whose punishment was being made to dig trenches.”

SOHR placed the number of adults killed at 15, slightly lower than other sources.

There were later efforts to spread false propaganda about the strike, including images of events [GRAPHIC] which had taken place weeks earlier at Douma.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    30–40
  • (15 children)
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (4) [ collapse]

  • Islamic State banner reporting that more than 30 people were killed following alleged coalition raids on the village of Krin west of Tabaqah. It specifies that there were among the planes Apaches and drones. tweeted on 9th September 2015 by @journalist_omar [account now suspended]
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Photo of victim of alleged coalition raids on the village of Krin west of Tabaqah. Tweeted on 9th September 2015 by @journalist_omar [account now suspended]
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Photo of victim of alleged coalition raids on the village of Krin west of Tabaqah. Tweeted on 9th September 2015 by @algareeb333 [account now suspended]
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Twitter account @HewarMaftuh described as 'open dialogue forum by US Central Command' reveals that photos published by pro ISIL accounts claiming to show victims of coalition raids on Tabaqah were in fact showing photos from Douma. 9th September 2015

US-led Coalition Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

The Coalition reported a single airstrike in the vicinity for September 8th-9th 2015: “Near Ar Raqqah, one airstrike struck an ISIL large tactical unit and an ISIL training camp and destroyed five ISIL fighting positions and an ISIL motorcycle.”

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    30–40
  • (15 children)
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS121

Incident date

September 5, 2015

Location

تل براك, Tall Birak, Al-Hasakah, Syria

Geolocation

36.683359, 41.053686 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

Reports emerged on the evening of September 5th that a 13-year old child named as Abboud Al Kharnoub may have died in a Coalition strike at Tal Brak near al Hassakah.  Baladi news also reported that a number of women were injured without giving further details. The town was the scene of clashes between Daesh and Kurdish YPG forces which led to Coalition strikes, according to Ara News.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 child)
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Baladi news network tweets that alleged coalition strikes on villages south of Tal Birak killed a child and injured women. 5th September 2015

US-led Coalition Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

No Coalition strikes were publicly reported in al Hassakah governorate between September 4th-6th 2015.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 child)
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI098

Incident date

August 30, 2015

Location

أربيل, Near Irbil, Irbil, Iraq

Geolocation

36.191457, 44.009341 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

Three or four possible civilians were reported killed in an airstrike in northern Iraq, carried out by two Danish F-16s which each dropped a 500lb GBU-12 bomb. The possible error was discovered after a Danish review of cockpit video: “In some parts of the footage showing four people and a vehicle, there were acts being carried out which may be perceived as not being openly hostile.”

A joint inquiry with CENTCOM later concluded that those killed were “likely not civilian casualties” and had instead had probably been involved in planting roadside bombs.

The commander of Danish F-16s in the Middle East told Information: “It was ourselves who said, ‘I wonder if there is something here that is not as it should be?’ We wanted to get the Coalition to investigate that the intelligence basis for the operation was in order, and I am very pleased that our suspicions have been treated thoroughly and seriously, both by the Coalition and at home in Denmark.”

Denmark set a new benchmark for Coalition transparency when it publicly reported the incident just four days after the event. A statement at the time noted that “Danish forces routinely carries out an evaluation of all completed missions, with a detailed focus on specific attacks. In this context, Danish forces assessed that there is a risk that an attack may have caused civilian casualties. Danish forces have disseminated this assessment to the coalition’s air headquarters. The coalition has now launched an investigation. Danish force will review internal operating procedures in order to assess whether there is a need for change.“

No further details on the location have been given. However, citing military sources Danish state radio said that the attack took place “near Irbil.“

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    0–4
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (10) [ collapse]

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible
    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 Irbil
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

Denmark
  • Oct 2, 2015
  • Ikke noget der tyder på civile tab ved dansk F-16-angreb i Irak Koalitionen har i sin undersøgelse af dansk F-16-angreb konkluderet, at der med overvejende sandsynlighed ikke var tale om civile, men personer der udførte en fjendtlig handling på landjorden. 02-10-2015 - kl. 13:09 Af Værnsfælles Forsvarskommando Der er ikke noget, der tyder på, at Forsvaret har været skyld i civile tab under et F-16-angreb i Irak den 30. august i år. - Jeg er selvfølgelig tilfreds med, at koalitionens undersøgelse konkluderer, at der ikke er noget, der tyder på, at der har været tale om civile tab, men at der var tale om personer, som var i gang med at udføre en fjendtlig handling på landjorden, siger chefen for Operationsstaben i Værnsfælles Forsvarskommando, generalmajor Flemming Lentfer. Forsvaret offentliggjorde den 3. september 2015, at de danske F-16-fly, der er indsat i kampen mod ISIL, under et angreb mod godkendte mål den 30. august, muligvis havde forårsaget civile tab. Vurderingen var baseret på videomateriale fra de danske F-16-fly. I visse dele af videomaterialet, der viser fire personer og et køretøj, bliver der foretaget handlinger, som kan opfattes som ikke værende åbenlyst fjendtlige. Den danske styrke videreformidlede denne vurdering til koalitionens lufthovedkvarter, der igangsatte en undersøgelse af hændelsen. Denne undersøgelse er nu afsluttet. Vigtigt, at mistanker om civile tab undersøges Så snart der opstod mistanke om, at de danske F-16-flys angreb kunne have medført civile tab, gik Forsvaret til koalitionen for at få sat en undersøgelse af angrebet i gang. - Det er klart, at så snart der opstår mistanke om, at et angreb kan have været skyld i civile tab, så ønsker Forsvaret at få det undersøgt grundigt. Det gør vi for at sikre, at de grundige processer, som både vi og koalitionen har før, under og efter et angreb virker efter hensigten og medvirker til at minimere utilsigtede følgevirkninger, herunder civile tab, siger generalmajor Flemming Lentfer. Koalitionen har i forbindelse med undersøgelsen gennemgået alt tilgængeligt materiale fra angrebet. Det drejer sig blandt andet om de to danske F-16-flys fulde videomateriale fra selve angrebet, piloternes egne observationer samt en række andre efterretningsoplysninger. Og koalitionens konklusion er klar. Der er med overvejende sandsynlighed ikke tale om civile tab. Koalitionen peger i deres undersøgelse på, at de fire personer var i gang med at placere vejsidebomber. - Vi har fra dansk side yderligere gennemgået alt materiale og koalitionens konklusioner. Den danske gennemgang af materialet er blevet udført under min ledelse med personel med chef- og militær juridisk erfaring fra blandt andet den danske Mission Target Approvel Authority, som indgår i luftoperationscenteret i Qatar, en uddannet billedanalytiker, der selv tidligere har været udsendt med bidraget samt en F-16-pilot, der ikke har været personligt involveret i den undersøgte mission, siger generalmajoren. Den endelige danske vurdering er således baseret på en grundig og fagligt velfunderet evaluering foretaget af både kompetent og uvildigt personel. - Vores tvivl er nu fjernet på baggrund af koalitionens resultat og vores gennemgang af materialet. Det viser med overvejende sandsynlighed, at der var tale om fjendtlige mål. Det er vi tilfredse med, siger Flemming Lentfer. Koalitionen har ikke efterfølgende modtaget henvendelser om civile tab fra lokalbefolkningen i det område, hvor angrebet skete. Fakta om angrebet Selve angrebet blev indledt efter ønske fra koalitionens hovedkvarter og blev godkendt af militære repræsentanter for den irakiske regering samt det danske Red Card Holder-team, inden det blev sat i gang. Under angrebet rammes tre af de fire personer samt køretøjet. Den fjerde person havde kort forinden forladt området. Under angrebet blev der anvendt to bomber af typen GBU12. Læs mere om de processer der ligger til grund, når danske fly går på vingerne i Irak, ved at klikke her.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

According to Coalition daily logs there were three potential incidents at locations near Irbil. On August 29th-30th 2015 it was reported that “Near Kisik, one airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position and an ISIL heavy machine gun.“

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    0–4
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (10) [ collapse]