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
Belligerent Assessment

Incident Code

CI070

Incident date

June 3, 2015

Location

الحويجة, Hawijah, industrial district, Kirkuk, Iraq

Geolocation

35.3208131, 43.7832295 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 Coalition airstrike on an Islamic State depot levelled 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 airstrikes 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 airstrikes 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 deaths had been 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 a 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”.

In February 2020, the Dutch Ministry of Defence released previously classified documents about the airstrike, including Defensie’s own investigation after several FOIA requests by both Airwars and Dutch media. The documents revealed that the Dutch red cardholder, the military official with a potential veto over airstrikes, was aware before the strike that the risk to civilians could be created than that the Collateral Damage Estimate (CDE) indicated.

Related documents to the case by the Public’s Prosecutors office (OM) were also released, revealing that the OM’s investigation into Hawijah only started nine months after the event and that it was not until 15 months later that the pilots were heard for the first time.

In March 2020, Airwars reported, based on information provided by a senior (non-Dutch) military official, that at least one other Coalition country had refused to conduct the Hawijah strike, implying that the potential risk to civilians was expected to be too high.

A month later, the US government released its investigation into the airstrike after a judicial procedure following an unanswered FOIA request by NRC and NOS. The documents revealed that US officials were aware that the 2015 Dutch airstrike on Hawijah posed a threat to civilians. Four CIA informants had warned the Coalition about civilians living near the ISIS IED factory, as reported by NOS. Furthermore, the Coalition amended its targeting development process. In the future, the Coalition would have to do further in-depth investigation into possible secondary explosions in densely populated areas.

On April 29th, 2020, human rights lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld filed a claim in name of 47 Iraqi’s with the Dutch Ministry of Defence. Some of her clients were severely injured in the airstrike and/or suffered material losses, others lost their relatives. Among her clients are the relatives of Ahmad Shujaá Moeshin, who was working as a security guard in a car showroom on an industrial estate, a 100 metres from the ISIS IED factory, during the night of June 2nd to June 3rd. A few days after the airstrike, Moeshin died of his injuries.

On May 14th, 2020, a fourth Dutch parliamentary debate on the case took place. The Dutch Red Card Holder had not received information about the CIA warnings and the American doubts on the risks for civilians before giving a green light to the airstrike. During the debate, Minister of Defence Ank Bijleveld stated that there should be better arrangements on information sharing between the Coalition and the Netherlands.

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
  • Ahmad Shujaá Moeshin 24 years old male worked as a night security guard killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    70
  • (26 children22 women2 men)
  • 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
    80–100

Sources (64) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (13) [ 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 Dutch strike on Hawijah in 2015 which killed an estimated 70 civilians (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).
  • France24 report on the airstrike of May 11th, 2020 (via France24).
  • Excerpt of the US investigation into Hawijah, released in April 2020 (via NOS).
  • Excerpt of the US investigation into Hawijah, released in April 2020 (via NOS).
  • Recommendation to update the target development process in a US document released in April 2020 (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” Prior to the Coalition releasing the MGRS for this incident, Airwars had geolocated it to the nearest neighbourhood/area at 35.323474, 43.78453.

  • 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 / 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
    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 women2 men)
  • 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
    80–100

Sources (64) [ 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 / 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
    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

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 / Substantiated
    The investigation assessed that although all feasible precautions were taken and the decision to strike complied with the law of armed conflict, unintended civilian casualties regrettably occurred.
  • Given reason for civilian harm
    No reason given
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    3
  • Stated location
    near 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

CS083

Incident date

June 19, 2015

Location

خنيز, Road 6, near Khaneez village, north of Raqqah, Ar Raqqah, Syria

Geolocation

36.24479, 39.0345 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Within 100m (via Coalition) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Within 100m (via Coalition)

Airwars assessment

Coalition aircraft allegedly struck a three-wheeled motorcycle or ‘tirterah’ which was carrying a vegetable farmer. Raqaa is Being Slaughtered Silently later published a graphic image of the aftermath.

The victim was identified as a resident of Hamam al-Turkman near Ar Raqqah.

In April 2019, the Coalition accepted responsibility for this event, noting: “Coalition aircraft conducted a strike on Daesh terrorists. Regrettably, two civilians, and possibly a third, in passing vehicles (a bongo truck and a three-wheeled motorcycle) were unintentionally killed due to the proximity of the strike.”

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

The incident occured between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm local time.

  • Mohammad al-Hamdo Adult male Also known as Abu Abdo, a vegetable farmer from Hamam al-Turkman killed

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 (5) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Site of alleged coalition strike, June 19 2015, in which a vegetable seller died [via: RBSS]

Geolocation notes (2) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention that the alleged Coalition airstrike targeted a convoy of civilian cars on Route 6, West of the village of Khaneez (خنيز), for which the coordinates are: 36.2451039, 39.0351105. Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently located the airstrike on the road between Slouk and Al Raqqa, in the vicinity of the village of Khaneez (خنيز). The report was accompanied by a photograph of the victim who had been driving a three-wheeler motorbike (a tirterah). Shadows visible in that photograph taken soon after the incident indicate that the strike occurred in a four hour window, between 10:00 and 14:00 local time. Prior to the Coalition releasing the MGRS for this incident, Airwars had geolocated it to the nearest neighbourhood/area at 36.2451039, 39.0351105

  • Map showing Route 6 and the village of Khaneez (خنيز)

    Imagery:
    © 2018 Google

  • The location of the strike is probably in the MGRS coordinates 37SEA00 or 37SEA01

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
    Other
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    2–3
  • Stated location
    near Khanaiz village, north of Raqqah, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SEA031111
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Apr 25, 2019
  • June 19, 2015, near Khanaiz village, north of Raqqah, Syria, via Airwars report. Coalition aircraft conducted a strike on Daesh terrorists. Regrettably, two civilians, and possibly a third, in passing vehicles (a bongo truck and a three-wheeled motorcycle) were unintentionally killed due to the proximity of the strike.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

The Coalition appeared to confirm destroying the vehicle, noting for June 19th-20th 2015 that “Near Ar Raqqah, two airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units, destroying two ISIL vehicles and an ISIL motorcycle.”

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 (5) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS084

Incident date

June 19, 2015

Location

العدوانية, Al-'Adwaniyah, Al-Hasakah, Syria

Geolocation

36.41958, 39.16063 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 previously unreported incident, CENTCOM reported on January 2016 that the US had injured a non-combatant during an airstrike.

The release stated: “On June 19, 2015, near Tall al Adwaniyah, Syria, during a strike against two ISIL vehicles, it is assessed that one civilian was injured when appearing in the target area after the U.S. aircraft released its weapon.”

A search by Airwars could find no additional published details in relation to this event. In July 2019, the Coalition provided Airwars with coordinates to within a 100 metre box for the incident.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Prior to the Coalition releasing the MGRS for this incident, Airwars had geolocated it to the nearest village at 36.6998231, 39.653306

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
    Entered target area just prior to or after munition released
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    1
  • Stated location
    near Tall al Adwaniyah, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SEA144305
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jan 15, 2016
  • On June 19, 2015, near Tall al Adwaniyah, Syria, during a strike against two ISIL vehicles, it is assessed that one civilian was injured when appearing in the target area after the U.S. aircraft released its weapon.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

In its original release for June 19th-20th 2015, the Coalition reported that “Near Al Hasakah, one airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying three ISIL fighting positions.”

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI079

Incident date

June 29, 2015

Location

حديثة, Haditha, Anbar, Iraq

Geolocation

34.22691, 42.14598 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 previously unknown case, CENTCOM reported on January 15th 2015 that US aircraft injured or possbily killed two or more civilians after an attack on an ISIL tactical unit and vehicles:

According to the statement: “On June 29, 2015, near Haditha, Iraq, during strikes against one ISIL tactical unit and two ISIL vehicles, it is assessed that two civilians were injured. After the U.S. aircraft engaged the target and two seconds prior to impact, a car slowed in front of the ISIL vehicles while a motorcycle simultaneously passed by. The target vehicle was destroyed in the strike but there was insufficient evidence to determine the level of injuries to the civilians operating the passing car and motorcycle.”

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

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 2
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Prior to the Coalition releasing the MGRS for this incident, Airwars had geolocated it to the nearest city at 34.1460894, 42.3802758.

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
    Entered target area just prior to or after munition released
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    2
  • Stated location
    near Haditha, Iraq
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    38SKC371910
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jan 15, 2016
  • On June 29, 2015, near Haditha, Iraq, during strikes against one ISIL tactical unit and two ISIL vehicles, it is assessed that two civilians were injured. After the U.S. aircraft engaged the target and two seconds prior to impact, a car slowed in front of the ISIL vehicles while a motorcycle simultaneously passed by. The target vehicle was destroyed in the strike but there was insufficient evidence to determine the level of injuries to the civilians operating the passing car and motorcycle.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

In its original published report for June 29th-30th 2015, the Coalition noted only that “Near Haditha, two airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying two ISIL vehicles.”

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 2
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS088

Incident date

July 4, 2015

Location

الرقة‎, Ar Raqqah, Syria

Geolocation

35.9662, 38.97006 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 the second confirmed civilian fatality incident of the day in Raqaa, the Coalition later declared that “during strikes against 16 ISIL bridges, it was assessed one civilian in a truck with a trailer was likely killed.” US aircraft were responsible for the death, CENTCOM admitted some six months later.

Reporting remains confused for the city that day – a result of dozens of bombings by Coalition aircraft. As Raqqa is Being Slaughtered noted at the time, the air raids were “accompanied by the sound of ambulances going all over the city and a state of panic and fear among the civilian population.” There is no specific reference to a civilian killed with a truck and trailer – suggesting that this fatality was discovered as a result of US post-strike assessments.

In July 2019, the alliance provided Airwars with coordinates for this event to within a 100m 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 (6) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • July 04, 2015, Coalition Airstrikes video on Daesh-controlled structures near SRaqqah [via: US Department of Defense]

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 strike blast
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    1
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    near Raqqah, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SDV973802
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jan 22, 2016
  • On July 4, 2015, near Ar Raqqah, Syria, during strikes against 16 ISIL bridges, it was assessed one civilian in a truck with a trailer was likely killed.

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 (6) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS089

Incident date

July 4, 2015

Location

الرقة‎, Car opposite Al Hameeda School, Al Jumaili, Raqqah, Ar Raqqah, Syria

Geolocation

35.9557396, 39.0015453 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (via Airwars) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Exact location (via Airwars)

Airwars assessment

In some of the heaviest coalition bombing reported for Syria to that time, US aircraft struck multiple Daesh targets in the strategic city of Raqaa – the beginning of a lengthy air campaign in which numerous civilians are now confirmed to have died.

Between 7 and 8 civilians were reported as being among the 23 dead in this first incident which occurred at around 4pm. CENTCOM conceded six months later that it had ‘likely’ killed three unnamed civilians in the incident.

“The significant airstrikes tonight were executed to deny Daesh the ability to move military capabilities throughout Syria and into Iraq,” US Lt Colonel Thomas Gilleran had told reporters at the time. “This was one of the largest deliberate engagements we have conducted to date in Syria, and it will have debilitating effects on Daesh’s ability to move from ar-Raqqah.”

However the Syrian Observatory reported that seven civilians died in one attack “by a drone” near Al Hameeda school, including a man and his son Fouad. Raqaa is Being Slaughtered Silently (RBSS) eventually placed the non-combatant death toll at eight, describing the slain boy as 10 years old. A 15 year old boy named as Mohammad Hammad Al A’akassi later died of his injuries.

Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently described the target of the Coalition strike as a vehicle, and said that the civilians killed had died as a result of shrapnel injuries.

Buzzfeed also spoke with two eyewitnesses to the event, with one noting: “They hit the target. But the people around the target were affected. I saw the kid laying on the sidewalk, and I felt I couldn’t walk.” According to the news site, ISIL militants carried away the remains of at least two of their comrades, leaving the dead civilians on the street.

On January 15th 2016, CENTCOM conceded that civilians had likely died in this attack on a High Value Target: “On July 4, 2015, near Ar Raqqah, Syria, during a strike against an ISIL High Value Individual, a car and a motorcycle entered the target area after the weapon was released. It is assessed three unidentified civilians were likely killed.“

In July 2019, the Coalition provided coordinates for the confirmed event to within 100 metres. Airwars geolocators had already previously identified the site of the attack.

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

Summary

  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    7 – 8
  • (3 children4–5 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    24
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (31) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (15) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Doctors operate on a civilian reportedly injured in a US air raid on Raqaa July 4th (still from Al'Amaq video]
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Victim of alleged US air raid on Raqaa July 4th (still from Al'Amaq video]
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Victim of alleged US air raid on Raqaa July 4th (still from Al'Amaq video]
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Victim of alleged US air raid on Raqaa July 4th (still from Al'Amaq video]
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Child victim of alleged US air raid on Raqaa July 4th (still from Al'Amaq video]
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Victim of alleged US air raid on Raqaa July 4th (still from Al'Amaq video]
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Charred body of victim of alleged US air raid on Raqaa July 4th (still from Al'Amaq video]
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    An elderly civilian male, reportedly a victim of a US airstrike on Raqaa, Syria July 4 2015 (still from Al A'maq video]
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    A young surivor of a US airstrike which killed seven civilians receives medical attention, July 4 2015 (still from Al A'maq video)
  • Injured victim of alleged US air raid on Raqaa July 4th (still from Al'Amaq video]
  • Car on the scene of the alleged US air raid on Raqaa July 4th (still from Al'Amaq video]
  • Injured victim of alleged US air raid on Raqaa July 4th (still from Al'Amaq video]
  • Mohammed al Sheikh, killed in a reported coalition airstrike on Raqaa July 4 2015 [Via: RBSS on 6th July 2015]
  • The street, scene of the alleged US air raid on Raqaa July 4th (Via: Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently]
  • The alleged US air raid on Raqaa July 4th (Via: Raqqa is (Via: Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently]

Geolocation notes

The MGRS that the Coalition provided at 100m accuracy placed this incident at 35.95538, 39.00222

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
    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
    3
  • Stated location
    near Raqqah, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SEV002790
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jan 15, 2016
  • On July 4, 2015, near Ar Raqqah, Syria, during a strike against an ISIL High Value Individual, a car and a motorcycle entered the target area after the weapon was released. It is assessed three unidentified civilians were likely killed.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

The coalition has confirmed carrying out eighteen airstrikes in the vicinity on July 4th-5th 2015: “Near Ar Raqqah, 18 airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying three ISIL vehicles and 16 ISIL bridges.“

Summary

  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    7 – 8
  • (3 children4–5 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    24
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (31) [ collapse]