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

CI029

Incident date

January 21, 2015

Location

الكسك, Kisik Junction, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.4618824, 42.6849747 Note: The accuracy of this location is to level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

A Canadian airstrike at Kisik Junction was alleged to have killed between 6 and 27 civilians, according to an internal CENTCOM report. The source was an English-speaking peshmerga fighter, who had passed on his concerns to Coalition Special Forces based in Iraq.

The Canadian attack had targeted “an ISIL sniper/ HMG [havy machine gun] position on the roof of a building within an ISIL-occupied compound, which correlates with the alleged report.”

A Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) spokesman told Airwars in August 2015 that Canada’s own investigation of the incident – which involved reviewing video and strike records – had concluded there was no case to answer: “The review uncovered no evidence of civilian casualties. Furthermore, it was re-confirmed that the target was a valid military objective from which ISIS was firing a heavy machine gun at Iraqi Kurdish troops. The area in question is still within ISIS held territory.”

Reuters reported on the airstrikes at the time (naming the town as Kiske) but made no mention of civilian deaths. The Kurdish regional Government also later claimed that 200 ISIL fighters had died in a successful peshmerga assault on the town which had begun on January 21st.

Canada had been singled out by Airwars in August 2015 as the most transparent member of the international Coalition. Even so, CAF took more than eight months to publicly admit to possible civilian casualties at Kisik Junction. The Globe and Mail has also reported that Defence Minister Jason Kenney was “never made aware” of the allegations.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    6 – 27
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Grab from a Reuters video detailing the Iraqi assault on Kisik Junction, January 21 2015

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
    Kisik JuNtion, Iraq
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • May 1, 2015
  • Peshmerga soldier alleged that between 6 and 27 civilians were killed on 21 Jan as a result of a coalition strike IVO Kisik JuNtion. A Canadian strike (CF18) struck an ISIL sniper/HMG position on the roof of a building within an ISIL-occupied compound, which collates with the alleged report. … under the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC) there are no obligations for the CAF to conduct an investigation. CAF assessed as N.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

COALITION-ASSESSED CASUALTY INCIDENT

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    6 – 27
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS046

Incident date

January 19, 2015

Location

الشدادي, Shadadi, Al-Hasakah, Syria

Geolocation

36.056316, 40.730438 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

An internal CENTCOM review cited reports from the ‘pro-opposition’ Step News Agency that three civilians had died when Coalition missiles struck homes in al-Shaddadi. According to the news site, “two civilian houses were targeted leading to the martyrdom of three from one family and several wounded including women and children.”

The Coalition concluded that its aircraft were not responsible, with no strikes on the day at the reported location: “J2 [military intelligence] conducted a review of recent strikes in and around Al Hassakah. 2 engagements found.

#1894 JAN15, ISIL personnel targeted 66KM NE of Al Hassakah. Not IVO [in vicinity of] city or structures. #1918 JAN15 covered Revetment, 25KM SE Al Hassakah. Occurred after reported time.”

As a result the Coalition decided the claims were “Not credible. No further action required.”

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • Civilians reported injured
    4
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (2) [ collapse]

US-led Coalition Assessment:

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

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • May 1, 2015
  • Pro-opposition FB page Step News AgeNy alleges coalition airstrike targeted 3 houses in Al Shaddadi killing 3 civilians and wounding several others. / 2 engagements found. Not credible.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • Civilians reported injured
    4
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS045

Incident date

January 18, 2015

Location

الطيانة, Tayyani, Deir ez-Zor, Syria

Geolocation

34.993816, 40.54807 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

An adult civilian male, was reported by a number of sources as killed in a coalition airstrike on his neighbourhood.

 

The incident was first reported on January 18, 2015 at 3:45 pm by Dayr az Zawr TV.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    US-led Coalition, Unknown

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident place the alleged Coalition airstrike in Al Tayana ( الطيانة ), Deir Ezzor. The location for the midpoint of Al Tayana village ( الطيانة ) is: 34.993816, 40.548070

  • Al Tayana village ( الطيانة )

    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 Tayyani, Syria
    Nearest population center

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

No coalition airstrikes were publicly reported for Dayr az Zawr governorate on either January 17th-18th or January 18th-19th 2015. A spokesman also later told Airwars that “no Coalition airstrikes have taken place in the vicinity” on that date.

Unknown Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    US-led Coalition, Unknown

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS044

Incident date

January 14–14, 2015

Location

الحسكة, Al Hasakah, Deir ez-Zor, Syria

Geolocation

34.993816, 40.54807 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

The website Syrian Martyrs identifies one man it says was killed in a Coalition airstrike near Dayr Ezzawr. He was reported as a resident of Tayana, the village where he was killed.

However Damascus Centre for Human Rights Studies – which named him – said that although he was from Tayana, he was killed in Al Hasakah following a Coalition strike.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident place the alleged Coalition airstrike in Al Tayana village ( الطيانة ), Deir Ezzor. The location for the midpoint of Al Tayana village ( الطيانة ) is: 34.993816, 40.548070

  • Al Tayana village ( الطيانة )

    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 Tayyani, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SFU412734
    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

No coalition airstrikes were publicly reported in Dayr az Zawr governorate on either January 14th-15th or January 15th-16th 2015.

However, for January 14th for al Hassakah, the Coalition reported that "Near Al Hasakah, three airstrikes destroyed an ISIL checkpoint, an ISIL fighting position, and three ISIL vehicles."

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS043

Incident date

January 14, 2015

Location

حماة, Um al Nayr, Idlib, Syria

Geolocation

35.374248, 36.601038 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

A female civilian, a civil engineer, was reported by Syrian Martyrs to have been killed in a Coalition airstrike. Confused reporting placed her death either at Umm Al Nayr near Hama, or at nearby Kaferzita.

However, VDC – which named the victim – stated that a 25 year old instead died in an attack by Assad regime helicopters, which dropped barrel bombs on the village.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Nala Hassan Fahed Al Hamwia 25 years old female VDC lists her as having been killed in an alleged regime barrel bomb attack. Syrian martyrs list her as a civil engineer and say she was killed by an alleged coalition attack killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 woman)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    US-led Coalition, Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • A video posted on 14th January 2015 shows the aftermath of the shelling of the village of Um al Nayr and says that it was carried out by helicopters [Via: Saleh Al Mohammad]
  • Another video posted on 14th January 2015 shows more of the destruction at the village of Um al Nayr in Shahshabo mountain, caused allegedly by helicopter shelling. [Via: Saleh Al Mohammad]

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

A Coalition airstrike on Um Al-Nayr (أم نير) was reported in the countryside near Hama town (ريف حماة), Syria. Contradictory reporting also placed the strike in Kaferzita (كفر زيتا), which is 22km away. The coordinates for Um Al-Nayr (أم نير) are: 35.5162032, 36.4324236. The coordinates for Kaferzita (كفر زيتا) are: 35.374248, 36.601038

  • Kaferzita ( كفر زيتا )

    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 Um al-Nayr, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SBV820171
    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

No US strikes are officially reported in Idlib governorate between January 13th-15th 2015.

Syrian Regime Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 woman)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    US-led Coalition, Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS042

Incident date

January 12, 2015

Location

near al-Bo Omar, Syria, Deir ez-Zor, Syria

Airwars assessment

In the January 25th 2018 civilian casualty report, the Coalition reported that a civilian casualties allegation near al-Bo Omar had been assessed as non credible: “#1 Jan. 12, 2015, near al-Bo Omar, Syria via regional human rights group report. 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.” The event was previously unknown to Airwars.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
  • 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:20:"no_coalition_strikes";}
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    near Al Jisr al Jadid, Syria
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Feb 22, 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

For January 11th-12th 2015 the Coalition publicly reported: “Near Dawr az Zawr, an airstrike struck an ISIL oil refinery.”

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
  • 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

CS041

Incident date

January 11, 2015

Location

دير الزور‎, Deir ez-Zor, Syria

Geolocation

34.9855034, 40.4081155 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

Extensive coalition air raids on Islamic State-controlled oil fields reportedly killed four civilian oil workers, according to a number of sources. Local website Step Agency listed what it said were the targets struck: “The alliance planes at dawn today launched more than five raids targeting Islamic State near the town of Abu Kamal in the villages of Hassrat, Al Mujawira, Al Sayyal and Hajeen in the east of Deir Ez Zawr governorate. They continued their heavy bombardment of al Mayadeen in the evening , targeting the old electricity building and oil wells in the desert in both Mayadeen and Bokros. They also targeted Ain Ali near Al Kouria, and Abu Hamam in Shai’tat and Al Ward oil field.” Locals tweeted that “Dayr Ezzor is under fire” during the air raids.

Residents later described a ferocious US-led attack: “The attack was terrifying as it is the first time the bombing was that strong. I looked up and the sky was red like fire because of the missiles, and then I learned from a relative that the refinery was targeted.”

In a later email exchange with Airwars, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that four civilians later died of injuries sustained during the bombing: “An engineer and three workers from the eastern countryside of Dayr Ez Zawr died on January 13th, following a bombing two days earlier by the allies on an oil refinery in Mayadeen.”

The Syrian Network for Human Rights also reported 4 civilian deaths and named the victims.

Syrian Martyrs and Damascus Centre for Human Rights Studies named a possible fifth victim of the event.

SNHR also insisted that only civilians were present at the time of the attack: “As the witness testaments show, there were no vehicles or members of ISIS near the refinery, as it is owned by the victims’ family. The closest ISIS base in the area is 8 km from the refinery.”

In their June 2020 civilian casualty report, the US-led Coalition assessed reports that they were responsible for civilian harm in this strike as “non-credible”, stating that after a review of all available records it was determined that, more likely than not, civilian casualties did not occur as a result of a Coalition action.

The incident occured at approximately 7:00 pm local time.

  • Ibrahim Mohammad As-Soulymane Adult male From al-Toub Village in Eastern Deir Ezzor killed
  • Ryad Mohammad Al-Khatter Adult male From al-Toub Village in Eastern Deir Ezzor killed
  • Maher Hamad Al-Allawee Adult male From al-Toub Village in Eastern Deir Ezzor killed
  • Mohammad Awad Al-Hussein 24 years old Petroleum engineer from al Mayadeen in eastern Deir Ezzor. He was married with a one year old daughter named Yara. He had graduated in 2011 and was working at the refinery. killed
  • Mohammad al Sobhi Adult male listed as killed on January 12th 2015 in al Mayadeen due to coalition raids, no further details. killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4 – 5
  • (4–5 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 (7) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (4) [ collapse]

  • A video showing destruction at an oil refinery near al Mayadeen in Deir Ezzor allegedly caused by coalition forces shelling. [Via: SN4HR] published on 23rd January 2015
  • A twitter account named 'Deir Ezzor under Fire' tweets that international coalition planes are allegedly carrying out raids on al Ward oil field in eastern Deir Ezzor, 11th January 2015.
  • The location of the refinery that was targeted, in al Shabi, near al Mayadeen. [Via: SN4HR report published on March 10th 2015]
  • Images showing the destruction at an oil field near al Mayadeen allegedly caused by coalition shelling on 11th January 2015. [Via: SN4HR report published on March 10th, 2015]

Geolocation notes

The Coalition aircraft was reported to have raided an oil refinery (petrol separator) located in the Shabli area, near Al Mayadeen, at approximately 19:00 local time. According to SNHR: “The refinery is 10 km from Al-Qala’a Station which is located on the main street – Mayadeen Road – Bukrus-Deir Ezzor.” The approximate location of this refinery is: 34.9855034, 40.4081155

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
    Other
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SFU285723
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jun 24, 2020
  • Jan. 11, 2015, near Deir Ez Zor, Syria, via Airwars report. After a review of all available records it was determined that, more likely than not, the alleged civilian casualties did not occur as a result of a Coalition action. 2792/CS041 37SFU285723

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

Despite the large scale air attack described by multiple witnesses, the coalition officially confirmed only one airstrike in the immediate vicinity for January 11th-12th 2015, noting only that: “Near Dawr az Zawr, an airstrike struck an ISIL oil refinery.”

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4 – 5
  • (4–5 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 (7) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI028

Incident date

January 11, 2015

Location

القيارة, Qayyarah, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

35.7977836, 43.2935143 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

A single source claimed that a coalition strike on the town of Qayyarah near Mosul killed and injured “dozens.”

 

The incident occured between 12:00 pm and 6:00 pm local time.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    24
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention five houses were targeted in the city Qayyarah before 18:00 local time, no specific neighbourhoods were mentioned. The location for the midpoint of Qayyarah ( القيارة) is: 35.7977836, 43.2935143

  • The city of Qayyarah ( القيارة)

    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 Qayyarah, Iraq
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    38SLE458628
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Sep 27, 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 reported heavy strikes in the vicnity of Mosul for January 10th-11th 2015: “Near Mosul, four airstrikes struck an ISIL armored vehicle, an ISIL tactical unit, and a large ISIL unit and destroyed an ISIL armored vehicle, five ISIL vehicles, and 21 ISIL boats.“

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    24
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (1) [ collapse]