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
Discounted
Belligerent Assessment

Incident Code

CI202

Incident date

March 18, 2016

Location

الحويجة, Hawijah, Kirkuk, Iraq

Geolocation

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

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

Up to 41 civilians were allegedly killed and 53 injured in an airstrike on Hawijah which was said to have struck the city’s main market and hospital.

The Daesh-linked Al A’amaq Agency initially reported the “Killing of four [civilians] and the wounding of 10 – most of them women and children – in an air strike targeting a market in the town.” Subsequent reports said the town’s main hospital was also targeted – and was “completely destroyed” according to one source. Mass casualties were claimed.

Some local sources claim the event was an act of ‘revenge’ following the earlier shooting down of an Iraqi military aircraft. A Daesh propaganda video titled ‘Iraqi Air Strikes on Hospital’ showed extensive destruction and casualties.

Only after the reported strike on the hospital did local media begin blaming the Coalition, insisting there were as many as 100 civilian dead and injured. One source – Dijlah TV – claimed the event was a jont Iraqi-Coalition raid which had mistakenly bombed the hospital.

In its July 2017 civilian casualty report, the Coalition denied involvement in the incident: “Mar. 18, 2016, near Hawijah, Iraq, via Airwars report: After a review of available information it was assessed that no Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographic area that correspond to the report of civilian casualties.”

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    41
  • Civilians reported injured
    53
  • Airwars grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (12) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes (0) [ collapse]

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position for 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 Hawijah, Iraq
    Nearest population center

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For March 18th-19th 2016, the Coalition reported that “Near Al Huwayja, one strike destroyed an ISIL anti-air artillery piece.”

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jul 7, 2017
  • After a review of available information it was assessed that no Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographic area that correspond to the report of civilian casualties.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    41
  • Civilians reported injured
    53
  • Airwars grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (12) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI146

Incident date

November 25, 2015

Location

الموصل‎, Mosul, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

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

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

A high-ranking officer with the Iraq Army was the reported source for a highly contested claim – most likely Daesh propaganda – that French aircraft had bombed a school in Mosul, allegedly killing 28 pupils.

According to German news agency DPA, Brigadier-General Thanon Sabawi from the Second Division of the Iraqi Army claimed that “French aircraft today bombed Fatima Zahra Primary School in the eastern area of Mosul, in Zuhoor region, killing 28 pupils and wounding five others.”

The explosive claim led Egypt’s Grand Mufti Shawki Allam to condemn France: “This French military operation that targeted innocent civilians, children, is a mark of shame on France. It is no less abhorrent than the way terrorist organisations target innocents.”

The Nineveh Reporters Network challenged the claimed attack, insisting that ‘there has been no Coalition strike in Mosul for the past three days.’ MNB also described the claim as Daesh propaganda, while an Iraqi official told Shafaaq there was “no truth as reported by some media about the killing of a number of pupils in an aerial bombardment of a primary school by French aircraft.”

France subsequently confirmed that its aircraft had carried out a 9.30pm airstrike near Mosul the evening before, on November 24th, telling Middle East Eye that “At 19:30 French time [21:30 local time] four Rafale fighter jets from an aircraft carrier stationed in the eastern Mediterranean, along with some US aircraft, dropped 20 bombs on an IS command centre“ at nearby Tal Afar.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    28
  • Civilians reported injured
    5
  • Airwars grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (14) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes (0) [ collapse]

US-led Coalition Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For November 25th-26th 2015, the Coalition reported that “Near Mosul, five strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and an ISIL checkpoint and destroyed five ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL vehicle, and an ISIL building.”

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    28
  • Civilians reported injured
    5
  • Airwars grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (14) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI262

Incident date

July 1, 2016

Location

زانكورة, Zankura, Anbar, Iraq

Geolocation

33.5207175, 43.0906963 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

Up to 25 internally displaced Iraqis were reported killed in Zankura following alleged Coalition strikes and Iraqi government shelling.

Iraqi Revolution reported the martyrdom of at least 25 civilians, mostly women and children, in a massacre by the international Coalition and [Iraqi] government aircraft following the bombing of the home of Saleh Hajji at Zankura, northwest of Ramadi, which was being used by a number of homeless families.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    25
  • (6 children6 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes (0) [ collapse]

US-led Coalition Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For June 30th-July 1st, the Coalition reported that “Near Ramadi, one strike struck a large ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions, two ISIL heavy machine guns, an ISIL mortar system, and an ISIL staging area and damaged two ISIL fighting positions.”

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    25
  • (6 children6 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI007

Incident date

October 5, 2014

Location

يت, Hit, Anbar, Iraq

Geolocation

33.6387394, 42.8278537 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

It was reported by several sources in Hit that Coalition or Iraqi jets struck a number of civilian houses, killing up to 22 persons. Eight children and 3 women were reportedly among the dead.

One of those quoted on the event was Nabil Souri, an Iraqi citizen working at Hit hospital, who learned that many in his family had been killed including his parents and six others: “I was in the hospital the moment the alliance bombing hit the townhouses in Hit. We were informed that there were dead and wounded, including critically wounded, who were on their way to the hospital to be treated.”

The official spokesman for local Sunni tribes, Sheikh Abdul Razzaq al-Shammari, told Rudaw that the coalition was responsible: “Twenty people were killed and 40 wounded, mostly women and children, and a large number of the wounded died on Monday, following the aerial bombardment of the international coalition aircraft on the city of Hit.”

However, al-Gharbiya News reported that while many civilians had indeed died in the bombing, this had been the result of an erroneous Iraq Air Force strike. Al Jazeera also interviewed a city official by phone, who said that “The town yesterday endured bombings carried out by coalition planes and Iraqi military planes. They targeted Al Jabad, Al Qadissia, Al Ummal and al Mukhabarat streets. More than 24 civilians were killed, most of them women and children.”

The UN cited the attack in its quarterly report, noting that: “On 6 October, an air strike allegedly hit civilian buildings in Heet [sic], killing at least 18 civilians (including three women and eight children), with an undetermined number of wounded. Other sources, however, reported that the target of the air strike was ISIL, and that the three civilian houses had been hit with resulting civilian casualties in subsequent shelling of the area.The UN attributed the attack generally to Iraq and its allies – including possibly the coalition.

Graphic images allegedly showing children killed in the Hit incident emerged on October 6th. These were later used for anti-Assad propaganda purposes in Syria, for example for October 26th 2014.

Responding to allegations of civilian casualties at Hit, CENTCOM internally reviewed all records of strikes on the town between October 1st and October 5th 2014. According to a report declassified in August 2015, “No strikes IVO [in vicnity of] Hit struck any civilian structures.” Based on information presently available, it appears likely the strike was the work of Iraqi aircraft.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    18–24
  • (8 children3 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    43
  • Airwars grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (13) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (3) [ collapse]

  • Al Jazeera Arabic shows footage of destruction in HIt (0’20”), speaks to a local dignitary and blames both Iraqi and coalition planes.
  • Photo published in Al Gharbiya with no caption
  • Residents looking for victims amongst the rubble (via Al Jazeera)

Geolocation notes (0) [ collapse]

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position for 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
    IVO Hit, Iraq
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • May 1, 2015
  • CCA JOC reviewed all strike reports IVO Hit between 1 Oct 14 to 6 Oct 14. No strikes ICO Hit struck any civilian structures. All strikes IVO Hit during the potential DTG were conducted against either PID ISIL fighters or equipment, to iNlude vehicles. All strikes IVO Hit during the potential DTG were observed by CC JOC personnel on ISR feeds.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    18–24
  • (8 children3 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    43
  • Airwars grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (13) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS278

Incident date

July 23, 2016

Location

النواجة, Al Nawaja, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.5157758, 38.0029106 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

As many as 22 civilians were reported killed at the village of al Nawaja, as the Coalition-supported offensive continued. However the Coalition later denied responsibility for the incident, noting that “the JCTF did not conduct any strikes in that geographic location.”

According to one source, “al Nawaja village is divided into two neighbourhoods. The eastern side is now under SDF control, while the western side’s al Maghmoureen neighbourhood [al Kamlak] is still under IS control.

According to the Syrian Observatory, “confirmatory sources [reported] that the international coalition’s warplanes targeted areas in al-Nawajah village located to the east of Manbij city in the northeastern countryside of Aleppo. The airstrikes killed and injured 15 people at least, and some of the wounded are still in dangerous situation.” Manbij Documentation Agency placed the death toll at 15, while Manbij Mother of All the World reported up to 20 casualties – but said getting information was proving difficult because of an “unprecedented media blackout.” Manbij Direct said 10 died with 15 injured. It listed some of the dead.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (2)

  • Aziz al Barhawi 25 years years old male
  • Khaled Aziz al Barhawi 5 years years old male killed
  • Khaled Ibrahim al Khalil 4 years years old male killed
  • Ramadan Juma’a al Illo 30 years years old male killed

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    10–22
  • (2 children2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    15
  • Airwars grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes (0) [ collapse]

US-led Coalition Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For July 22nd-23rd 2016 the Coalition publicly reported that “Near Manbij, nine strikes struck nine separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed 12 ISIL fighting positions and an ISIL vehicle.”

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    10–22
  • (2 children2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    15
  • Airwars grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS1648

Incident date

October 22, 2017

Location

Qosor neighbourhood, Deir Ezzor, Deir ez-Zor, Syria

Airwars assessment

Up to 22 civilians died and 32 were wounded in an airstrike on the Qosour neighbourhood of Deir Ezzor, according to local media. The regime accused the US-led Coalition of carrying out the strike. However, the Coalition categorically denied it. Other sources point towards the regime

Euphrates Post reported that 20 civilians died and 30 were wounded “as a result of an air raid by mistake targeting the perimeter of Al-Fateh Mosque yesterday evening”. It blamed the regime.

However, Al Ahed blamed the Coalition, putting the death toll at 14 with 32 more wounded.

Reuters published a report in which the Coalition denied responsibility. It said: “Syrian state television had said the U.S.-led coalition hit the government-held Qusur district, killing 14 civilians and wounding 32, on Monday.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it was unclear which aircraft carried out the raid, but that it killed at least 22 people.

Colonel Ryan Dillon, a spokesman for the US-led coalition against Islamic State, said that its jets had not conducted air strikes on any part of the eastern city. The coalition says it investigates any such allegations and was careful to avoid civilian casualties in its bombing runs in Syria and neighbouring Iraq.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Khalil Al Yunes Age unknown male named by Euphrates Post killed
  • Mohammed al-Hassu, nicknamed Abu Bassem Age unknown male named by Euphrates Post killed
  • Abdul Aziz Amer al-Zaidan Age unknown male named by Euphrates Post killed
  • Dawood Salah Al-Mawi Age unknown named by Euphrates Post killed
  • Yousef Nouri Al-Hesso Abu Noori Age unknown male named by Euphrates Post killed
  • Atwan Deeb Al-Atwan Age unknown named by Euphrates Post killed
  • Mohamed Zakaria Al-Ahmad Age unknown male named by Euphrates Post killed
  • Majed Khaled Lotfi Age unknown named by Euphrates Post killed
  • Sulaiman al-Siksak Age unknown male named by Euphrates Post killed
  • Dr. Alaa Al Jarad Age unknown named by Euphrates Post killed

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    14–22
  • Civilians reported injured
    30–32
  • Airwars grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes (0) [ collapse]

US-led Coalition Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For October 22nd-23rd: “Near Abu Kamal, one strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed an ISIS vehicle. Near Dayr Az Zawr, six strikes destroyed five defensive fighting positions, four ISIS lines of communication, a VBIED factory and an ISIS headquarters.“

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    14–22
  • Civilians reported injured
    30–32
  • Airwars grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI043

Incident date

February 24, 2015

Location

الكرمة, Garma, near Fallujah, Anbar, Iraq

Geolocation

33.405, 43.913056 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

Seven civilians from one family – including young children – were killed and 8 injured when a house was allegedly struck by a coalition aircraft. However other sources attributed the attack to an artillery assault by the Iraq Army.

The dead were later named by the Iraqi Spring Centre.

Seven additional people were named as severely injured in the event.

In a later report, Baghdad TV claimed that as well as ‘a family of six’ killed in the strike, an additional 14 civilians had died after a total of seven homes were struck.

Local elder Sheikh Mohammed Jumaili demanded that “the federal government open an extensive investigation into the bombing of the coalition flights of civilian targets and homes within the area, despite the absence in the region of any armed groups.”

However, an internal CENTCOM assessment concluded that “The nearest coalition strike IVO [in vicinity of] Al-Kharmah was a single Hellfire missile targeting a Da’ish DsHK weapon 3.5km SW of Al-Karmah, IRQ on 23 FEB 15.”

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (7)

  • Khudhir Mohammad Farhan Al-Juboori Adult male Listed by Iraqi Spring Centre, father killed
  • Ahmad Khudhir Mohammad Farhan Age unknown male Listed by Iraqi Spring Centre, son killed
  • Ahlam Abid Nasir Adult female Listed by Iraqi Spring Centre, mother killed
  • Najla’a Kareem Hussein Al-Jumeili Adult female Listed by Iraqi Spring Centre, mother killed
  • Rimas Sadiq Mohammad Age unknown female Listed by Iraqi Spring Centre, daughter of Najla’a Kareem Hussein Al-Jumeili killed
  • Iman Sadiq Mohammad Age unknown male Listed by Iraqi Spring Centre, daughter of Najla’a Kareem Hussein Al-Jumeili killed
  • Taha Khalil Ibrahim Age unknown female Listed by Iraqi Spring Centre killed
  • Kareem Mahdi Salih Al-Halbousi Adult male Listed by Iraqi Spring Centre, school headmaster injured
  • Mohammad Tha’ir Al-Mara’awi Adult male Listed by Iraqi Spring Centre, food supply agent injured
  • Hakima Khalifa Awad Age unknown female Listed by Iraqi Spring Centre injured
  • Ala’a Raid Khairallah Age unknown male Listed by Iraqi Spring Centre injured
  • Hamid Mohmoud Salim Age unknown male Listed by Iraqi Spring Centre injured
  • Hamid Khalaf Awad Age unknown male Listed by Iraqi Spring Centre injured
  • Ahmad Thair Abdullah Age unknown male Listed by Iraqi Spring Centre injured

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    7–20
  • (2 children4 women1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    7
  • Airwars grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (14) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (10) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Islamic State propaganda issued in the wake of the alleged coalition airstrike
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Islamic State propaganda issued in the wake of the alleged coalition airstrike
  • Islamic State propaganda issued in the wake of the alleged coalition airstrike
  • Islamic State propaganda issued in the wake of the alleged coalition airstrike
  • Islamic State propaganda issued in the wake of the alleged coalition airstrike
  • Islamic State propaganda issued in the wake of the alleged coalition airstrike
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Islamic State propaganda issued in the wake of the alleged coalition airstrike
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Islamic State propaganda issued in the wake of the alleged coalition airstrike
  • Islamic State propaganda issued in the wake of the alleged coalition airstrike
  • Islamic State propaganda issued in the wake of the alleged coalition airstrike

Geolocation notes (0) [ collapse]

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position for incident
    Non credible
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    Other
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    al-Qaim, Iraq
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • May 1, 2015
  • Open source media report that the hospital source in al-Qaim, a town on the Euphrates River, hospital said nine civilians were killed and 29 militants were wounded in the strike by the U.S.-led coalition. Some of the wounded were taken across the border to Syria for treatment. / OSINT RPT record via CHOPS. Target identified as an insurgent meeting house/staging house, and was not a hospital.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    7–20
  • (2 children4 women1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    7
  • Airwars grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (14) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI376

Incident date

December 25, 2016

Location

البعاج, Al Baaj, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.0426, 41.71632 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

Local media and the area’s MP reported that 20 civilians were killed and 55 injured after unknown aircraft targeted Al Baaj city west of Mosul.

According to Zahid Kotuna, the elected MP for the area, an unknown warplane carried out a fierce air strike on the densely populated civilian town of Baaj 140 km west of Mosul. The bombing caused the deaths of 20 civilians, including children, and the wounding of about 55 others.

Iraqi Spring said that More than 20 civilians were killed and dozens injured as an aerial shelling targeted Sina’a Marketplace in Ba’aj district west of Mosul.

In its February 2017 civilian casualty report, the Coalition stated that it was not responsible for the event: (7.) Dec. 25, 2016, near al-Ba’aj, Iraq, via media report: No Coalition strikes were conducted on that day in the geographic area of the reported civilian casualties.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    20
  • Civilians reported injured
    55
  • Airwars grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes (0) [ collapse]

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position for 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-Ba’aj, Iraq
    Nearest population center

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For December 24th-25th 2016, the Coalition reported that “Near Mosul, one strike engaged an ISIL tactical unit; destroyed four buildings, four heavy machine guns, three tactical vehicles, and three VBIEDs; and suppressed nine mortar teams and two ISIL tactical units.”

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Feb 2, 2017
  • No Coalition strikes were conducted on that day in the geographic area of the reported civilian casualties.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    20
  • Civilians reported injured
    55
  • Airwars grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (6) [ collapse]