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

CS076

Incident date

June 11, 2015

Location

سلوك, Suluk, Ar Raqqah, Syria

Geolocation

36.60534, 39.12188 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Within 100m (via Coalition) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Within 100m (via Coalition)

Airwars assessment

Up to nine civilians were killed by US aircraft at Slouk in Raqaa’s suburbs.

Al Hal quoted Abu Ibrahim Al Raquaou of the group Raqaa is Being Slaughtered Silently as saying that as part of an operation to clear Slouk of Daesh militants, Coalition planes had “targeted IS machinery near the Slouk Front and its operations killed several civilians, amongst them two women and several children in their homes in the town.” Others reported that the dead were all from one family.

The head of the family was later named as Yusuf Al Sayid, who according to RBSS died alongside his two wives and five children.

A single source also reported that another civilian male, was killed nearby in a strike at Junction Alkntra.

On January 15th 2016, CENTCOM conceded that US aircraft had killed at least three civilians during this strike: “On June 11, 2015, near Soluk, Syria, during strikes against an ISIL tactical unit, it is assessed that three unidentified civilians were killed.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (8)

  • Yusuf Al Sayid Adult male killed
  • Wife 1 of Yusuf Al Sayid Adult female killed
  • Wife 2 of Yusuf Al Sayid Adult female killed
  • Child 1 of Yusuf Al Sayid Child killed
  • Child 2 of Yusuf Al Sayid Child killed
  • Child 3 of Yusuf Al Sayid Child killed
  • Child 4 of Yusuf Al Sayid Child killed
  • Child 5 of Yusuf Al Sayid Child killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5 – 9
  • (3–5 children2 women2 men)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Residents of Tal Abyad region reportedly fleeing fighting between Islamic State and YPG Kurds June 13th 2015 (SNN)

Geolocation notes

Prior to the Coalition releasing the MGRS for this incident, Airwars had geolocated it to the nearest town at 36.59539, 39.128559

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
    No reason given
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    3
  • Stated location
    near Soluk, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SEA109511
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jan 15, 2016
  • On June 11, 2015, near Soluk, Syria, during strikes against an ISIL tactical unit, it is assessed that three unidentified civilians were killed.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

Heavy coalition was reported at Raqaa. For June 10th-11th 2015 CJTF-OIR noted: “Near Ar Raqqah, seven airstrikes struck six ISIL tactical units, destroying seven ISIL improvised rocket assisted munitions, two ISIL fighting positions, two ISIL resupply points, two ISIL VBIEDs, an ISIL vehicle and an ISIL VBIED warehouse.”

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5 – 9
  • (3–5 children2 women2 men)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS074

Incident date

June 7, 2015

Location

دالي حسن, Dali Hasan, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.56301, 38.369558 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (via Airwars) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Exact location (via Airwars)

Airwars assessment

The Syrian Network for Human Rights posted a video which it said showed “the destruction caused by an international Coalition air strike on a house in Dali Hasan killing seven civilians from one family, including 5 children and a woman.”

In February 2019, the Coalition accepted responsibility for the event, noting: “Coalition aircraft engaged ISIS fighters firing on friendly forces from a moving vehicle. Coalition aircraft executed a strike on the vehicle in self-defense of the friendly forces. Regrettably, it is more likely than not that seven civilians were unintentionally killed due to the proximity to the blast.”

The Syrian Observatory also attributed the event to the Coalition, with the event occuring at 4am. Villagers were afraid to approach the house for four hours for fear of more strikes, it was later reoprted by eyewitnesses.

Those killed were a man and his wife along with their six children, named by Halab News as Tahani (aged 12), Fatima (11), Aboud (9), Mohammad (aged 5), Ziad aged two and an unnamed infant.

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

The incident occured at approximately 4:00 am local time.

The victims were named as:

Family members (8)

  • Eisa al-Hasan al-Shareef Adult male killed
  • Lamia Abo Dahham Adult female Eisa's wife killed
  • Tahani 12 years old female killed
  • Fatima 11 years old female killed
  • Aboud 9 years old male killed
  • Mohammad 5 years old male killed
  • Ziad 2 years old male killed
  • Infant Age unknown child of Eisa and Lamia killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    8
  • (6 children1 woman1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (16) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • Footage showing the aftermath of the alleged coalition strike on Dali Hasan in Aleppo, June 7th 2015. [Via: SN4HR]
  • The image of the house targeted in Dali Hasan village. [Via: IS-affiliated Al'A'amaq news agency]

Geolocation notes (3) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention the village of Dali Hasan (دالي حسن) near Sareen (صرين), Aleppo Governorate. Airwars was unable to locate Dali Hasan (دالي حسن), but geolocated images of the incident to the exact location of the destroyed building: 36.56301, 38.369558, in the village of Ra’s al Ayn al Qibli (رأس العين القبلي)

  • Village of Ra's al Ayn al Qibli (رأس العين القبلي) with the building marked in red

    Imagery:
    © 2018 Google

  • Composite of stills taken from video, allegedly of the incident

    Imagery:
    © 2018 Syrian Network for Human Rights

  • Satellite imagery showing structural damage (left: 4 February, 2014; right: 17 May 2016)

    Imagery:
    © 2018 Google

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
    Other
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    7
  • Stated location
    near Dali Hasan, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SDA436466
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Feb 28, 2019
  • June 7, 2015, near Dali Hasan, Syria, via Airwars report. Coalition aircraft engaged ISIS fighters firing on friendly forces from a moving vehicle. Coalition aircraft executed a strike on the vehicle in self-defense of the friendly forces. Regrettably, it is more likely than not that seven civilians were unintentionally killed due to the proximity to the blast.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

The coalition reported a single strike in the vicinity of Aleppo for June 6th-7th 2015: “Near Aleppo, one airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying an ISIL ant-aircraft artillery piece and an ISIL fighting position.“

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    8
  • (6 children1 woman1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (16) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI070

Incident date

June 3, 2015

Location

الحويجة, Hawijah, industrial district, Kirkuk, Iraq

Geolocation

35.323474, 43.78453 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

A Coalition airstrike on an Islamic State depot leveled a significant number of buildings, and at least 70 civilians and a large number of militants were reportedly killed. A large supply of TNT explosive detonated after the IED-making facility was struck. Bas News described the attack as one of the worst mass casualty incidents in Iraq since the 2003 invasion.

Following the publication of a major investigation by Dutch media NOS and NRC in October 2019, which claimed that the Netherlands had been responsible for the incident, the Dutch Ministry of Defence finally took public responsibility for the airstrike on November 4th, 2019.

The head of Kirkuk’s Arab Council, Mohammed Khalil al-Jubouri, at the time placed the number of dead and injured civilians at 150. The Iraqi Revolution site claimed that 70 civilians had died, with more than 100 injured. Rudaw also reported 70 killed, describing 26 children and 22 women among the dead.

Local sheikh Abdallah al-Jubouri told Al-Araby news agency at the time that “several international coalition air strikes hit the district. The losses were made worse by there being no ambulances or other means to rescue victims.” He added that “This is the single worse airstrike that has targeted civilians in al-Hawija; eight months ago we were getting hit by Iraqi army warplanes but that has stopped. The international coalition has committed a civilian massacre today and Islamic State and its weapons are the reason.“

Eyewitness Hassan Mahmoud al-Jubbouri told Reuters that the area looked as if it had been hit by a nuclear bomb, and described pulling the bodies of a family of six from the rubble. Only one victim has so far been named – Kherallah Ahmed Al Saleh Al Thawabi – described as the owner of a car maintenance shop in the district.

Bizarrely, in the immediate wake of the strike a Coalition official told Reuters: “Since we started air strikes in August last year in Iraq, I have difficulty thinking of any civilian casualties in Iraq, and for thousands of sorties that is good. One is clearly too many.“

Among as many as 100 militants also reported killed was Islamic State’s local police chief, named as Jassim Shukur. “The [coalition] warplanes also bombarded two other sub-districts around Hawija and many other ISIS militants who were with the police chief were killed by the bombardment,” Iraqi official Sarhad Qadir told Rudaw.

In a later January 2016 report, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) noted that US officials had confirmed carrying out the Hawijah attack though went on to state: “Pictures and videos have emerged in media and online showing an area purporting to be the blast site that has been almost completely flattened. UNAMI/OHCHR was not able to verify the authenticity of the photos or the videos, nor the number of civilian casualties.”

In October 2019, Dutch media NOS and NRC published a major investigation in which they alleged that Dutch F-16s had carried out the attack. This also revealed that chief Coalition spokesman Colonel Ryan had confirmed to reporters in December 2018 that at least 70 civilians had in fact died – though this had not been officially reported out by the CJTF civilian casualty cell. This statement was later withdrawn by the Coalition on December 5th 2019, asserting that they were no longer able to determine the exact amount of civilian casualties in the incident.

However, past and present officials did confirm to NRC that 70 civilian dead had beern privately counted for Hawijah by the Coalition for at least 18 months – suggesting that the Dutch government may have pressured the Coalition to withdraw its initial estimate.

On November 4th 2019, the Dutch Ministry of Defence took public responsibility for the airstrike. This stirred public and parliamentary debate in the Netherlands on transparency and accountability regarding civilian casualties as a result of Dutch airstrikes. As a result, Dutch Minister of Defence Ank Bijleveld promised significant transparency improvements and said she was looking into possibilities for voluntary compensation for victims.

On November 28th 2019, Dutch newspaper NRC wrote that according to locals, the estimate of 70 civilian deaths was an absolute minimum number. Civilians stated that “almost everyone in Hawijah lost neighbours or family members [in the incident]”.

NRC stated that the Dutch Socialist Party, after seeking contact with the Iraqi Communist Party (ICP), had local Mohammad ‘Abu Louis’ Shadid Hamad Dawoud collect the names of victims. With volunteers, Abu Louis went from house to house in the affected areas to find eyewitnesses of the event in 2015. According to Abu Louis, there were “62 people killed, including 36 children and 13 women, 822 wounded, 70 destroyed houses, 375 cars total loss”. 405 of the injured were registered in the hospital. The other 417 did not have any permanent injuries.

Abu Louis’ own nephew Homan (15 years old) was killed after debris hit him in the stomach.

On December 3rd, 2019, the Dutch parliament passed a motion which called on the government “to make every effort, where possible in cooperation with NGOs, UN and local authorities, to conduct further investigations on civilian victims as a result of Dutch actions in Hawija”.

To date, both the Coalition and CENTCOM have refused to publish a detailed US military investigation into the incident.

The incident occured after midnight.

  • Kherallah Ahmed Al Saleh Al Thawabi Adult male Owner of the car maintenance shop in the area killed
  • Sa’diya Ramadan Jadou 19 years old female wife of Ali Assem Ahmad, died after being hit in the neck by glass of a window that exploded in the incident killed
  • Abdulmalek Qader 5 years old male son of Alaa Qader, blinded by one eye injured
  • Wife of Alaa Qader Adult female first name unknown, injury in back injured
  • Homan 15 years old male nephew of Mohammad ‘Abu Louis’ Shadid Hamad Dawoud, hit in the stomach by debris killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    70
  • (26 children22 women1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    80–100
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    80–1000

Sources (53) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (9) [ collapse]

  • Kherallah Ahmed Al Saleh Al Thawabi (via deleted Facebook page)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    An infant allegedly killed in the attack (via Rudaw)
  • The aftermath of the alleged strike in Hawijah (via Iraqi Revolution)
  • Industrial area of Hawijah, before (above) and after (below) the attack (via NOS).
  • Photo of destruction of Hawijah's industrial area. It is unclear when this photo was taken (via NOS).
  • Footage of Hawijah after the airstrike on June 3th, 2015, published as propaganda by the Islamic State shortly after the incident (via VRT).
  • A photo that Alaa Qader took of his house, 1 to 1,5 kilometers away from the site of the incident, after a Dutch airstrike on an ISIS weapon facility in Hawijah, Kirkuk, on June 2nd-3rd 2015 (via NOS).
  • A photo that Alaa Qader took of his house, 1 to 1,5 kilometers away from the site of the incident, after a Dutch airstrike on an ISIS weapon facility in Hawijah, Kirkuk, on June 2nd-3rd 2015 (via NOS).
  • A photo that Alaa Qader took of his house, 1 to 1,5 kilometers away from the site of the incident, after a Dutch airstrike on an ISIS weapon facility in Hawijah, Kirkuk, on June 2nd-3rd 2015 (via NOS).

Geolocation notes (6) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention the city of Al Hawija (الحويجة), Kirkuk province, specifically the “city centre” area and the “industrial district area Bahoijh” (الحي الصناعي بالحويجة). The majority of reports monitored by Airwars state that the incident occurred at night, most likely closely after midnight on Wednesday, June 3rd. There were conflicting reports – on Thursday, June 4th 2015, bas news stated that the incident occurred on “Wednesday evening” (June 3rd, 2015). On June 5th, 2015, alquds quoted a member of the Security Committee in the Kirkuk provincial council, Mohammed Jubouri, as saying a ”French aircraft bombed late on Thursday, a bomb manufacturing plant belonging to the ‘State’ in the district of Hawija.” Reuters reported “in a statement on Wednesday, the Coalition said an airstrike targeted a ‘vehicle-borne improvised explosive device facility’ in Hawija between 8 am on June 2 and 8 am the following day”

  • Industrial district in the city of Al Hawija (الحويجة)

    Imagery:
    © 2018 Google

  • Landsat 8 image of Hawija showing blast area and large-scale destruction Landsat 8 image of Hawija showing blast area and large-scale destruction

    Date taken:
    June 5, 2015

    Resolution:
    30 m

    Imagery:
    © 2018 USGS

  • Stills from an Al Jazeera report (Daesh video). Published on Jun. 11th, 2015 (one week after the incident).

    Date taken:
    June 11, 2015

    Imagery:
    © 2018 Al Jazeera

  • Stills from an Al Jazeera report (Daesh video). Published on Jun. 11th, 2015 (one week after the incident).

    Date taken:
    June 11, 2015

    Imagery:
    © 2018 Al Jazeera

  • Stills from an Al Jazeera report (Daesh video). Published on Jun. 11th, 2015 (one week after the incident).

    Date taken:
    June 11, 2018

    Imagery:
    © 2018 Al Jazeera

  • Stills from an Al Jazeera report (Daesh video). Published on Jun. 11th, 2015 (one week after the incident).

    Date taken:
    November 6, 2015

    Imagery:
    © 2018 Al Jazeera

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
    Killed by secondary explosion(s)
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    0–70
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    Hawijah, Iraq
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    38SLE894093
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

Coalition
  • Dec 11, 2018
  • Via email from CJTFOIR spokesman to NRC: Q. Can someone confirm or deny the CIVCAS from this particular incident from 2015? A. Yes. See the attached Strike Releases. Q. Can you confirm that the Coalition carried out air strikes in the night of 2-3 June 2015 on an alleged IED-production facility in Hawija, Kirkuk, Iraq? A. Yes. See above. 5 June 2015, in a press briefing, LtGen Hesterman said "after a very disciplined targeting process, we dropped a fairly small weapon on a known IED building in an industrial area. The secondary explosion, which was caused from a massive amount of Daesh high explosives, was very large, and it destroyed much of that industrial area.... "Let's be clear. What did the damage was the huge amount of high explosives that Daesh intended to turn into murderous weapons to kill Iraqi forces and innocent civilians. If there're unintended injuries, that responsibility rests squarely on Daesh." https://dod.defense.gov/News/Transcripts/Transcript-View/Article/607056/ Q. Can you confirm that the above mentioned airstrike has led to civilian casualties? A. Yes. Q. What is the number of civilian casualties in the incident, as assessed or estimated by the Coalition? A. The strike to the VBIED factory caused secondary explosions that unfortunately killed 70 civilians despite the precautions the Coalition took to mitigate civilian casualties. Q. What is the outcome of the formal inquiry the Coalition has launched into this incident? A. The investigation found that the strike was in accordance with the Law of Armed Conflict and the applicable Rules of Engagement.

Coalition
  • Dec 5, 2019
  • June 2, 2015, in Hawijah, Iraq, via media report. Coalition aircraft conducted an airstrike against a Daesh facility. Regrettably an unknown number of civilians were unintentionally killed as a result of the strike. Case # 49 Location: 38SLE894093 CJTF-OIR cannot confirm the number of casualties through our assessment process.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    70
  • (26 children22 women1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    80–100
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    80–1000

Sources (53) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS071

Incident date

May 26, 2015

Location

الرقة‎, Ar Raqqah, Syria

Geolocation

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

Geolocation accuracy

Within 100m (via Coalition)

Airwars assessment

During a series of Coalition airstrikes against Islamic State in the vicinity of Ar Raqqah, a checkpoint was bombed at around 2pm. According to reports, a minibus carrying female agricultural workers was caught in the blast, killing between 6 and 10 women and reportedly injuring at least four. All of the female victims were reported to come from the nearby village of Hunaida. Two men also reportedly died, described both as militants and as civilians..

As one news site noted, “At the moment it’s the harvest season in the countryside of Raqqah, and dozens of women would be working the land at this period. They are often transported in cars that carry dozens at a time.”

Islamic State published an interview with a man said to be a medic, who said: “At 14:00 in the afternoon today, the crusader coalition carried out a raid on civilians which led to the deaths and injury of many people. The wounded were transported to the General Hospital in the city of Ar Raqqah, where they were treated. Some had light injuries and others were dead. We tell the crusader coalition didn’t you say you were here to help the weak? And here you are bombing civilians. We here in the hospitals are receiving victims, all of them Muslim Arabs.”

On July 7th, 2017 the Coalition admitted responsibility for the incident, reporting: “May 26, 2015, near Raqqah, Syria, via Airwars report: During a strike on an ISIS staging area, it was assessed that six civilians were unintentionally killed and two were injured after their vehicles entered the target area after the munition was released.”

The Coalition provided Airwars with the location of this event, accurate to within a 100 metre box.

The incident occured at 2:00 pm local time.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    6 – 12
  • (6–10 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    4–10
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • Image published by ISIL reportedly showing vehicle destroyed in 'coalition airstrike', May 26 2015

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
    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
    6
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    2
  • 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
  • May 26, 2015, near Raqqah, Syria, via Airwars report: During a strike on an ISIS staging area, it was assessed that six civilians were unintentionally killed and two were injured after their vehicles entered the target area after the munition was released.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

The coalition has confirmed airstrikes in the vicinity for May 26th-27th 2015, noting: “Near Ar Raqqah, two airstrikes struck an ISIL training camp and an ISIL staging area.”

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    6 – 12
  • (6–10 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    4–10
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS072

Incident date

May 26, 2015

Location

رأس العين, Road between Al I'dwania and Raja’an, Al-Hasakah, Syria

Geolocation

36.0029376, 40.3580189 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

A number of sources reported that a “civilian car” was struck “on the road between Al I’dwania and Raja’an,” near Al Hassakah, killing a family of four. Those killed were described as a man, his wife, mother and daughter – all from the village of Raja A’an in Ras al-Ain.

 

The incident occured around midday.

The victims were named as:

Family members (4)

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4
  • (1 child2 women1 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 (5) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention “the road between Al Idwania (العدوانية) and Raja’an,” (طريق العدوانية – رجعان), near Al Hassakah. The road itself is not marked on maps, but the coordinates for Raja’an (رجعان) are: 36.0029376, 40.3580189. NOTE: a possible location for Al Idwania (العدوانية) could be: 36.7003565, 39.6532631. However, this is near the Syrian/Turkish border, 100 km away and therefore unlikely to be correct. Sirajpress reported that the strike occurred in the “afternoon.” However, the incident was first reported at 13:50, May 26th, 2015 local time, on the Hassakah Youth Union Facebook page, which suggests that the incident occurred early afternoon, or in fact in the morning

  • The village of Raja'an (رجعان)

    Imagery:
    © 2018 Google

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected 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
    No Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    near Ras al-Ain, al-Hassakah, Syria
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jul 26, 2018
  • After a review of available information it was assessed that no Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area that correspond to the report of civilian casualties

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

The coalition has confirmed airstrikes in the vicinity, for May 26th-27th 2015, including one which targeted a vehicle: “Near Al Hasakah, four airstrikes struck four ISIL tactical units, destroying an ISIL fighting position and an ISIL vehicle.“

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4
  • (1 child2 women1 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 (5) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS070

Incident date

May 24, 2015

Location

أبو شاخات, Abu Sheikhat, Al-Hasakah, Syria

Geolocation

36.6486405, 39.7386003 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

A Kurdish ground offensive backed by Coalition strikes reportedly killed six civilians in Abu Sheikhat and Tal Nass villages, to the west of Ras al-Ain.

Among those reported killed at Abu Sheikhat were a young female child and three non combatant men.

At nearby Tal Nass village, Adalah also alleged that two children were killed and one wounded from the Al Mir’i family, after an airstrike targeted an ISIL bulldozer.

Zaman reported that a number of civilians had been caught in Coalition strikes after failing to flee the village, for fear that surrounding areas remained occupied by ISIL.

In a rare reference to potential civilian casualties in an incident, the Coalition blamed at least some civcas on the destruction of an ISIL vehicle-borne IED, noting that “Kurdish fighters reported an ISIL VBIED detonation which resulted in an undetermined number of civilians injured in the area.”

Yet two years later, the Coalition claimed there was insufficient evidence of civilian harm: “May 24, 2015, near Abu Sheikhat, 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.”

Airwars has requested additional information form the Coalition, and continues to assess this event as likely.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    6
  • (3 children3 men)
  • 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

Sources (4) [ collapse]

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected 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
    a:1:{i:0;s:21:"insufficient_evidence";}
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    near Abu Sheikhat, 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 May 23rd-24th 2015, the Coalition noted that “Near Al Hasakah, nine airstrikes struck two large and three small ISIL tactical units, destroying eight ISIL fighting positions, four ISIL vehicles, an ISIL tank and an ISIL armored vehicle.”

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    6
  • (3 children3 men)
  • 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

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI068

Incident date

May 21, 2015

Location

الموصل‎, Mosul, near Bahauddin mosque, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.360033, 43.098733 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (via Airwars) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Exact location (via Airwars)

Airwars assessment

Summary: A devastating airstrike on the Mosul neighbourhood of Rifai reportedly killed numerous non-combatants and injured up to 150 people. Among those killed in the event was Ayman al Hayali (who ran a clothing shop) and his family, including his wife and young son.

Other sources claimed that 5 women and at least 3 children were among the dead, including a girl named Habiba aged four.

According to most media, the deaths and injuries occurred after a house used by Islamic State to store ammunition was hit by the coalition, leading to major secondary explosions in the vicinity of the Bahauddin mosque.

Mosul TV cited a local eyewitness as saying that “seven houses and five shops were completely destroyed” in the attack, and that scuffles broke out between survivors and militants over ISIL’s policy of storing munitions in a civilian neighbourhood. Local people also urged the coalition to be far more careful in its targeting.

In a later report issued January 2016 the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) noted: “On 22-23 May, UNAMI/OHCHR received a report that airstrikes hit al-Najjar, al-Rifai and Sahaa areas in western Mosul in Ninewa, allegedly killing 30 civilians and wounding 62 others, including women and children. UNAMI/OHCHR was not able to verify this report.”

 

The incident occured around dusk.

  • Ayman al Hayali Adult male killed
  • Habiba 4 years old female killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    12 – 50
  • (2–3 children1–5 women1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    30–150
  • 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 (19) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (21) [ collapse]

  • Habiba, a 4 year old 'killed in a coalition strike' at Mosul, May 21 2015 (via Hunaal Hadbaa)
  • Images of the aftermath of the alleged incident
  • Ayman al Hayali (via Iraqi Revolution)
  • A person allegedly injured in the attack (via Hunaal Hadbaa)
  • A person allegedly injured in the attack (via Hunaal Hadbaa)
  • A person allegedly injured in the attack (via Hunaal Hadbaa)
  • A person allegedly injured in the attack (via Hunaal Hadbaa)
  • A child named Rifai allegedly killed in the strike (via Mosul Ateka)
  • A child allegedly injured in the attack (via Hunaal Hadbaa)
  • Another image of the aftermath (via Rudaw)
  • Another image of the aftermath (via Rudaw)
  • Another image of the after aftermath (via Rudaw)
  • Another image of the aftermath (via Rudaw)
  • Another image of the aftermath (via Rudaw)
  • Another image of the after aftermath (via Rudaw)
  • Another image of the aftermath (via Rudaw)
  • Another image of the after aftermath (via Rudaw)
  • Another image of the aftermath (via Rudaw)
  • Another image of the aftermath (via Rudaw)
  • Another image of the aftermath (via Rudaw)
  • Another image of the aftermath (via Rudaw)

Geolocation notes (2) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention Rifai neighborhood (حي جلاقة) and that civilians were harmed in proximity to “Bahauddin mosque”, in the adjacent ar-Rabi/al-Najjar (حي النجار) neighbourhood. The location for the affected area (75 m radius from point) based on geolocation of images: 36.360033, 43.098733

  • Overview of landmarks geolocated from photographs.

    Imagery:
    © 2018 Bing

  • Najjar (النجار) and Rifai (جلاقة) neighbourhoods in Mosul and the Bahauddin mosque (بهاء الدين)

    Imagery:
    © 2018 Google

US-led Coalition Assessment:

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

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jul 26, 2018
  • After a review of available information it was assessed that no Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area that correspond to the report of civilian casualties

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

The coalition has described destroying “an ISIL cache” in the vicinity of Mosul on May 21st 2015: “Near Mosul, four airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying two ISIL tunnel systems, an ISIL motorcycle, an ISIL vehicle and an ISIL cache.”

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    12 – 50
  • (2–3 children1–5 women1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    30–150
  • 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 (19) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS069

Incident date

May 20, 2015

Location

التوامة, Tawama, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.19327, 36.80928 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

According to Al Jazeera and others, a Coalition strike on the al Nusra Front at al Tawama destroyed a number of civilian buildings, killing as many as seven inhabitants. Fifteen alleged militants – most described as ‘Turks’ – also died in the attack which reportedly struck two separate locations in the village. According to Sana Revolution, an additional four civilians also died at the second location.

However SN4HR reported only one civilian fatality, that of a 9-year old girl who was the niece of al-Nusra commander Bader al Dakas who later described her death: “My niece and my sister were staying with me in the house. Most of the time we’re not in the house, we’re on the battlefield so this is considered a civilian house. She was hit by shrapnel and was killed yesterday around six in the evening. She was on the roof when it happened and she was martyred. She was 9 years old.”

According to al Watan “Witnesses from the village reported that a plane believed to be an F-16, flew over head for more than a quarter of an hour, before carrying out two consecutive raids on Al-Nusra Front’s base.”

On May 22, 2015, only two days after the alleged incident, a Coalition spokesperson confirmed to Airwars that it had “conducted airstrikes against terrorist compounds near the village of Al Tawama, Syria, May 20.” However, they declined to say whether any specific investigation into alleged civilian casualties was underway. On May 24, 2016 the Coalition again confirmed the Tawama strike in a public statement and added, “there were no observed women, children or non-combatants in the compounds at the time“. To date, Airwars has seen no record of an investigation either by the Coalition or CENTCOM. We remain unclear as to why.

The incident occured at approximately 6:00 pm local time.

  • niece of al-Nusra commander Bader al Dakas Child female killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 11
  • (1 child)
  • 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 (4) [ collapse]

  • Scene of a May 20 alleged airstrike which reportedly killed 7 civilians at , Syria (SNN)
  • Scene of a May 20 alleged airstrike which reportedly killed 7 civilians at , Syria (SNN)
  • Scene of a May 20 alleged airstrike which reportedly killed 7 civilians at , Syria (SNN)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Badr al Nakas' niece, the only named victim of a Coalition strike on May 20th (via SN4HR)
    Badr al Nakas' niece, the only named victim of a Coalition strike on May 20th (via SN4HR)

Geolocation notes (6) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention the village of Tawama (التوامة), of which the coordinates of its midpoint are: 36.19327, 36.80928. Satellite imagery from April 2016, taken 10 months after the incident, shows visible structural damage in the area, in comparison to satellite imagery taken prior to the incident. In addition, using Google Earth Terrain ground view, Airwars was able to geolocate images provided by media, further verifying the location of the incident.

  • The village of Tawama (التوامة), showing visible structural damage (left: 26 August, 2014; right: 29 April, 2016)

    Imagery:
    © 2018 Google

  • East of the village of Tawama (التوامة), showing visible structural damage (left: 26 August, 2014; right: 29 April, 2016)

    Imagery:
    © 2018 Google

  • West of the village of Tawama (التوامة), showing visible structural damage (left: 26 August, 2014; right: 29 April, 2016)

    Imagery:
    © 2018 Google

  • Google Earth ground view matches the image (camera facing South West, late afternoon to early evening)

    Imagery:
    © 2018 Google

  • Google Earth ground view matches the image (camera facing South West, late afternoon to early evening)

    Imagery:
    © 2018 Google

  • Geolocation based on the matching Google Earth ground view

    Imagery:
    © 2018 Google

US-led Coalition Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

Although daily reports only referred to a strike “near Aleppo” the coalition has since told Airwars that it did conduct a strike at the specific location: “We can confirm the coalition conducted airstrikes against terrorist compounds near the village of Al Tawama, Syria, May 20.” [email to Airwars, May 22 2015.]

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 11
  • (1 child)
  • 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]