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

CS101

Incident date

July 13, 2015

Location

الرقة‎, Ar Raqqah, Syria

Geolocation

35.9505639, 39.0094148 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

The Damascus Centre for Human Rights Studies website named Ala’a Abou Abdallah from Deir Ba’alba, Homs as having been killed by Coalition bombing in Raqqa on July 13th.

The Syrian Human Rights Committee also named Ala’a as having been killed.

No additional public details could be found relating to this event.

In its civilian casualty report for October 2019 – published on December 5th of that year, the Coalition assessed this event as ‘not credible, asserting: “July 13, 2015, in Raqqah, Syria, via Airwars report. The allegation provided insufficient detail to identify a specific date, time, or location to search for corroborating Coalition action. 2800/CS101 37SEV008785”.

Officials published a location for the event to within 100 metres of where they had remotely assessed the incident.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Ala’a Abou Abdallah Adult male Originally from Deir Ba’alba, Homs killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS

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
    in Raqqah, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SEV008785
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Dec 5, 2019
  • July 13, 2015, in Raqqah, Syria, via Airwars report. The allegation provided insufficient detail to identify a specific date, time, or location to search for corroborating Coalition action. 2800/CS101 37SEV008785

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

The Coalition reported one strike at Raqaa for July 12th-13th 2015: “Near Ar Raqqah, one airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.”

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS

Incident Code

CS100

Incident date

July 12, 2015

Location

مزرعة الأسدية, Al Assadiyah near Ar Raqqah, Ar Raqqah, Syria

Geolocation

35.966983, 38.703728 Note: The accuracy of this location is to level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

A boy named as Amjad Mohammed was reportedly killed along with eleven alleged Daesh militants, in a fresh coalition airstrike on the outskirts of Ar Raqaa.

According to SOHR, the child may have belonged to ‘Cubs of the Caliphate’ – an Islamic State indoctrination unit for young children in the city. One report claimed he died as a result of “airstrikes carried out by coalition warplanes on the farms of al-Asadiyyeh area, to the north of Raqqah city.” Another report said he was begging near a bridge in the north of the city when it was struck by the coalition.

Separately, an adult male non-combatant named as Sari Ibrahim Al A’akar also reportedly died as the result of a coalition strike on Mankalan bridge.

In an unusual move, the coalition reported that while both its own aircraft and those of the Assad regime had bombed Raqaa on July 11th-12th, “The nearest Coalition airstrike to Ar Raqqa city-center was 6.75 km away and targeted four bridges.”

Islamic State later published a propaganda video in which it said one adult male non-combatant had died in the US airstrikes. The organisation said that all bridges into the city had been destroyed, forcing locals to use side roads to get in and out.

In July 2017 the Coalition said it had classed the event as non credible on grounds of available evidence of civilian harm: “July 12, 2015, near Raqqah, Syria, 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.”

Given reports from the time, Airwars contionues to assess this event as likely – though is seeking additional claridication from the Coalition.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (1 child1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Media
from 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
  • Stated location
    near Raqqah, Syria
    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

For July 11th-12th 2015 CJTF-OIR additionally notes that: “Near Ar Raqqah, six airstrikes struck five ISIL staging areas and an ISIL personnel carrier destroying an ISIL t-wall and two ISIL excavators.” An additional note pointed out that: “Separately, Syrian aircraft conducted airstrikes within Ar Raqqah near the timeframe of Coalition forces. These Syrian airstrikes were not coordinated with the Coalition. The nearest Coalition airstrike to Ar Raqqa city-center was 6.75 km away and targeted four bridges.”

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (1 child1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS097

Incident date

July 11, 2015

Location

الرقة‎, Ar Raqqah, Syria

Geolocation

35.90566, 39.17953 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Within 100m (via Coalition) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Within 100m (via Coalition)

Airwars assessment

A young civilian male named as Issa Al Hmeidan was reportedly killed along with an Islamic State militant in a confirmed US airstrike near Ar Raqaa. According to a number of sources, aircraft targeted a sugar factory which was used as a base by the militants.

In January 2016, CENTCOM admitted civilian casualties had been inflicted in the attack: “During counter-ISIL strikes it was assessed one civilian was killed. A post-strike review revealed a secondary explosion from a vehicle crossing a bridge nearby the intended target; this explosion resulted in one civilian likely killed.”

CENTCOM’s ommission of the deceased mans’ biographical details indicates that credible external sources had not played a major role in the casualty assessment.

In  July 2019, the Coalition provided Airwars with coordinates for this event to within an accuracy of a 100 metres box.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (12) [ collapse]

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

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
    Killed by secondary explosion(s)
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    1
  • Stated location
    near Raqqah, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SEV162735
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jan 22, 2016
  • On July 11, 2015, near Ar Raqqah, Syria, during counter-ISIL strikes it was assessed one civilian was killed. A post-strike review revealed a secondary explosion from a vehicle crossing a bridge nearby the intended target; this explosion resulted in one civilian likely killed.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

Near Ar Raqqah, three airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, an ISIL structure and destroyed an ISIL excavator.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (12) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS098

Incident date

July 11, 2015

Location

الرقة‎, Warakat Samra near Ar Raqqah, Ar Raqqah, Syria

Geolocation

35.9505639, 39.0094148 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

In the second of three Raqaa incidents for July 11th in which Coalition aircraft allegedly caused non-combatant deaths, a woman and two or three of her children died in an airstrike at the village of Warakat Samra according to reports. Her husband was severely injured in the attack, losing his leg.

Local activist Abu Ibrahim Raqqawi tweeted, for example, that “#Raqqa a women die with 3 of her children and her husband leg was cut Because Airstrikes by Coalition warplanes Yesterday #Syria #ISIS”.

According to the DCHRS, the woman and her two male children were from the village of Samra.

In its civilian casualty report for October 2019 – published on December 5th of that year, the Coalition assessed this event as ‘not credible, asserting: “July 11, 2015, in Raqqah, 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. 2799/CS098 37SEV008785”.

Officials published a location for the event to within 100 metres of where they had remotely assessed the incident.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3 – 4
  • (2–3 children1 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
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • RBSS activist Abu Ibrahim al Raqqawi reports the death of a woman with three of her children in an alleged coalition strike. Also reporting that her husband lost his leg. 11th July 2015

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.
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    in Raqqah, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SEV008785
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Dec 5, 2019
  • July 11, 2015, in Raqqah, 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. 2799/CS098 37SEV008785

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

The coalition has confirmed numerous airstrikes in the immediate vicinity. For July 10th-11th 2015 it notes: “Near Ar Raqqah, three airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, an ISIL structure and destroyed an ISIL excavator.”

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3 – 4
  • (2–3 children1 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
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS099

Incident date

July 11, 2015

Location

الرقة‎, Ar Raqqah, Syria

Geolocation

35.9505639, 39.0094148 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

In the last of three reported Raqaa incidents for July 11th, a civilian firefighting team in the city reportedly died in a coalition airstrike.

According to Al Araby, the Coalition “launched eight raids targeting Daesh sites on the outskirts of Raqqa city. These hit the areas of Al Hamrat, Al Sina’a [Industry] and the Faculty of Science near the shrine of Aweys Al Qarni, killing an entire fire crew team and igniting fires at the target locations.”

Raqqa is Being Slaughtered published several images of fires burning from raids on the city  that night.

In its civilian casualty report for October 2019 – published on December 5th of that year, the Coalition assessed this event as ‘not credible, asserting: “ July 11, 2015, in Raqqah, 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. 2802/CS099 37SEV008785”.

Officials published a location for the event to within 100 metres of where they had remotely assessed the incident.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4
  • (4 men)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (4) [ collapse]

  • One of several fires caused by alleged coalition airstrikes on Ar Raqaa on July 11 2015 (via Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently)
  • One of several fires caused by alleged coalition airstrikes on Ar Raqaa on July 11 2015 (via Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently)
  • One of several fires caused by alleged coalition airstrikes on Ar Raqaa on July 11 2015 (via Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently)
  • One of several fires caused by alleged coalition airstrikes on Ar Raqaa on July 11 2015 (via Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently)

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
    in Raqqa, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SEV008785
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • July 11, 2015, in Raqqah, 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. 2802/CS099 37SEV008785

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

The coalition has confirmed numerous airstrikes in the immediate vicinity. For July 10th-11th 2015 it notes: “Near Ar Raqqah, three airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, an ISIL structure and destroyed an ISIL excavator.”

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4
  • (4 men)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS095

Incident date

July 9, 2015

Location

الحسكة, Al-Hasakah, Syria

Geolocation

36.33444, 40.55722 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

The death of a 12 year old boy, Fares al-Khodour in an alleged Coalition airstrike on al Hassakah on July 9th led to an international outpouring of grief and condemnation of the ongoing civil war in Syria – and of the Coalition’s own involvement.

Fares had fled as a refugee with his family to Beirut, Lebanon where he became a flower seller in busy Hamra Street. Popular with Beirutis for his friendly manner and smart dress, Fares soon earned the nickname among some as Hamra’s Mascot, and he was often photographed smiling with his customers. Many such pictures were published on social media following his death, with at least one candlelit vigil held in Beirut in his memory. According to al Araby, “Once asked about what he wants to be when he grows up, Fares answered: “I want to be a lawyer to defend kids who work and don’t go to school.

Fares had only reportedly returned to his home town in Syria a few days before his death, in order to visit family members. Few details of the alleged strike itself have emerged, with Turkish agency Anatolia News apparently the first to report the death of Fares two days after the event. Heavy coalition airstrikes have been confirmed on al Hassakah on the day in question.

Controversially al Hadath claimed that a young suicide bomber with the nom de guerre of Abu Khattab Al Ansari, who had carried out a suicide attack on Kurdish positions in Raqqa on July 7th, was in fact Fares. The story was roundly condemned as a fake, including by Fares’ surviving brother Youssef.

A family member later indicated that Fares died along with up to six other villagers – including three or four children – when passing fuel trucks were targeted.

In mid 2017, US film maker Noel Paul (who had met Fares in Beirut) began collating evidence about the event. In July 2017, he was told by Coalition officials: “CJTF-OIR is aware of the incident and has completed an assessment, and based on the information available to our assessment team, they have assessed that there is insufficient evidence to find that civilians were harmed in this strike. However, if you are able to provide additional information, such as GPS coordinates for the strike, names and any additional information about the alleged victim we will re-open this report and take another look at it.”

Mr Paul was able to obtain near coordinates for the event from surviving family members – and to place the strike at the tiny village of Abyad, 36°20’04”N 40°33’26”E.

In its monthly civilian casualty report for October 2019 – published on December 5th of that year – the Coalition again assessed the event as ‘non credible’, noting that “July 9, 2015, in Abyad Village, 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. 2823/CS095 37SFA398222”.

Coalition officials also provided Airwars with a geolocation to within 100 metres of the area reviewed. This showed that they had assessed the event for Abyad.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Fares al-Khodour 12 years old male Named by VDC as Fares al Woroud [Fares of the Roses] killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 7
  • (1–5 children)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (11) [ collapse]

  • Pictures of popular flower seller Fares taken in Beirut (via Hamra Street Facebook page)
  • Child suicide bomber 'Abu Khattab Al Ansari', who one newspaper controversially claimed was Fares (via Al Hadath)
  • Image of the 12 year old Fares al-Khodour. [Via:VDC]
  • Image of the 12 year old Fares al-Khodour. [Via:VDC]
  • Image of the 12 year old Fares al-Khodour. [Via:VDC]
  • Image of local Beirutis celebrating Fares' birthday
  • Image of local Beirutis celebrating Fares' birthday
  • An image of 12 year old Fares
  • Image of Fares in Beirut
  • Tributes to the 12 year old rose seller who was adored by locals in Beirut.
  • tweet reporting that the child 'Abu Khattab al Ansari' carried out a suicide bombing operation agaiinst Kurdish fighters in Ras Al Ein in Raqqa, 7th July 2015 [Via: @24News]

Geolocation notes

Location of deaths is placed in a 1.5km radius of  36° 20.067′ N, 40° 33.433′ E based on conversations with surviving family members by Noel Paul.

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 airstrikes were confirmed for July 9th-10th 2015: “Near Al Hasakah, seven airstrikes struck an ISIL large tactical unit and six ISIL tactical units destroying four ISIL vehicles and six ISIL fighting positions.”

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 7
  • (1–5 children)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS094

Incident date

July 8, 2015

Location

كفردريان, Kafr Daryan, Idlib, Syria

Geolocation

36.19246, 36.7223 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Within 100m (via Coalition) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Within 100m (via Coalition)

Airwars assessment

A US night time airstrike on a vehicle carrying alleged al-Nusra Front personnel also killed two passing civilian motorcyclists. They were later identified by the Syrian Network for Human Rights as two cousins aged 25 and 30. Both worked in the local shoe industry.

In January 2016 CENTCOM confirmed that its airstrike had targeted “a vehicle carrying Khorasan Group Leader Muhsin al-Fadhli.” A US post-strike assessment had then concluded that “two civilians on a motorcycle were likely injured.” CENTCOM’s omission of the deceased mens’ details indicated that credible external sources were not playing a major role in US casualty assessments.

In July 2019, the Coalition provided Airwars with coordinates for the event, accurate to within a 100 metre box.

In December 2019, the Coalition declared that it was treating a second alleged civilian harm event in Raqqa on this date (CS093) as a duplicate claim.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (2)

  • Ahmad Mohamad al Tahini 25 years old male resident of Basikba town and worked in the shoe industry. Killed on his way to work. killed
  • Housni Mohammad Kheir al Tahini 30 years old male Ahmad's cousin. Also a resident of Basikba town and worked in the shoe industry. Killed on his way to work. killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 men)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS

Sources (11) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (3) [ collapse]

  • Video showing the aftermath of the alleged coalition raid targeting an al Nusra car. 8th July 2015 [via: Mohammad Mohammad youtube account]
  • An image of the car belonging to Al Nusra front which was allegedly targeted by a coalition raid on 8th July 2015. [Via: SN4HR]

Geolocation notes

Prior to the Coalition releasing the MGRS for this incident, Airwars had geolocated it to the nearest village at 36.1757897, 36.6662586

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 injuries conceded
    2
  • Stated location
    near Sarmada, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SBA952077
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Dec 5, 2019
  • Jan 22, 2016
  • On July 8, 2015, near Sarmada, Syria, during a strike against a vehicle carrying Khorasan Group Leader Muhsin al-Fadhli, it was assessed two civilians on a motorcycle were likely injured.

  • Duplicate Reports: The following reports were found to be duplicates of previously assessed Coalition actions. 1. July 8, 2015, in Raqqa, Syria, via Airwars report. The Coalition actions identified in this allegation are duplicates of those in allegation 57 (Credible with one civilian unintentionally wounded, published 22 January 2016). 2801/CS093 37SEV008785

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

The US has confirmed it carried out an attack on al Nusra on July 8th 2015: “Near Idlib, Syria, coalition military forces conducted one airstrike against a network of veteran al Qa’eda operatives, sometimes called the “Khorasan Group,” who are known to plot external attacks against the United States and our allies. The airstrike struck a tactical unit and destroyed a vehicle.”

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 men)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS

Sources (11) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS091

Incident date

July 7, 2015

Location

الرقة‎, Ar Raqqah, Syria

Geolocation

35.95538, 39.00776 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Within 100m (via Coalition) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Within 100m (via Coalition)

Airwars assessment

In a casualty incident later confirmed by the US, its aircraft targeted a vehicle in the vicinity of Al Shefa Hospital in Raqaa, wounding seven civilians in the process. No fatalities were initially reported, but the hospital was reportedly damaged.

In a Facebook posting marking the event, locals insisted that all of those injured were non-combatants although the US says its target was “ISIL fighters.”

The Syrian Network later reported that one man died of his injuries, named as Ezz al Deen al Nazzal, 27 years old. CENTCOM notes only that “a civilian was injured by a secondary explosion and flying debris from the initial strike,” suggesting that the US was relying only on aerial footage for its assessment.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    7
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (11) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Reported civilian casualty of July 7th strike on Raqaa featured in ISIL propaganda video (via Syrian Network archive)

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

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
    Killed by secondary explosion(s)
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    1
  • Stated location
    near Raqqah, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SEV007790
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jan 22, 2016
  • On July 7, 2015, near Ar Raqqah, Syria, during strikes against ISIL fighters, it was assessed that a civilian was injured by a secondary explosion and flying debris from the initial strike.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

The coalition has confirmed a strike for July 7th-8th 2015, noting: “Near Ar Raqqah, one airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.”

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    7
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (11) [ collapse]