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

CI010

Incident date

October 17, 2014

Location

عوينات, Awinat, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.68037, 42.39686 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Subdistrict level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Subdistrict

Airwars assessment

According to news agency NINA, a “US air strike on the village of Aouinat northwest of Mosul killed five civilians, according to a source in forensic medicine in Mosul.” The Al Rafidain website (in a report dated ten days after the event) placed the death toll higher at between 10 and 20, saying two houses had been destroyed by the coalition.

The quarterly UN Report for Iraq also noted that “Air strikes carried out on 17 October north of Mosul allegedly killed at least 26 civilians.” These were only generally attributed to Iraqi security forces and their allies – which might include “US-led coalition airstrikes.” However, the Guardian later reported that following an agreement with the international coalition, Iraqi aircraft were not carrying out airstrikes north of Mosul.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    5 – 20
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention Aouinat / Tal Awinat (تل عوينات) village, north west of Mosul. The coordinates of the village: 36.68037, 42.39686  

  • Aouinat ( تل عوينات )

    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
    a:1:{i:0;s:20:"no_coalition_strikes";}
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    near Awinat, Mosul, Iraq
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    38SKF671625
    Military Grid Reference System

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 five airstrikes to the west of Mosul Dam (itself north west of the city) on October 17th-18th 2014: “Five airstrikes occurred west of the Mosul Dam and damaged an ISIL building and destroyed an ISIL heavy machine gun, an ISIL HMMWV and struck three small ISIL ground units.“

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    5 – 20
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS014

Incident date

October 17, 2014

Location

خشام, Khusham, Deir ez-Zor, Syria

Geolocation

35.3020098, 40.2914143 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

An airstrike on a gas station near the Konoco gas refinery reportedly killed between three and four civilians.

A subsequent investigation by the Syrian Network for Human Rights later noted: “Around 7:00pm the international alliance warplanes targeted a gas station and an oil well in Deir Ezzor countryside which is located near Khasham town. the oil well is for Konico gas plant and it is three KM away from it. the shelling caused fires in a number of tanks. The airstrike killed three civilians who used to work in the oil trading field. Usually, many people come to this well to buy petrol and oil. Also we documented 11 injured including critical cases in addition to six who are still missing. Furthermore some ISIS military vehicles were damaged.”

Three killed civilians were later named by the VDC.

According to SN4HR and VDC, a fourth non-combatant, from Al-Jurathi town, was killed in a related coalition airstrike nearby.

Prompted by the US State Department six months later, CENTCOM re-examined claims of civilians killed at Khesham. Weapon system video from the time was reviewed and air crews interviewed.

Investigators finally concluded that there was “Insufficient evidence to determine CIVCAS.” Yet at the same time, they admitted to “limited video analysis” and “ntermittent visual contact with the ground.”

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    3 – 4
  • (4 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    11
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

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
    Insufficient evidence of civilian harm
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    Khasham, Deir ez Zor Syria
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • May 1, 2015
  • Insufficient evidence to determine CIVCAS. CFACC reviewed WSV. INTEL determined that the location was under strict ISIL control. The target was validated through the JTCB. Crews reported they did not observe any personnel on their targeting pod prior to weapon release. Given the limited video analysis available the CFACC assesses there is insufficient information to make a characterisation. Intermittent visual contact with the ground showed no personnel present in the target area. // CAOC conducted a deliberate strike on 16 Oct 14 on the Barghooth Crude Oil Collection Point

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

COALITION-ASSESSED CASUALTY INCIDENT

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    3 – 4
  • (4 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    11
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Incident Code

CS016

Incident date

October 18, 2014

Location

المريعية, Mrey'iya, Deir ez-Zor, Syria

Geolocation

35.2726894, 40.2245951 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

According to the Damascus Centre for Human Rights two civilian males – both members of the same family – died in an airstrike on the village of Al Maya’iya.

Syrian Martyrs also named the two victims, while the DinSyr twitter feed reported “Hamza Ahmad al-Abd Al Jalil Mahmoud Ahmad Al-Jalil. Their bodies were identified among the victims of the International Coalition raids.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (2)

Summary

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

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • "Hamza Ahmad al-Abd Al Jalil Mahmoud Ahmad Al-Jalil Their bodies were identified among the victims of the International coalition raids."

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention Al Marya’iya ( المريعية ) village in Deir Ezzor: 35.2726894, 40.2245951

  • Al Marya’iya ( لمريعية )

    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

The coalition reports three events in the vicinity between October 17th-19th 2014. In the first, “One airstrike took place southeast of Dayr Az Zawr and damaged an ISIL modular oil refinery.”

Media
from belligerent (1) [ collapse]

  • @DinSyr tweets that the bodies of Hamza Ahmad al Jalil and Mahmoud Ahmad al Jalil were found following international coalition raids, 19th October, 2014.

Summary

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

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS018

Incident date

November 5, 2014

Location

دير الزور‎, Deir ez-Zor, Syria

Geolocation

35.3333335, 40.1499999 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

An internal Coalition report noted that “Open source video indicated that three civilians were killed in a deliberate strike on an oil collection point in DeZ.” Airwars researchers have identified what they believe to be the [graphic] video in question, which was posted to YouTube on November 11th 2014.

The Coalition was unable to verify the claims, though assessed that “No further inquiry required.” As an internal CENTCOM document notes: “Review could not determine that the video came from the strike in DeZ. Although there was a US strike on the oil collection site, the target was validated through the JTCB [Joint targeting Coordination Board?]. Targeting was mitigated – it was a night strike on a specific target where NCV [Non-Combatant Value] was assessed as 0, with mitigated weapons effects.

WSV [weapon system video] cleared target. There was no way to determine authenticity of allegation.”

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (2) [ 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.
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

COALITION-ASSESSED CASUALTY INCIDENT

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS019

Incident date

November 6, 2014

Location

حارم, Harim, Idlib, Syria

Geolocation

36.21003, 36.51826 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Within 100m (via Coalition) level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Within 100m (via Coalition)

Airwars assessment

Six months after US air raids had targeted the Khorasan Group (part of the al-Nusra Front) and the militant group Ahrar al-Sham, the Coalition conceded that two children had “likely” died in the attack – the first public concession of any civilian deaths after 4,000 airstrikes against ISIS over nine months.

The November 5th US-only raid targeted the villages of Harem, Bab Al Hawa, Sarmada, Reef Al-Muhameen and Binsh.

Reports from the night remain confused, with civilian deaths claimed at a number of locations. Reuters carried a statement from Ahrar al-Sham saying that “The air strikes came last night and hit a number of areas in the liberated Idlib countryside,” and that casualties included “women and children and civilians.”

The site of the civilian deaths was Harem, CENTCOM later confirmed. It also accepted that two civilian NGO workers were  injured in the attack. According to the Syrian Revolution Forum blog: “The planes of the Arab/Western coalition launched air strikes on Syrian cities adjacent to the Turkish border. The centre of the town of Harem was targeted with more than six raids causing the death of four children and causing massive destruction to residential and commercial property on Al Sijn street.”

One of the children was identified as a five year old girl,  whose father Ali Saeed Al Haj Qaddour – a fighter with the al-Nusra Front – also died in the attack (both pictured below.) Daniya’s mother and brother Saeed were reported to have been severely wounded. A second unidentified female child victim was shown alongside the body of Daniya in several graphic videos and photographs taken after the US bombing.

VDC additionally reported the deaths of three or four unidentified male children in the Coalition attack – though gave no further details.

In July 2019, the Coalition provided Airwars with the geolocation of the event, accurate to a 100m box.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    2 – 6
  • (2–6 children)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (18) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (16) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Video showing the two girls killed in the strike, included in the SNHR report.
  • Video purporting to show fires resulting from the Coalition bombing on Sarmada on 5/11/2014. Published by ShaamNetwork S.N.N.
  • Video purporting to show fires resulting from the coalition bombing on Sarmada on 5/11/2014. Published by ShaamNetwork S.N.N.
  • Video purporting to show fire crews attempting to put out the fires resulting from the coalition bombing on Sarmada on 5/11/2014. Published by ShaamNetwork S.N.N.
  • Video purporting to show extensive destruction in civilian homes in Harem.
  • Video purporting to show extensive destruction in Harem following coalition strikes. This video was included in a Syrian Network for Human Rights report.
  • Video showing extensive destruction after the alleged strike.
  • Video footage shows civil defense teams in Al-Atarem area trying to find any victims underneath the rubbles in Harem city.
  • Huge signs of destruction reportedly caused by the international alliance’s shelling against Harem.
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    5-year-old Daniya Ali Al-Haj Qaddour (via SNHR)
  • Daniya Ali Al-Haj Qaddour with her father, an Al-Nusra fighter who was also allegedly killed in the strike (via SNHR)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Unidentified girl allegedly kileld in the strikes (via SNHR)
  • Aftermath of the strike (via SNHR)
  • Aftermath of the strike (via SNHR)
  • Aftermath of the strike (via SNHR)
  • Aftermath of the strike (via SNHR)

Geolocation notes

Prior to the Coalition releasing the MGRS for this incident, Airwars had geolocated it to the nearest village at 36.212564, 36.519736

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 strike blast
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    2
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    2
  • Stated location
    Harem, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SBA769101
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • May 21, 2015
  • The preponderance of the evidence in the investigation indicates the airstrikes conducted against facilities used by Khorasan Group in the vicinity of Harim City, Syria, likely led to the deaths of two non-combatant children. From May declassified file: "CCWEBOPS received social media reports that civilians were killed or injured during a strike on a named objective in Syria. // TF nominated the target. SNHR report on CIVCAS. CFACC initially assessed that there was insufficient information to conclude whether the alleged CIVCAS allegations are credible. CFACC was unable to assess whether civilians were co-located with the targeted KG NAIs. After additional information was received, CJTF was tasked with conducing an additional credibility assessment based on the new information. 12/31/2014 JTF assessed this allegation that a child was killed during the strike as potentially credible. Investigation appointed 8 Jan 15 with a suspense of 22 Jan 2015"

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

CENTCOM originally confirmed US strikes in the vicinity, though denied causing any civilian deaths: “U.S. military forces conducted airstrikes last night against five Khorasan Group targets in the vicinity of Sarmada, Syria, using bomber, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft. All aircraft exited the strike areas safely. We are still assessing the outcome of the attack, but have initial indications that it resulted in the intended effects by striking terrorists and destroying or severely damaging several Khorasan Group vehicles and buildings assessed to be meeting and staging areas, IED-making facilities and training facilities. These strikes were undertaken only by U.S. assets.“

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    2 – 6
  • (2–6 children)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (18) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS023

Incident date

November 7, 2014

Location

near At-Tanak Oilfield, Syria, Deir ez-Zor, Syria

Geolocation

35.12527, 40.42864 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

In its January 25th 2018 civilian casualty report, the Coalition reported that a civilian casualties allegation near At-Tanak is currently being assessed: “#1 Nov. 7, 2014 near At-Tanak Oilfield, Syria via regional human rights organization report.”

Further research by our Syria team indicated that this incident was in fact previously known to Airwars, but had not been linked to this specific location. At the time, a single source, the Violations Documentation Center, claimed that two male civilians, from the same family, were killed during a coalition airstrike on the village of Al Zir.

This source was initially archived as separate incident S021. Further research found more than a dozen of other sources corroborating the death of the two victims, all stating the airstrike took place near al Tanak oil field in al Sha’itat desert. Subsequently, Airwars merged the two separate events into incident S023a on February 22nd, 2018.

On the 10th and 11th of November, a couple of sources reported the death of one civilian male Abd Al Kader Ibrahim Al Saleh. We initially had this as a separate incident that took place on November 10th S025 but further research revealed this as the same incident. Syrian Human Rights committee specified that he died “due to injuries sustained in a coalition airstrike on al Tanak oil fields” a few days earlier.

On the 11th another male civilian Rashed Hamdan Al Abd al Jassem was reported killed in alleged coalition raids on ‘one of the oil fields in the eastern countryside a few days ago’. We have this listed as a separate incident [CS028] but there is a chance these two incidents are linked.

When Deir Ezzor Under Fire reported on the incident, they stated that it happened “an hour ago”, indicating that the airstrike allegedly took place around 11pm local time. Most sources identified the “International Alliance” or the US-led “Arab-International Alliance” as the culprit.

 

The incident occured at 11:00 pm local time.

The victims were named as:

Family members (1)

Family members (1)

Family members (1)

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • (3 men)
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (25) [ collapse]

US-led Coalition Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

The coalition has confirmed ten airstrikes in the vicinity of Dayr az-Zawr between November 7th-10th 2014, noting: “Eight airstrikes southeast of Dayr Az Zawr damaged several structures of an ISIL oil collection facility which was used to trans-load oil for the black market. Two airstrikes east of Dayr Az Zawr damaged an ISIL oil collection point.“

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • (3 men)
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (25) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS024

Incident date

November 8, 2014

Location

الخريطة, Khareeta, Deir ez-Zor, Syria

Geolocation

35.47132, 40.0090642 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

Two civilian men were reported by a number of sources as having been killed in a coalition airstrike.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

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

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the village of Al Khareeta (الخريطة), Deir Ezzor, for which the coordinates of its midpoint are: 35.47132, 40.0090642

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 al Khareeta, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SEV915257
    Military Grid Reference System

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 ten airstrikes in the vicinity of Dayr az-Zawr between November 7th-10th 2014, noting: “Eight airstrikes southeast of Dayr Az Zawr damaged several structures of an ISIL oil collection facility which was used to trans-load oil for the black market. Two airstrikes east of Dayr Az Zawr damaged an ISIL oil collection point.“

Summary

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

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS028

Incident date

November 11, 2014

Location

الشنان, Shanan, Deir ez-Zor, Syria

Geolocation

34.9661197, 40.5534553 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

The Syrian Martyrs website claimed that a civilian male died in a coalition airstrike on the village of al Shanan near Dayr az Zawr. He was later named as Rashed Hamdan Al Abd Al Jassem.

According to the Facebook page of local activist Abu Mohammad Al Dairi, al Jassem was one of 12 casualties from “international coalition raids on one of the oil fields in the eastern countryside a few days ago.

We have an incident listed on November 7th [CS023] in which three male civilians were reported killed in a coalition raid on Al Tanak oil field in Deir Ezzor. There is a chance these two incidents are linked.

 

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

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

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of this incident are slightly conflicting: the strike happened either in As Shanan or in the oil fields in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor. The coordinates for the midpoint of As Shanan are: 34.9661197, 40.5534553

  • The village of As Shanan, West of the oil fields in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor

    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 Shanan, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SFU418703
    Military Grid Reference System

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

Four coalition strikes have been confirmed in the area between November 10th-12th 2014: “Three airstrikes northeast of Dayr Az Zawr damaged an ISIL crude oil collection facility. Near Dayr Az Zawr, one airstrike struck a small ISIL unit and damaged an ISIL vehicle.”

Summary

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

Sources (3) [ collapse]