Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Belligerent
Country
start date
end date
Civilian Harm Status
Belligerent Assessment
Declassified Documents
Infrastructure

Incident Code

CS515

Incident date

February 20, 2017

Location

Ar Raqqah, Syria

Airwars assessment

In an incident not previously tracked by Airwars, the Coalition said in June 2017 that an airstrike near Raqqa had not caused civilian harm – despite claims on social media.

According to the report, “14. Feb. 20, 2017, near Raqqah, Syria, 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.”

The strike was assessed as non credible based on the claim that “no Coalition strikes were conducted on that day in the geographic area of the report of civilian casualties.” However, the Coalition reported multiple strikes in Raqqa that day.

No additional details are presently known.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (1) [ collapse]

CJTF–OIR Declassified Assessment and Press Release

Attached to this civilian harm incident is a provisional reconciliation of the Pentagon's declassified assessment of this civilian harm allegation, based on matching date and locational information.

The declassified documents were obtained by Azmat Khan and the New York Times through Freedom of Information requests and lawsuits filed since March 2017, and are included alongside the corresponding press release published by the Pentagon. Airwars is currently analysing the contents of each file, and will update our own assessments accordingly.

Declassified Assessment Press Release

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible / Unsubstantiated
    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 Raqqah, Syria
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Apr 30, 2017
  • 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.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For February 20th-21st, the Coalition reported: “Near Ar Raqqah, seven strikes engaged four ISIS tactical units; destroyed three fighting positions, a VBIED, a garage, an IED and a weapons facility; and damaged a bridge.”

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USYEM052-C

Incident date

March 18, 2012

Location

جعار, Ja'ar, Abyan, Yemen

Geolocation

13.223161, 45.305486 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

One civilian was reported injured and eight militants were killed in alleged Yemeni or US airstrikes carried out on the city of Jaar on March 18th 2012, in the governorate of Abyan. According to an Associated Press (AP) report published in the Washington Times, the civilian was injured when a post office being used as a temporary hospital was hit during the airstrikes.

The airstrikes on Jaar were part of a series of other missile strikes carried out against Al Qaeda positions throughout the province of Abyan including strikes on Zinjibar, the capital city of the governorate.

One witness told Xinhua that several residential buildings were damaged in the airstrikes, including four houses in the centre of Jaar which were “demolished”. However, Al Arabiya reported that while civilians in the city of Jaar were forced to flee their homes, “there were no immediate reports of people killed.”

Whilst the airstrikes were initially reported as having been conducted by Yemeni aircraft, an investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism has cast doubt on this fact. The investigation found that the Yemeni Air Force (YAF) was decrepit and inadequate and “had not been functioning in ages” mainly due to endemic corruption, according to a Yemeni analyst. Additionally, at least one source, including a tweet from @sowtalthowra, referred to the strikes as coming from the sea, and we know there was reportedly at least one US warship in the region at the time.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Naval bombardment
  • Civilian infrastructure
    Healthcare facility
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attackers
    US Forces, Yemeni Air Force
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
  • Belligerents reported killed
    8

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention that a post office used as a hospital was targeted in the town of Ja’ar (جعار). Due to limited information and satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location of this post office. The generic coordinates for the town of Ja’ar (جعار) are: 13.223161, 45.305486.

US Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US Forces
  • US Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Yemeni Air Force Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Yemeni Air Force
  • Yemeni Air Force position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Naval bombardment
  • Civilian infrastructure
    Healthcare facility
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attackers
    US Forces, Yemeni Air Force
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
  • Belligerents reported killed
    8

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Incident Code

R3362

Incident date

January 4, 2019

Location

أورم الكبرى, Urma Al Kubra, Aleppo, Syria

Airwars assessment

Around 11 pm in the night of January the 4th, alleged Russian or regime airstrikes targeted the villages of Dera Azza, Urm Al Kubra, Al Rashidin and Rehab Al Mohandeseen, local media reported.  

In the village Urma Al Kubra, west of Aleppo, no civilians appear to have been killed but several were wounded. Reports varied on the number. Several sources claimed between seven and nine civilians were wounded as a result of the airstrike on Urma Al Kubra alone. Among the reported wounded were three women and a child.

Dirarkhattab  said that the Assad regime had also bombed Urma Al Kubra.

 

The incident occured at approximately 11:14 pm local time.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Civilians reported injured
    2–9
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Military, Syrian Regime

Sources (19) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (6) [ collapse]

  • The aftermatch of an alleged Russian airstrike in Aleppo (Via Jisir TV).
  • The aftermatch of an alleged Russian airstrike in Aleppo (Via Qasioun).
  • Destruction as a result of an alleged Russian airstrike (via AMC).
  • Injured civilians as a result of an alleged Russian airstrike (via @OKKO5Lc4iNiZH6S).
  • Destructed vehicle as a result of an alleged Russian airstrike (via syria.liveuamap.com)
  • Destruction as a result of an alleged Russian airstrike (via Smart News Agency).

Russian Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Military
  • Russian Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Syrian Regime Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Syrian Regime
  • Syrian Regime position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Civilians reported injured
    2–9
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Military, Syrian Regime

Sources (19) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM250a-C

Incident date

October 3, 2019

Location

Abaloni, in the vicinity of Hosingow, Lower Juba, Somalia

Geolocation

-0.174064, 41.269959 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Two civilians were allegedly killed by a US or Kenyan airstrike on Abaloni. AFRICOM later denied conducting a strike in the area.

Hussein Eliyow tweeted: “SOMALIA: Reports of US /Kenya airstrike in Abaloni village, outside Hosingow town last night. Residents say the airstrike killed at least two nomads. More details to follow.”

AFRICOM discounted the incident in its first quarterly civilian casualty report: “October 3, 2019, AFRICOM received one allegation from an online media source claiming two (2) civilians were killed and one (1) injured as a result of an airstrike in the vicinity of Lower Jubba, Somalia. After review, the allegation was assessed to be unsubstantiated because no U.S. military strike took place on the alleged date or at the location.”

The incident occured during the night.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attackers
    US Forces, Kenyan Military Forces

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the village of Abaloni, allegedly in the vicinity of Hosingow (هوسئنجو), close to the Kenyan border. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for Hosingow are: -0.174064, 41.269959.

US Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US Forces
  • US Forces position on incident
    Non credible / Unsubstantiated
    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

Civilian casualty statements

US Forces
  • Apr 27, 2020
  • October 3, 2019, AFRICOM received one allegation from an online media source claiming two (2) civilians were killed and one (1) injured as a result of an airstrike in the vicinity of Lower Jubba, Somalia. After review, the allegation was assessed to be unsubstantiated because no U.S. military strike took place on the alleged date or at the location.

Kenyan Military Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Kenyan Military Forces
  • Kenyan Military Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attackers
    US Forces, Kenyan Military Forces

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Incident Code

YEMYEM006

Incident date

May 20, 2012

Location

جعار, Ja'ar, Abyan, Yemen

Geolocation

13.223161, 45.305486 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

A factory reportedly used by Al Qaeda for weapon storage to the north of Jaar was targeted in an alleged Yemeni airstrike as fighting in the city continued, sources reported, adding that up to 14 Al Qaeda militants were killed in the battle, with between nine and 13 killed by the airstrike, on May 20, 2012. There are currently no known reports of civilian harm.

Reuters, who reported that at least 11 were killed in the battle on May 20th, said that up to nine militants were killed in the airstrike – citing local residents who said a vehicle carrying the bodies of alleged insurgents was seen speeding from the factory. A tweet from @hbashrbash put the number of Al Qaeda militants killed at 13.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Causes of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions, Small arms and light weapons
  • Suspected attacker
    Yemeni Air Force
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
  • Belligerents reported killed
    9–13

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention that the airstrike targeted a ‘factory used as a base by militants’ in the town of Ja’ar (جعار). Due to limited information and satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for the town of Ja’ar (جعار) are: 13.223161, 45.305486.

Yemeni Air Force Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Yemeni Air Force
  • Yemeni Air Force position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Causes of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions, Small arms and light weapons
  • Suspected attacker
    Yemeni Air Force
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
  • Belligerents reported killed
    9–13

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Incident Code

LC389

Incident date

May 11, 2020

Location

بوقرين, Abugrein, Misurata, Libya

Geolocation

31.445278, 15.25443 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

An unknown number of civilians died in alleged airstrikes by a UAE aircraft on two civilian cars near Abugrein on May 11th, 2020, according to Libya Al Ahrar.

Libya Al Ahrar reported that, according to the Brigadier General of Sirte Al Jafra Operations Abdul Hadi Dara, “civilians were martyred as a result of the targeting by Emirati aircraft of two civilian cars in Abugrein.”

Tk Yahrouq Kl shy wrote on Facebook that “a drone bombed Al Heisha Al Jadida (Abugrein)”, but did not report the belligerent or civilian harm.

Currently, further information is unavailable to Airwars.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    United Arab Emirates Military
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the village of Abugrein (بوقرين), for which the generic coordinates are: 31.445278, 15.25443. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

United Arab Emirates Military Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    United Arab Emirates Military
  • United Arab Emirates Military position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    United Arab Emirates Military
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USYEM136-B

Incident date

December 24, 2012

Location

المناسح, Manaseh, Bayda', Yemen

Geolocation

14.579762, 44.750219 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Two suspected Al Qaeda militants were killed and three were injured in an alleged US drone strike which hit a vehicle in Manaseh in al-Bayda province on December 24th, 2012 at 5pm. No civilian harm has been reported.

According to Reuters, AFP, and AP, two Al Qaeda militants were killed when a drone strike hit their vehicle. There were mixed reports about the identity of both victims. The first person killed was Abdel-Raoud Naseeb, a mid-level Al Qaeda operative who narrowly escaped the first recorded American drone strike in Yemen on November 3rd, 2002. His death was confirmed by his family to Reuters and AP. Naseeb had fled southern Lawdar wherein a US-backed military offensive was taking place earlier in 2012. However, AFP claimed the the militant was Abdullah Hussein al-Waeli, an Al Qaeda member from the province of Marib, who escaped prison two years prior.

Locals speaking to Reuters reported that the second victim was Jordanian. Xinhua reported that he was a Syrian national. @ali_alshami on Twitter claimed that his name was Nasser al-Sanea but no other sources corroborated this. Overall, tribal sources and news outlets reported three militants were injured in the strike with no further details.

The drone strike was allegedly an American Predator drone according to the Long War Journal. It was the first recorded US drone strike in seven weeks.

The incident occured at approximately 5:00 pm local time.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Suspected attacker
    US Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
  • Belligerents reported killed
    2
  • Belligerents reported injured
    3

Sources (22) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention that the strike targeted a vehicle near or in the village of Manaseh (المناسح) near the town Radda/Rada’a (رداع), in the Bayda’ province. The coordinates for the village of Manaseh (المناسح) are: 14.579762, 44.750219. Due to limited information and satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

  • The village of Manaseh (المناسح) near the town Radda/Rada’a (رداع) with roads marked in yellow

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

US Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US Forces
  • US Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Suspected attacker
    US Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
  • Belligerents reported killed
    2
  • Belligerents reported injured
    3

Sources (22) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USYEMTr181

Incident date

November 2, 2018

Location

شبام, Shibam, Hadhramout, Yemen

Geolocation

15.905503, 48.652311 Note: The accuracy of this location is to District level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

A single source, Aden News, suggested that US airstrikes had targeted AQAP sites in the Shibam district of Hadramout governorate, on the evening of November 2nd 2018.

Aden News reported the following: “Urgent:  Explosion on the express line of the Shibam Hadramout Directorate  and citizens talk about a drone strike. Local residents  in the Shibam district of Hadramout governorate – east of Yemen – said that they heard  a  violent explosion shortly before in the district. The residents confirmed that the preliminary information indicates a drone strike that targeted a car of what is believed to be carrying Al-Qaeda operatives in  the direct line of the directorate. And American planes had launched Friday evening raids targeting the alleged sites of al-Qaeda in the  vicinity of Shibam district, according to local sources.”

There were no further known public reports of strikes at that time, and no information on alleged casualties was available.

In January 2019, US Central Command asserted that it conducted no actions in November 2018: “No strikes were conducted in Yemen in October, November, and December.” This may not however preclude a CIA or Saudi-led Coalition action.

The incident occured in the evening.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Suspected attacker
    US Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention the Shibam (شبام) district, for which the generic coordinates are: 15.905503, 48.652311. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

  • Reports of the incident mention the Shibam (شبام) district.

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

US Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US Forces
  • US Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

US Forces

TAMPA, Fla. - U.S. Central Command conducted 36 total air strikes in Yemen
in 2018, targeting al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and ISIS-Yemen.

CENTCOM conducted 10 air strikes in January targeting both AQAP and
ISIS-Yemen, six air strikes against AQAP in February, seven air strikes
against AQAP in March and four airstrikes against AQAP in April.

CENTCOM conducted two air strikes in May, two air strikes in June, two air
strikes in July, one air strike in August, and two air strikes in September,
all targeting AQAP terrorists.

No strikes were conducted in Yemen in October, November, and December.

The air strikes took place in Abyan, al Bayda, Hadramawt, Shabwah and Zamakh
governorates.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Suspected attacker
    US Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)

Sources (2) [ collapse]