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
Belligerent Assessment

Incident Code

CS273

Incident date

July 19, 2016

Location

التوخار كبير, Tokhar Kabir, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.63981, 37.98093 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 what may have been the single greatest loss of life from a Coalition action in the first two years of its war against Daesh, between 78 and 203 civilians were reported killed in a catastrophic event at the village of Tokhar – the scene of a number of other recent civilian fatalities from alleged Coalition strikes.

The Coalition later admitted that “up to 24 civilians who had been interspersed with combatants were inadvertently killed.”

Local group Manbij Mother of All The World was the first to report the event, initially noting 25 or more fatalities. The group quickly raised the death toll to 56 then 59 civilians, eventually reporting that as many as 203 non-combatants had died. Most others placed the fatality range in the low 100s. Manbij Direct noted shortly after the strike, for example, that “so far there have been 94 martyrs identified, but there are still entire families under the rubble.” So-called Islamic State also issued a tweet mid-morning suggesting that 160 civilians had died. At least 73 decreased civilians have so far been named, including 11 or more children.

There was some confusion about the site of the event. While Manbij Mother of All Worlds said five homes were struck on the outskirts of town, most other sources said a former school being used by displaced civilians was hit.

According to Syria Direct, “The airstrike, at 3:00am Tuesday morning, destroyed a school in a-Tokhar.” The news site quoted local citizen journalist Abu Omar al-Manbiji as saying: “That school housed displaced people from neighboring villages. So far we count 124 dead from the attack, and that number could very well increase.” Others placed the event nearer 5am.

The Coalition told reporters it was aware of the Tokhar allegations and had launched a preliminary investigation.

The US’s proxies said they had supplied the intelligence for the strike, with the SDF noting in a statement that “a large group of Daesh militants was moving in the vicinity of the village and within Altokhar, with their vehicles and military equipment… We had received information that the village is free from civilians.”

The SDF also claimed local groups were fabricating civilian casualty claims, in order to aid ISIL and discredit Kurdish forces.

In contrast, the US’s other proxy the Free Syrian Army condemned “the horrific massacres committed – and which are still being committed – by the international coalition aircraft against unarmed civilians in the city and countryside of Manbej.”

The Assad regime-controlled SANA instead claimed French aircraft were reponsible for the deaths: “French warplanes working as part of the so-called ‘international coalition’ led by the United States over the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic committed an illegal and bloody massacre (which is an affront to humanity) near the Syrian-Turkish border. They targeted with a violent aerial bombardment the village of Greater Tokhar, a peaceful village located in the northern outskirts of the city Manbej – exterminating entire families and flattening homes in an inhumane manner.”

In a case study issued in October 2016, it was noted that “Satellite imagery from 21 July 2016 analysed by Amnesty International indicates nine locations in which houses were severely damaged or destroyed – although given other fighting and air strikes in the area they cannot be conclusively linked with the same air strikes.” The international NGO added that “The attacks appear to have been conducted without adequate precautions taken to safeguard civilians and may have amounted to indiscriminate or disproportionate attacks.”

And following its own lengthy investigation, the Syrian Network noted: “SNHR documented the killing of 98 civilians, including 59 children and 27 women, in a bombing by fixed-wing international coalition forces warplanes on Al Toukhar village.”

On December 1st the Coalition issued a lengthy statement in which it conceded it had killed civilians – though far below public estimates: “During a strike that killed nearly 100 ISIL fighters, and destroyed 13 fighting positions, seven ISIL vehicles, two VBIEDs, a tactical vehicle, and a mortar system, it is assessed that up to 24 civilians who had been interspersed with combatants were inadvertently killed in a known ISIL staging area where no civilians had been seen in the 24 hours prior to the attack. Reports indicated that approximately 100 ISIL fighters were preparing for a large counterattack against partnered Syrian Arab Coalition/Syrian Democratic Forces and, unknown to Coalition planners, civilians were moving around within the military staging area, even as other civilians in the nearby village had departed over the previous days”

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

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (2)

  • Khaled Al Nasser Age unknown male killed
  • Nasim Al Nasser Age unknown male killed

Family members (7)

  • Mahmoud Abdurrahman Age unknown male killed
  • Samiya Al Shaikh Mousa, Adult female Wife of Mahmoud Abdurrahman killed
  • Nisreen Mahmoud Abdurrahman Adult female killed
  • Batoul Mahmoud Abdurrahman Child female killed
  • Eman Mahmoud Abdurrahman Child female killed
  • Maher Mahmoud Abdurrahman Child male killed
  • Enas Mahmoud Abdurrahman Child female killed

Family members (8)

  • Bakkar Al Ramadan Age unknown male killed
  • Ramadan Bakkar Al Ramadan Child male killed
  • Mohammad Bakkar Al Ramadan Child male killed
  • Mahmoud Bakkar Al Ramadan Child male killed
  • Ibrahim Bakkar Al Ramadan Child male killed
  • Raghad Bakkar Al Ramadan Child female killed
  • Duha Bakkar Al Ramadan Child female killed
  • Khalaf Bakkar Al Ramadan Child male killed

Family members (8)

  • Hasan Ibrahim Al Ousi Age unknown male killed
  • Zreifa Al Ousi Adult female Wife of Hasan Ibrahim Al Ousi killed
  • Abdou Hasan Al Ousi Child male killed
  • Mohammad Hassan Al Ousi Child male killed
  • Mahmoud Hasan Al Ousi Child male killed
  • Na’iema Hasan Al Ousi Child female killed
  • Eman Hasan Al Ousi Child female killed
  • Zahra Hasan Al Ousi Child female killed

Family members (17)

  • AbdulMalek Rajab Qaso Age unknown male killed
  • Gharam AbdulMalek Qaso Child female killed
  • Fa’eda AbdulMalek Qaso Child female killed
  • Nagham AbdulMalek Qaso Child female killed
  • Mohammad AbdulMalek Qaso Child male killed
  • Qusai Rajab Qaso Age unknown male killed
  • Houriya Mohammad Rajab Qaso Age unknown female killed
  • Rihana Adult female Wife of Loai Rajab Qaso killed
  • Qusai Loai Rajab Qaso Child male killed
  • Ghosoun Loai Rajab Qaso Child male killed
  • Hayat Mowelid Qaso Al Saghir Adult female killed
  • Odoula Mowelid Qaso Al Saghir Adult female killed
  • Yaser Mowelid Qaso Al Saghir Child male killed
  • Dahiya Mowelid Qaso Al Saghir Adult female killed
  • Mohammad Rajab Mowelid Qaso Child male killed
  • Mais Adult female Wife of Mohammad Mowelid Qaso killed
  • Yaser Mohammad Mowelid Qaso Age unknown male killed

Family members (14)

  • Sanaa Mowelid Al Kabir Adult female killed
  • Fatouma Mowelid Al Kabir Adult female killed
  • Ahmad Mowelid Al Kabir Age unknown male killed
  • Wife of Ahmad Mowelid Al Kabir Adult female killed
  • Son of Ahmad Mowelid Al Kabir Child male killed
  • Daughter of Ahmad Mowelid Al Kabir Child female killed
  • Daughter of Mohammad Moweld Al Kabir Child female killed
  • Daughter of Mohammad Mowelid Al Kabir Child female killed
  • Daughter of Mohammad Mowelid Al Kabir Child female killed
  • Hayat Muhajeri Adult female Wife of Qasim Mowelid killed
  • Mohammad Mowelid Qasim Al Kabir Child male killed
  • Doaa Qasem Mowelid Al Kabir Child female killed
  • Son of Qasom Mowelid Al Kabir Child male killed
  • Ghofran Qasim Mowelid Al Kabir Child female killed

Family members (17)

  • Abd Mawwas Al Abd Age unknown male killed
  • Sukaina Adult female Wife of Abd Mawwas Al Abd killed
  • Sham Abd Mawwas Al Abd Age unknown female killed
  • Mayyada Abd Mawwas Al Abd Child female killed
  • Fatouma Adult female Wife of Mawwas Al Abd killed
  • Second wife of Mawwas Al Abd Age unknown female killed
  • Child, son of Mawwas Al Abd Child male killed
  • Child, son of Mawwas Al Abd Child male killed
  • Child, son of Mawwas Al Abd Child male
  • Child, son of Mawwas Al Abd Child male killed
  • Child, son of Mawwas Al Abd Child male killed
  • Child, son of Mawwas Al Abd Child male killed
  • Child, son of Mawwas Al Abd Child male killed
  • Haloum Al Abd Adult female Sister of Mawwas Al Abd killed
  • Child, son of Halloum Al Abd Child male killed
  • Child, son of Halloum Al Abd Child male killed
  • Child, son of Halloum Al Abd Child male killed

Family members (8)

  • Mohammad Suliman Al Thaher Child male killed
  • Ammar Suliman Al Thaher Child male killed
  • Yaser Suliman Al Thaher Child male killed
  • Daughter of Suliman Al Thaher Child female killed
  • Walid Al Thaher Child male killed
  • Daughter of Suliman Al Thaher Child female killed
  • Rehab Al Thaher Child female killed
  • Daughter of Suliman Al Thaher Child female killed

Family members (3)

  • Amina Al Mawwas Age unknown female Wife of Hussein Al Saleh killed
  • Khaled Hussein Al Saleh Age unknown male killed
  • Aziza Mohammad Haj Saleh Child female killed

Family members (2)

  • Nadwa Age unknown female Wife of Jasim Al Bakkar killed
  • Ahd Jasim Al Bakkar Age unknown female killed

Family members (2)

  • Daughter of Mohammad Abu Ibeid Child female killed
  • Marwa Age unknown female Wife of Mohammad Abu Ibeid killed

Family members (2)

  • Hadi Kamel Hasan Al Sattou Child male killed
  • Amouna Adult female Wife of Kamel Hasan Al Sattou killed
  • Fatima Qaso Adult female killed
  • Fa’eda Adult female killed
  • Yasmin Adult female killed
  • Maha Adult female killed
  • Child, son of Saeed Al Ahmad Age unknown male

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    78 – 203
  • (25–71 children7–29 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    30
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (64) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Victims of an alleged Coalition strike near Manbij July 19th are buried in a mass grave (via Manbij Mother of All Worlds)

Geolocation notes

Prior to the Coalition releasing the MGRS for this incident, Airwars had geolocated it to the nearest village at 36.6398429, 37.9810023

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
    Unseen at time of engagement
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    24
  • Stated location
    near Manbij, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SDA089554
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Dec 1, 2016
  • July 18, 2016, near Manbij, Syria: During a strike that killed nearly 100 ISIL fighters, and destroyed 13 fighting positions, seven ISIL vehicles, two VBIEDs, a tactical vehicle, and a mortar system, it is assessed that up to 24 civilians who had been interspersed with combatants were inadvertently killed in a known ISIL staging area where no civilians had been seen in the 24 hours prior to the attack. Reports indicated that approximately 100 ISIL fighters were preparing for a large counterattack against partnered Syrian Arab Coalition/Syrian Democratic Forces and, unknown to Coalition planners, civilians were moving around within the military staging area, even as other civilians in the nearby village had departed over the previous days.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For July 18th-19th 2016 the Coalition reported. “Near Manbij, 18 strikes struck 15 separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed 13 ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL heavy machine gun, an ISIL mortar system, seven ISIL vehicles, two ISIL vehicle borne improvised explosive devices, an ISIL staging area, and an ISIL tactical vehicle.”

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    78 – 203
  • (25–71 children7–29 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    30
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (64) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI716

Incident date

May 16, 2017

Location

الزنجيلي, Mosul, Zanjili, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.35162, 43.11436 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Within 100m (via Coalition) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Within 100m (via Coalition)

Airwars assessment

Local media and residents reported that 20 civilians were killed and seven houses were destroyed after airstrikes targeted armed ISIL combatants in Zanjili neighborhood, in West Mosul. The strikes were launched opposite the mosque of al-Shaheed Muhammad Nuri. Sawlf Ateka said that the Coalition had targeted a car bomb, which was located at the Hamid Al-Akla garage in Zanjili neighbourhood.

However, Ninawa Media Center reported that ISIL had launched a drone from the roof of the house, after which an airstrike targeted it.

The US-led alliance later accepted responsibility for 20 deaths in the event. In September 2018 their monthly civilian casualty report noted: “During a strike on
ISIS fighting positions, a VBIED facility and a command and control center, twenty civilians were unintentionally killed.”

Local Facebook group ‘Sawlf Ateka’ reported that airstrikes had caused the death of the “Ramzi family and Hassan and Ammar Al-Qassasib and their families and Mohammed Al-Tamimi and his wife and Yunis Abu Ali Al-Fitar and wife of Muhannad Al-Aqla and her children.”

The Ninawa Media Center provided further details, and said that this information was obtained through a friend who had visited the area and asked the residents of the houses. He decribed the incident as follows:

“Seven members of the Ramzi family, the owner of this poor house, died, six from the apartment next to them [the Ramzi family] of a family who rented the house … and Mohammad Ghazi, brother of Jajan, and his wife [were] at home, in exchange for … There are many wounded and dead of whom we do not know their fate… The house is located at the roundabout nearby the house of Sheikh A. I heard [that it is located] in front of the mosque of Imam Mohamed Nuri….”

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

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (2)

  • Hassan Al-Qassasib Adult male killed
  • Ammar Al-Qassasib Adult male killed
  • Mohammed Al-Tamimi Adult male killed
  • Yunis Abu Ali Al-Fitar Adult male killed
  • Mohammad Ghazi Adult male Brother of Jajan killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    20
  • (2 children2 women5 men)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Prior to the Coalition releasing the MGRS for this incident, Airwars had geolocated it to the nearest neighbourhood/area at 36.3502851, 43.1098795

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
    20
  • Stated location
    near al-Zangili neighborhood, Mosul, Iraq
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    38SLF308246
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Sep 27, 2018
  • May 16, 2017, near al-Zangili neighborhood, Mosul, Iraq, via Airwars report. During a strike on ISIS fighting positions, a VBIED facility and a command and control center, twenty civilians were unintentionally killed.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For May 15th-16th the Coalition publicly reported: “Near Mosul, five strikes engaged four ISIS tactical units; destroyed nine fighting positions, two mortar systems, to medium machine guns, two VBIEDs, two ISIS-held buildings, two VBIED facilities, and a supply cache; damaged 13 ISIS supply routes and nine fighting positions; and suppressed three ISIS tactical units and two mortar teams.”

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    20
  • (2 children2 women5 men)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI060

Incident date

April 20, 2015

Location

الموصل‎, Mosul, Aden, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.35132, 43.21243 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 reported Coalition airstrike on an electricity generating facility reportedly killed up tp 35 civilians and injured 22 more when nearby apartments were caught in the blast, according to reports.

The US led Coalition later conceded 18 deaths in this event.

At the time of the incident, NINA cited a medical source at the hospital as saying: “The incident resulted in the death of 35 civilians, including 11 women, and wounding 22 others, including five women.”

Local resident Mohanad Musli described “tens of flattened bodies with families still under the rubble”. Another eyewitness, Bassam al Khaldi, said that multiple strikes had also targeted rescuers: “I’m from this area and when people gathered to rescue the wounded there was shelling for a second time on people, and this caused big losses. And after quarter of an hour they struck a third time, but by the mercy of God this time the missile did not explode.”

A Mosul-based eyewitness to the event later provided graphic images of civilian casualties to Airwars, including a picture of four dead children.

Between April 2016 and June 2017, New York Times reporters Azmat Khan and Anand Gopal visited the sites of nearly 150 airstrikes across northern Iraq. Regarding this specific incident, they note that, “On the evening of April 20, 2015, aircraft bombed an electricity substation in the Aden district of East Mosul, causing a tremendous explosion that engulfed the street. Dozens of residents had come to the site of the airstrike to rescue civilians, which resulted in the deaths of at least 18 civilians, and injuries to at least a dozen civilians, many who lived down the street. Muthana Ahmed Tuaama, a university student, told us his brother rushed into the blaze to rescue the wounded, when a second blast shook the facility. “I found my brother at the end of the street,” he said. “I carried him.” Body parts littered the alleyway. “You see those puddles of water,” he said. “It was just like that, but full of blood.”

In July 2017 the Coalition initially denied responsibility on grounds of available evidence of civilian harm: “April 20, 2015, near Adan, Iraq, via Airwars report: After a review of available information and strike video it was assessed that there is insufficient evidence to find that civilians were harmed in this strike.”

Later, on June 28th 2018, the Coalition changed its position and admitted it had unintentionally killed 18 civilians in the strike. The assessment stated: “During a strike on Daesh IED factory, 18 civilians were unintentionally killed.“

The Coalition later provided Airwars the location of the strike, accurate to within a 100 metre box, placing it in the industrial area of Adan neighbourhood in east Mosul.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Brother of Muthana Ahmed Tuaama Adult male killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    18 – 35
  • (4 children11 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    22–50
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS

Sources (11) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (10) [ collapse]

  • Aftermath of the alleged strike
  • Photos of the alleged incident provided by an eyewitness, resident in Mosul that Airwars made contact with by phone on 20/04/2015. They were taken by his brother who lives in the neighbourhood that was bombed
  • Photos of the alleged incident provided by an eyewitness, resident in Mosul that Airwars made contact with by phone on 20/04/2015. They were taken by his brother who lives in the neighbourhood that was bombed
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Photos of the alleged incident provided by an eyewitness, resident in Mosul that Airwars made contact with by phone on 20/04/2015. They were taken by his brother who lives in the neighbourhood that was bombed
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Photos of the alleged incident provided by an eyewitness, resident in Mosul that Airwars made contact with by phone on 20/04/2015. They were taken by his brother who lives in the neighbourhood that was bombed
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Photos of the alleged incident provided by an eyewitness, resident in Mosul that Airwars made contact with by phone on 20/04/2015. They were taken by his brother who lives in the neighbourhood that was bombed
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Photos of the alleged incident provided by an eyewitness, resident in Mosul that Airwars made contact with by phone on 20/04/2015. They were taken by his brother who lives in the neighbourhood that was bombed
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Photos of the alleged incident provided by an eyewitness, resident in Mosul that Airwars made contact with by phone on 20/04/2015. They were taken by his brother who lives in the neighbourhood that was bombed
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Photos of the alleged incident provided by an eyewitness, resident in Mosul that Airwars made contact with by phone on 20/04/2015. They were taken by his brother who lives in the neighbourhood that was bombed
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Photos of the alleged incident provided by an eyewitness, resident in Mosul that Airwars made contact with by phone on 20/04/2015. They were taken by his brother who lives in the neighbourhood that was bombed

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

  • 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
    No reason given
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    18
  • Stated location
    near Aden neighborhood, Mosul, Iraq
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    38SLF396244
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jun 28, 2018
  • April 20, 2015, near Aden neighborhood, Mosul, Iraq, via media report. During a strike on Daesh IED factory, 18 civilians were unintentionally killed.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

On April 19th-20th the coalition reported four strikes in the vicinity: “Near Mosul, four airstrikes struck an ISIL staging area, destroying four ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL armored vehicle and an ISIL excavator.”

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    18 – 35
  • (4 children11 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    22–50
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS

Sources (11) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS734

Incident date

April 26, 2017

Location

الثورة‎, Tabaqah, al Zouikat, Ar Raqqah, Syria

Geolocation

35.81925, 38.53727 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Within 100m (via Coalition) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Within 100m (via Coalition)

Airwars assessment

Sixteen named civilians including eight children and five died in an alleged Coalition airstrike near the Al A’jrawi roundabout in Tabaqa, according to local media.

In January 2019, the Coalition accepted responsibility for the event, noting: “ Coalition aircraft engaged with what was positively identified as an ISIS defensive position on the balcony of a house, containing five ISIS combatants. Regrettably, unknown to Coalition observers, 16 civilians were inside the house, and were unintentionally killed when it collapsed as a result of the second strike.”

The Smart News Agency, reported that likely Coalition airstrikes killed seven civilians, including three children and a woman, and injured 12 others. It said that the strikes occurred “on the Zoueikat neighborhood and near the town’s roundabout.”

According to Mohab Naser, “Coalition planes committed a terrible massacre a few days ago in All Tabaqa after targeting a residential home with three families inside it north of aAl A’jrawi roundabout in the city, which led to the deaths of 16 martyrs most of them women and children. Their bodies are still under the rubble.”

The Syrian Network for Human Rights said that 15 members of the same family including eight children and five women were killed by “Coalition missiles”.

Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently named 16 victims.

In September 2017, Human Rights Watch published a field study of the event. It said the attack occurred at coordinates 35.820467, 38.537615 at 11pm-11:30pm on April 25th or 26th, and added the following:

“Local residents told Human Rights Watch that there was heavy fighting between SDF and ISIS on April 25 and 26 in the area around the al-‘Ajrawi roundabout located at the southern entry of Tabqa.They said that ISIS fighters were moving through the streets and using at least one house in the neighborhood to attack the advancing SDF forces. Around 11:30 p.m. on April 25 or 26, they said, an airstrike hit a residential house where the al-Jasem family was hiding. The al-Jasem house was located across the street from the house ISIS was using. The witnesses said they were hiding in their homes at the time of the strike so they were not able to say whether ISIS was present on top of or near the al-Jasem home. Human Rights Watch visited the site. The damage to the house is consistent with damage from an airstrike.

By the following morning, SDF were in control of the area. Local residents said that they collected the bodies of sixteen civilians, including nine children, from the targeted house several days after the attack. They provided Human Rights Watch with the names of the casualties and showed Human Rights Watch the place where they were buried.

In response to questions from Human Rights Watch, the CJTF press desk said that coalition forces conducted precision strikes in the vicinity of the location provided. On September 18 the press desk said that the CJTF was still assessing whether the strike resulted in civilian casualties.

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

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (14)

  • Mariam Ali Al Jassem 9 years old female killed
  • Khaled Ali Al Jassem 5 years old male killed
  • Qais Ali Al Jassem 16 years old killed
  • Loulou Ali Al Jassem 14 years old killed
  • Fawza Ali Al Jassem 38 years old female killed
  • Saja Mustapha al Jassem 11 years old female killed
  • Fadia Mustapha al Jassem 6 months years old female killed
  • Nour Mustapha Al Jassem 7 years old female killed
  • Mariam Mohammad al Jassem 44 years old female killed
  • Ali Mohammad al Jassem 47 years old male killed
  • Hala Ali al Jassem 9 years old female killed
  • Hussein Ali al Jassem 17 years old male killed
  • Fatima ahmad al Jassem 20 years old female killed
  • Fahima Ahmad al Jassem 44 years old female killed
  • Bushra al Milhem 39 years old killed
  • Mustapha al Jassem al Obeid 40 years old male killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    16
  • (8 children5 women2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    12
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • A residential house in Tabqa city that was hit by a coalition airstrike April 25 or 26, 2017, in an attack that killed 16 civilians, including nine children © 2017 Ole Solvang/Human Rights Watch
  • Graves of 16 civilians, including nine children, killed in a coalition airstrike on April 25 or 25, 2017, in Tabqa city. © 2017 Ole Solvang/Human Rights Watch

Geolocation notes

Prior to the Coalition releasing the MGRS for this incident, Airwars had geolocated it to the nearest town at 35.8295049, 38.5360909

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
    16
  • Stated location
    near al-Ajrawi roundabout, Tabqah, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SDV582640
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jan 31, 2019
  • Apr. 26, 2017, near al-Ajrawi roundabout, Tabqah, Syria, via Airwars report. Coalition aircraft engaged with what was positively identified as an ISIS defensive position on the balcony of a house, containing five ISIS combatants. Regrettably, unknown to Coalition observers, 16 civilians were inside the house, and were unintentionally killed when it collapsed as a result of the second strike.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For April 25th-26th, the Coalition reported: “Near Tabqah, six strikes engaged four ISIS tactical units; and destroyed four fighting positions and a fuel truck.”

For April 26th-27th, the Coalition reported: “Near Tabqah, four strikes engaged four ISIS tactical units and destroyed three fighting positions”.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    16
  • (8 children5 women2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    12
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI397

Incident date

January 6, 2017

Location

حي الزراعي, Mosul: Agricultural District, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.3556426, 43.1410058 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Within 100m (via Coalition) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Within 100m (via Coalition)

Airwars assessment

Local sources initially said that a family of three children and their grandmother were killed after their house was hit by a missile during Coalition raids on the Agricultural residential neighbourhood in central Mosul area, which at the time was under ISIS control. The New York Times later put the overall death toll at 16. In September 2020, the Coalition admitted that a strike had been conducted on January 6th 2017 against “a Daesh facility”, killing sixteen civilians and injuring three.

Mosul Ateka’s Facebook page reported at the time that a boy named Rafi Ahmed Mahmoud Al Rashidi was killed together with his two sisters and their grandmother, while they were asleep in their beds at dawn on 6th January 2017. A relative said in an associated comment that they were killed in a “bombing by a plane”.

Raedlay posted a video, which was later deleted, showing the effects of what was reported as a US airstrike. In a later post, it put the death toll at seven.

Initially, in its May 2017 casualty report, the Coalition denied responsibility, noting: “Jan. 6, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via social media report: After a review of available information and strike video it was assessed that no Coalition strikes were conducted in this geographic area that correspond to the report of civilian casualties.”

Between April 2016 and June 2017, New York Times reporters Azmat Khan and Anand Gopal visited the sites of nearly 150 airstrikes across northern Iraq, as part of their investigation for the New York Times Magazine. This was one of the events they investigated.

As Khan and Ghopal told Airwars: “Early on 1/6/17, airstrikes struck three family homes next to each other near the Saddam Mosque in Mosul. ISIS snipers had been been using the Mosque, but the homes were full of civilians, and 16 civilian men, women and children died.

“In the first home, where the family of Zuhair Hekmat was living, 9 civilians were killed.”

“In the second home, where Col. Riadh Adnan and his family were living, 3 civilians were killed, and two family members survived.”

“And in the third home, where Rafi Al Iraqi was living, 4 civilians were killed. Rafi Al Iraqi survived, as did his 10-year-old son, Muhammad Rafi Mahmud, Adnan Riyad Adnan, and Abdullrahman Riyad Adnan, although they had serious injuries.”

In response to new information, the Coalition reopened their assessment of the event. In the second of their September 2020 civilian casualty reports, the US-led Coalition stated: “Coalition aircraft conducted an airstrike against a Daesh facility. Regrettably, 16 civilians were unintentionally killed and three civilians were unintentionally wounded as a result of the strike.”

The incident occured around dawn.

The victims were named as:

Family members (9)

  • Zuhair Hekmat family member 1 Age unknown killed
  • Zuhair Hekmat family member 2 Age unknown killed
  • Zuhair Hekmat family member 3 Age unknown killed
  • Zuhair Hekmat family member 4 Age unknown killed
  • Zuhair Hekmat family member 5 Age unknown killed
  • Zuhair Hekmat family member 6 Age unknown killed
  • Zuhair Hekmat family member 7 Age unknown killed
  • Zuhair Hekmat family member 8 Age unknown killed
  • Zuhair Hekmat family member 9 Age unknown killed

Family members (5)

  • Col. Riadh Adnan family member 1 Age unknown killed
  • Col. Riadh Adnan family member 2 Age unknown killed
  • Col. Riadh Adnan family member 3 Age unknown killed
  • Col. Riadh Adnan family member 4 Age unknown injured
  • Col. Riadh Adnan family member 5 Age unknown injured

Family members (6)

  • Rafi Ahmed Mahmoud Al Rashidi Child male killed
  • Rafi Al Iraqi family member 2 Age unknown killed
  • Rafi Al Iraqi family member 3 Age unknown killed
  • Rafi Al Iraqi family member 4 Age unknown killed
  • Rafi Al Iraqi Adult male injured
  • Muhammad Rafi Mahmud 10 years old male Son of Rafi al Iraqi injured

Family members (2)

  • Adnan Riyad Adnan Age unknown male injured
  • Abdullrahman Riyad Adnan Age unknown male injured

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    16
  • (3 children1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    6
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected attacker
    Unknown
  • Suspected target
    ISIS

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Rafi Ahmed Mahmoud Al Rashidi (via Mosul Ateka)

Geolocation notes

Prior to the Coalition releasing the MGRS for this incident, Airwars had geolocated it to the nearest neighbourhood/area at 36.3559188, 43.1460571.

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
    16
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    3
  • Stated location
    in Mosul, Iraq
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    38SLF332250
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Sep 9, 2020
  • May 3, 2017
  • Jan. 6, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via social media report: After a review of available information and strike video it was assessed that no Coalition strikes were conducted in this geographic area that correspond to the report of civilian casualties.

  • Jan. 6, 2017, in Mosul, Iraq, via New York Times report. Coalition aircraft conducted an airstrike against a Daesh facility. Regrettably, 16 civilians were unintentionally killed and three civilians were unintentionally wounded as a result of the strike. 301 38SLF332250

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For January 5th-6th, it noted: “Near Mosul, three strikes engaged two ISIL tactical units; destroyed three ISIL-held buildings, three supply caches, two mortar systems, a fighting position, and a VBIED; damaged 24 supply routes; and suppressed two mortar teams.”

Unknown Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Unknown
  • Unknown position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    16
  • (3 children1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    6
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected attacker
    Unknown
  • Suspected target
    ISIS

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI610

Incident date

April 5, 2017

Location

الشفاء, Mosul, Shafa, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.35356, 43.12323 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Within 100m (via Coalition) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Within 100m (via Coalition)

Airwars assessment

Local sources reported that 16 civilians were killed and many were injured in Coalition and Iraqi government airstrikes on Al-Shafaa neighbourhood in West Mosul.

In September 2019 the Coalition accepted responsibility for this incident. Its monthly civilian casualty report noted: “Coalition aircraft conducted an airstrike against a Daesh mortar position. Regrettably, 16 civilians were unintentionally killed as a result of the strike.”  The Pentagon later declared this to have been a US event.

Sawalef Maslaweya (Facebook) reported unspecified shelling “on the Church of the Virgin Mary and the Nineveh Health Department in the Shifa’a neighborhood, and a house opposite to the Nineveh Health [Department], and 16 members of one family were killed at home.” Mosul Breaking News said “others were injured”. Iraqyoon Agency and Iraqi Spring Media Center also put the death toll at 16 and said they were killed in an airstrike.

Yaqein Agency initially reported one dead and three wounded, but in a later article it spoke of “more than 25 killed and more injured” due to Iraqi government and Coalition airstrikes, though this report also seemed to include a strike in Rifai neighbourhood (see following incident).

In May 2020, in its annual civilian harm report to Congress, the Pentagon declared this to have been a US action – which it also said involved both air and ground forces.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    16 – 25
  • Civilians reported injured
    3–25
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • Local sources reported airstrikes in Al-Shafaa neighbourhood, West Mosul, which allegedly killed more than 25 civilians, including a family of 16 (via Sawalef Maslaweya, Facebook)
  • Table from May 2020 Pentagon report to Congress, conceding additional US civilian harm events in Iraq and Syria during 2017.

Geolocation notes

Prior to the Coalition releasing the MGRS for this incident, Airwars had geolocated it to the nearest neighbourhood/area at 36.3534304, 43.1174326

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
    16
  • Stated location
    in Al Shafa, Iraq
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    38SLF316248
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Sep 26, 2019
  • April 5, 2017, in Al Shafa, Iraq, via Airwars report. Coalition aircraft conducted an airstrike against a Daesh mortar position. Regrettably, 16 civilians were unintentionally killed as a result of the strike.

United States
  • May 6, 2020
  • Since last year’s Section 1057 report, CJTF-OIR assessed that an additional 21 reports of civilian casualties during 2017 were credible, with approximately 71 civilians killed and approximately 13 civilians injured as result of U.S. military operations. With these additional assessments, CJTF-OIR assessed that a total number of 191 reports of civilian casualties during 2017 were credible, with approximately 864 civilians killed and approximately 219 civilians injured. 5-Apr-17 Shafa, Iraq Air/Ground 0 civilians injured 16 civilians killed

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For April 4th-5th the Coalition publicly reported: “Near Mosul, seven strikes engaged six ISIS tactical units; destroyed two mortar systems, two command and control nodes, a supply cache, and a fighting position; damaged nine supply routes and a bridge; and suppressed 10 ISIS mortar teams and two ISIS tactical units.”

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    16 – 25
  • Civilians reported injured
    3–25
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI436

Incident date

January 21, 2017

Location

الرشيدية, Mosul, Al-Rashidiyah, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.40801, 43.08958 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Within 100m (via Coalition) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Within 100m (via Coalition)

Airwars assessment

Local sources said that Coalition airstrikes targeted a car-bomb and house in Al-Rashidiya neighborhood, in the northeast of Mosul. This also caused the death of 15 civilians, many of them women and children.

Ajel Al Mosul reported that “international Coalition airstrikes targeted a car-bomb in Rashidiya area, causing the martyrdom of a man and his wife and daughter, and other seven people who had previously fled to his home.” A relative, Fathil Jasim said on Facebook that the targeted house was his uncle’s, and spoke of thirteen dead.

Airwars contacted a family member inside Mosul who provided pictures of the victims as well as the following details:

“The house was targeted by Coalition airstrikes at 12.22 PM on Saturday. Four family members were killed as well as seven others who had come to the house as guests. The guests were employees of a medicine factory in the same region.”

The family member also provided pictures of US missiles that had reportedly targeted the house.

Airwars has also been in contact with a member of the second family that was killed in the reported Coalition raids, who lived in the same house. The family member reported the names of four victims.

The family member also provided pictures of the house after the strike (see below).

Rashidiya (Facebook) also named Mohammad Elias Khideral-Naimi as a victim. In a comment under the post, it was reported that “the news is true and now we start the funeral at the village of Jambour Faida Alqosh.”

The Los Angeles Times also interviewed survivors of the attack: “The Times had also spoken with Raed Mohammed Hasan, 30, at his damaged east Mosul home, where he said 11 people were killed by a coalition airstrike Jan. 21, including his 10-month-old daughter, Rania. Mohammed said he heard Islamic State fighters nearby before the strike, but they escaped. He called for an independent investigation.

“We want the United Nations to get involved in the investigation, and we want them to be neutral and fair,” Mohammed said.

Coalition colonel, Scrocca, said that airstrike wasn’t mentioned in Sunday’s report because the coalition received the allegation only last month and The Times’ report included “no specific location or contact info for us to follow up on.”

In July 2017 the Coalition admitted that it was responsible for this incident. Their monthly civilian casualty report noted: “During a strike on an ISIS VBIED attacking Iraqi Security Forces, it was assessed that 15 civilians were unintentionally killed by secondary explosions from the VBIED.”

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

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (4)

  • Iman Khalid Mohammed Adult male Born 1985 killed
  • Maryem Sinan Abdul Latif Child female Born 2005 killed
  • Zahra Sinan Abdul Latif Child female Born 2012 killed
  • Zaid Sinan Abdul Latif Child male Born 2015 killed

Family members (4)

  • Zahra Ibrahem Ali Jumah Adult female Born 1954 killed
  • Jasim Mohammed Hassan Ali Adult male Born 1977 killed
  • Shamsah Jasim Hassan Ali Adult female Born 1978 killed
  • Rania Raed Mohammed Hassan Child female Born 2016 killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    15
  • (4 children1 woman2–3 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (8) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (9) [ collapse]

  • The house in Al-Rashidiyah neighbourhood, Mosul, after the Coalition strike that killed up to 15 people (photo by family member)
  • Aftermath of the attack (photo provided by family member of the victims)
  • Another picture of the house allegedly hit in the strike (photo provided by family member of the victims)
  • Remains of US missile supposedly used in the attack (photo provided by family member of the victims)
  • Another picture of the bomb piece (photo provided by family member of the victims)
  • Another image of the bomb piece (photo provided by family member of the victims)
  • Jasim Mohammed Hassan Ali (photo provided by family member)
  • Zahra Ibrahem Ali Jumah (photo provided by family member)
  • Shamsah Jasim Hassan Ali (photo provided by family member)

Geolocation notes

Prior to the Coalition releasing the MGRS for this incident, Airwars had geolocated it to the nearest neighbourhood/area at 36.4125106, 43.0977345

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
    15
  • Stated location
    near Mosul, Iraq
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    38SLF287309
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jul 7, 2017
  • Jan. 21, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via media report: During a strike on an ISIS VBIED attacking Iraqi Security Forces, it was assessed that 15 civilians were unintentionally killed by secondary explosions from the VBIED.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For January 20th – 21st the Coalition publicly noted: “Near Mosul, two strikes engaged an ISIL tactical unit; destroyed 29 watercraft, three fighting positions, two vehicles, a mortar system, a light machine gun, and an anti-air artillery system; and damaged eight supply routes.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    15
  • (4 children1 woman2–3 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (8) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS285

Incident date

July 28, 2016

Location

الغندورة, Al Ghandoura, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.67554, 37.75664 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Within 100m (via Coalition) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Within 100m (via Coalition)

Airwars assessment

At least 22 civilians were killed in a Coalition airstrike on the village of al Ghandourra. According to Syria Newsdesk, the noon strikes hit the main market and the elementary school in the town, which was occupied by so-called ISIL.

The US later admitted to inadvertently killing 15 civilians in the incident, claiming that “the munition struck the vehicle after it slowed in a populated area after the munition was released.”

Extremely graphic footage later released by ISIL’s media wing showed much of the market destroyed, with significant civilian casualties. One unnamed eyewitness states: “Today the crusader coalition planes bombed this market, a market full of civilians, so that pieces of bodies were flying around, men, women and children. There are bodies that have turned to charcoal that can’t be identified, and others are in pieces that their families can’t identify them. Is this place a place of the mujahedin? We ask God almighty to destroy America and all those who support it, we ask God to destroy the coalition and all its allies and all those who are fighting Muslims, all those who are aggressing against Muslims. Where are you Muslim ummah where are you?”

According to the Syrian Observatory, 28 civilians “were killed when warplanes of the international coalition committed a massacre in the town of al-Ghandour in the northwestern countryside of Manbij city east of Aleppo province. The town is more than 23 kilometres away from Manbij city, and the death toll is expected to rise because there are some people in a critical situation. Also, SOHR received information that 13 other people were killed in the same bombing, but they were not identified yet, and it is unknown whether they were civilian citizens or members from the ‘Islamic State’.“

The Pentagon announced later that day it was conducting an investigation into al Ghandourra: “U.S. Central Command initiated an assessment following internal operational reporting that a strike today near Manbij, Syria may have resulted in civilian casualties. We can confirm the Coalition conducted airstrikes in the area in the last 24 hours.” A senior US military official told Airwars that the Coalition’s internal monitoring had already raised concerns relating to the al Ghandourra strike – and that the decision to proceed almost immediately to an investigation represented a more pro-active approach to civilian casualty allegations.

An Amnesty case study published in October 2016 used satellite and photograph analysis to determine the likelihood of civilians having been killed: “The strikes reportedly hit the public market, as shown in a video clip which Amnesty International was able to geolocate in al-Ghandoura’s central main street and other images of the immediate aftermath of the attack in which dead bodies and significant destruction is clearly visible. One child victim shown in several on-line images of the attack’s aftermath is also clearly visible at the start of the video clip. Amnesty International was unable to find any of the images on-line before the date of the incident,” the NGO noted. “Amnesty International is concerned that the loss of civilian life in the strike resulted from a failure by the Coalition forces to take necessary precautions and the attack may have been disproportionate or otherwise indiscriminate.”

The Coalition conceded that it had killed 15 civilians in a statement issued on December 1st 2016: “Near Arghanndorh, Syria: During a strike on a moving ISIL vehicle, 15 civilians were inadvertently killed when the munition struck the vehicle after it slowed in a populated area after the munition was released.”

The Syrian Network eventually concluded that 22 civilians had died in the attack. It quoted local eyewitness Mr. Safi Al Sayed: “I saw two warplanes for the international coalition forces soaring in the sky. They were supporting the Kurdish forces in their clashes with ISIS near our town. The warplanes fired a missile that targeted shops near the town mosque. In just moments, the shops were reduced to ruins and everyone was inside were turned into burned dead bodies. I smelled the burned dead bodies. It was a tough thing to see.”

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

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (2)

Family members (3)

Family members (5)

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    22 – 41
  • (3–10 children1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    25–40
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (32) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (20) [ collapse]

  • An apparent image of the July 28th strike on al Ghandoura (via Tokhar )
  • Amnesty satellite analysis of a Coalition airstrike at al Ghandour in July 2016, which likely killed 28 or more civilians
  • An apparent image of the July 28th strike on al Ghandoura (via Tokhar )
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    One of the victims in the airstrike in Al Ghandoura (via Lens young manbij).
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    One of the victims in the airstrike in Al Ghandoura (via Lens young manbij).
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    One of the victims in the airstrike in Al Ghandoura (via Lens young manbij).
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    One of the victims in the airstrike in Al Ghandoura (via Lens young manbij).
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    One of the victims in the airstrike in Al Ghandoura (via Lens young manbij).
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    One of the victims in the airstrike in Al Ghandoura (via Lens young manbij).
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    One of the victims in the airstrike in Al Ghandoura (via Lens young manbij).
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    One of the victims in the airstrike in Al Ghandoura (via Lens young manbij).
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    One of the victims in the airstrike in Al Ghandoura (via Lens young manbij).
  • Photos showing the signs of destruction in al Ghandoura (via Al Tokhar al Kabir).
  • Photos showing the signs of destruction in al Ghandoura (via Al Tokhar al Kabir).
  • Photos showing the signs of destruction in al Ghandoura (via Al Tokhar al Kabir).
  • Photos showing the signs of destruction in al Ghandoura (via Al Tokhar al Kabir).
  • Photos showing the signs of destruction in al Ghandoura (via Al Tokhar al Kabir).
  • Photos showing the signs of destruction in al Ghandoura (via Al Tokhar al Kabir).
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Some of the victims killed in the air strike (via SNHR)

Geolocation notes

Prior to the Coalition releasing the MGRS for this incident, Airwars had geolocated it to the nearest village at 36.677467, 37.7545406

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
    15
  • Stated location
    near Arghanndorh, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SCA889596
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Dec 1, 2016
  • July 28, 2016, near Arghanndorh, Syria: During a strike on a moving ISIL vehicle, 15 civilians were inadvertently killed when the munition struck the vehicle after it slowed in a populated area after the munition was released.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For July 28th-29th the Coalition stated: “Near Manbij, 19 strikes struck 19 separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed 17 ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL heavy machine gun, and two ISIL vehicles.”

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    22 – 41
  • (3–10 children1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    25–40
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (32) [ collapse]