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

CS037

Incident date

December 26, 2014

Location

الباب, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.3709658, 37.5179666 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

An internal CENTCOM review reported unnamed open sources as claiming civilian casualties had occurred as a result of Coalition airstrikes. A provisional review found that there had been no international airstrikes in the vicinity of the city on that date.

Airwars researchers later identified coverage from the time of Assad regime attacks on Aleppo on December 26th, which caused between 4 and 45 civilian deaths.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4 – 45
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (3) [ collapse]

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    a:1:{i:0;s:24:"insufficient_information";}
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    Aleppo, Syria.
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • May 1, 2015
  • Open sources. No coalition strikes in Aleppo City during relevant time period.

Summary

  • Civilians harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4 – 45
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI025

Incident date

December 26, 2014

Location

الموصل‎, Mosul, Al Wehda, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.3267086, 43.1835651 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

Local residents reported that an “international airstrike” involving three missiles had struck houses killing and injuring civilians. NINA claimed that five women from one family were among the dead.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    7
  • (5 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    4
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention multiple residential neighbourhoods in East Mosul, including Al Wahida neighbourhood (حي الوحدة), for which the coordinates of its midpoint are: 36.3267086, 43.1835651

  • Al Wahida neighbourhood (حي الوحدة) in East Mosul

    Imagery:
    © 2018 Google

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    No Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    near al-Wehda, Mosul, Iraq
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    38SLF293239
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jul 26, 2018
  • After a review of available information it was assessed that no Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area that correspond to the report of civilian casualties.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

The coalition confirmed two airstrikes in the vicinity of Mosul, though has not conceded any non-combatant casualties. For December 25th-26th 2015 CJTF-OIR reports: “Near Mosul, an airstrike destroyed an ISIL armored personnel vehicle.” And for December 26th-27th it states: “Near Mosul, an airstrike destroyed an ISIL tactical vehicle.“

Summary

  • Civilians harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    7
  • (5 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    4
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI024

Incident date

December 25, 2014

Location

الفلوجة‎, Fallujah, Anbar, Iraq

Geolocation

33.3532137, 43.7875674 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

In an event previously not tracked by Airwars, two civilians were reported as having been possibly killed by a Dutch airstrike on December 26th, after motorbikes strayed into the kill zone during an attack on Fallujah.

According to an internal CENTCOM document, it was self-reported the following day that “while conducting dynamic coalition airstrikes on ISIL fighters and technical vehicles [redacted] NLD F· l6AM [ie a Dutch F-16] may have unintentionally struck two unidentified persons on motorcycles who entered the target area during the strikes.”

These claims of civilian casualties were deemed credible enough to trigger a rare formal CENTCOM investigation into the event. This later concluded that there was not enough evidence to indicate civilian fatalities, A spokesman told Airwars in July 2015 that “after reviewing all available evidence, the allegations of civilian casualties from Coalition airstrikes in these instances were unfounded. The two allegations investigated in Iraq involved Coalition airstrikes on Dec. 25, 2014 [US time], near Fallujah, and April 4, 2015, near Al Sadilyae.”

The determination that no civilians had died appeared based mainly on an assessment of the ammunition used: “No CIVCAS found due to the Dutch using ball ammo rather than HE [high explosive] rounds.”

CENTCOM has decided not to publicly release its investigation into the Dutch strike at Fallujah, with an August 2015 request by Airwars for an expedited release of the documents dismissed on grounds that there was no “compelling need” for the public to be urgently informed about this or similar investigations.

Airwars researchers have found no public reports of civilian fatalities for Fallujah on December 25th-26th, although there was coverage of ongoing clashes between the Iraq military and Daesh.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (7) [ collapse]

US-led Coalition Assessment:

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

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • May 1, 2015
  • CAOC reported that on D855Z 26 DEC 14, while conducting dynamic coalition airstrikes on ISIL fighters and technical vehicles, (NLD F-l6AM) may have unintentionally struck two unidentified persons on motorcycles who entered the target area during the strikes. Dutch LNO was notified. CAOC is confirming whether NLD will conduct their own national investigation. // Credible. JTF directed an investigation to be conducted // DTG US INVESTIGATION: Findings and recommendations completed by IO. No CIVCAS found due to the Dutch using ball ammo versus HE rounds.

Summary

  • Civilians harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS036

Incident date

December 23, 2014

Location

دير الزور‎, Deir ez-Zor: Ziban street, Deir ez-Zor, Syria

Geolocation

35.3353632, 40.1380348 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

Syrian Martyrs and other monitoring sites listed three civilian males as being the victims of a coalition strike. They were named by the VDC and Syrian Martyrs.

All three men were listed as residents of Dayr az Zawr, and as having been killed in Ziban Street (شارع زيبان) in the city

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

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

Sources (4) [ collapse]

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • 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 Deir Ez Zoor, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SFV045106
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jul 26, 2018
  • After a review of available information it was assessed that no Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area that correspond to the report of civilian casualties

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

The coalition has confirmed an airstrike in the vicinity on December 23rd-24th 2014, noting: “Near Dayr az Zawr, an airstrike struck a crude oil collection point.” However the claims above appear to refer to events in the city itself.

Summary

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

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI023

Incident date

December 21, 2014

Location

الفلوجة‎, Fallujah, Anbar, Iraq

Geolocation

33.3532137, 43.7875674 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

A woman and child may have been injured in a major Australian airstrike at Fallujah on December 21st 2014, according to an internal CENTCOM assessment. The pre-planned attack was focused on a’suspected weapons factory’ in the city. However, 10 minutes after the last bomb had been dropped by an Australian aircraft, “a probable female and probable child were observed on FMV [full motion video] to walk through the target area.”

As the overhead observation continued, the child was taken by motorbike to Fallujah hospital, while the woman “walked to the median strip on the road and lay down, and was not observed any further.”

Despite the apparent seriousness of the report, both CENTCOM and the Australian military concluded that “there is insufficient information to warrant further inquiry.” According to a declassified internal report, “The lack of urgency and fact that the child walked apparently normally suggested his injuries were not life-threatening.”

While its aircraft were not implicated by CENTCOM’s internal assessment, Canada also reported being a part of the mission which attacked the Fallujah facility (see below.)

Multiple civilian fatalities were in fact reported at Fallujah that night, with BBC Arabic describing medical sources at the city’s main hospital as “receiving 13 bodies and seven wounded, including women and children who fell during the incessant shelling.” The casualties were attributed both to the Iraqi military and to “air strikes launched by the international coalition on the city of Fallujah on Sunday night (21st) and until dawn Monday,targeting places where IS fighters are believed to be.” Al Ghad instead reported eight fatalities from Coalition strikes in the wider region that day.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    13
  • (2–8 children)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (7) [ collapse]

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    Insufficient evidence of civilian harm
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • May 1, 2015
  • Two unknown individuals may have been wounded as a result of a deliberate strike conducted by the Austrlians on a suspected weapons factory in Fallujah. The female walked to the median strip on the road and lay down, and was not observed any further. // Assessed to be insufficient information to determine CIVCAS.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

COALITION-ASSESSED INCIDENT

Summary

  • Civilians harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    13
  • (2–8 children)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS035

Incident date

December 21, 2014

Location

الباب, Al-Bab, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.3709658, 37.5179666 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

Three civilian men were reported killed in an event near the town of Al Bab, after a US aircraft dropped a 500lb bomb on a fleeing ISIL suspect. They were later named by the VDC and Syrian Martyrs.

Social media also reported civilian deaths, with one tweet noting: “At least two civilians martyred in the air strikes conducted by US led Coalition war planes on IS-held Al Bab.” This was accompanied by a graphic photograph apparently showing major damage to the town.

Monitoring site Mugrn News, which also reported two civilian deaths, claimed that both coalition and Assad regime aircraft had been seen in the vicinity of Al Bab on the day, making attribution difficult. And VDC described Fadi al-Kassem being “Martyred during the regime`s army forces rocket shelling.”

However privately, CENTCOM conceded that an American aircraft was responsible for the incident. Following an attack on an ISIL checkpoint a fleeing alleged militant was targeted with a 500lb GBU-49 bomb. According to a report declassified in August 2015, this “re-attack” killed the suspect, damaged a building and also resulted in “2x nearby pax possibly injured.”

A rare full inquiry was ordered into the incident. On July 30th 2015, CENTCOM informed Airwars that this had concluded and found no evidence of civilian casualties: “We have no additional information available to provide at this time. Currently, CENTCOM plans only to release those investigations where the preponderance of evidence supports a finding that Coalition airstrikes resulted in civilian casualties.“ Requests for an expedited release of the report were denied on the grounds that this was not “currently newsworthy.”

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • (2 children3 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • Video from Centcom: "A video of an airstrike supporting Operation Inherent Resolve. The video depicts impacts occurring Dec. 21 against three ISIL buildings near Aleppo, Syria."
  • Video posted by Halab news network listing name of dead in Aleppo and its surroundings.

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None

Summary

  • Civilians harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • (2 children3 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI022

Incident date

December 16, 2014

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

In an event previously unreported by Airwars, an internal Battle Damage Assessment (BDA) reported “4 unknown persons potentially injured while moving into the engagement area,” during a Coalition airstrike on Objective Nebula, a targeted vehicle.

France later confirmed that it had carried out a targeted strike in Mosul on that date, though it is not presently clear whether this was the incident in question.

A subsequent review of full motion video from the event showed that “the 4 individuals in question eventually fled the scene of the strike.” It was also noted that there were no subsequent media reports of casualties.

However, given the potential risk to civilians during the event, CENTCOM also reported that “TF [Task Force] is still conducting an investigation into decisions made relating to the strike.”

Summary

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

Sources (1) [ collapse]

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    a:1:{i:0;s:5:"other";}
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    Mosul, Iraq
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • May 1, 2015
  • BDA on strike on named objective (Nebula). FMV received; storyboard received. Initial BDA was 4 unknown persons potentially injured while moving into engagement area. TF assessed the allegation not to be credible based on a review of all source intel. Review of FMV showed that the 4 individuals in question eventually fled the scene of the strike. XXX indicated that the only persons killed or injured were those in the targeted vehicle. No reflections of ClVCAS received through XXX and media reports. However, TF is still conducting an investigation into decisions made related to the strike.

Summary

  • Civilians harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • (4 children)
  • 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

CI021

Incident date

December 13, 2014

Location

الرمادي, Ramadi, Anbar, Iraq

Geolocation

33.437441, 43.286666 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

In an event previously unreported by Airwars, Coalition reported an unspecified open source as publishing a picture of a dead child “without any identification of original location”.

According to provisional analysis “There was one airstrike in Ramadi on 13 December (strike #1266) which was unlikely to have caused the death.” No further action was recorded by CENTCOM.

Summary

  • Civilians harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 child)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (1) [ collapse]

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    a:1:{i:0;s:5:"other";}
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    Fallujah, Iraq
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • May 1, 2015
  • Pictures show dead child without any identification of original location. There was one airstrike in Ramadi on 13 Dec (Strike #1266) which was unlikely to have caused the death.

Summary

  • Civilians harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 child)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (1) [ collapse]