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

CI007

Incident date

October 5, 2014

Location

يت, Hit, Anbar, Iraq

Geolocation

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

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

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

Sources (13) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (3) [ collapse]

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

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:21:"insufficient_evidence";}
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    IVO Hit, Iraq
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

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

Summary

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

Sources (13) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS009

Incident date

September 24–29, 2014

Location

الرقة‎, Ar Raqqah, Syria

Geolocation

35.9505639, 39.0094148 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

A number of sources including the Syrian Martyrs website reported that a woman was killed in a Coalition airstrike on Ar Raqqah. She was reported as being a resident of the city.

The3 Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies also reported her death fropm Coalition actions – though said this occured on September 24th: ” Fawzia al-Jadou, from Raqqa, was martyred by the bombing of the international coalition forces, on 24/9/2014.”

According to Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, “Ms. Fawzia al-Jadou died due to extreme panic which led to an attack that stopped her breathing and killed her.”

A Syrian Network for Human Rights report relating to this event can no longer be traced.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 woman)
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

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 Raqqah, Syria
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jun 28, 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 airstrikes in the vicinity on September 28th-29th 2014: “Two airstrikes were conducted on ISIL compounds near Ar Raqqah.”

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 woman)
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Incident Code

CS006

Incident date

September 28, 2014

Location

الرقة‎, Ar Raqqah, Syria

Geolocation

35.9505639, 39.0094148 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

Report of one civilian death as a result of coalition strike. Currently one source only.

In July 2017 the Coalition said it had classed the event as non credible based on no evidence of civilian harm: “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.”

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • Airwars grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (2) [ collapse]

US-led Coalition Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

The coalition has confirmed strikes in the vicinity of Ar Raqqah for September 27th-28th 2014: “U.S. and partner nations conducted airstrikes on four ISIL-held modular refineries and an ISIL command and control node north of Ar Raqqah; although we continue to assess the outcome of these attacks, initial indications are that they were successful.”

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • Airwars grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS007

Incident date

September 28, 2014

Location

منبج, Manbij, Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.5269242, 37.9559288 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

The US (possibly with Jordan and/or the UAE) bombed grain silos near Manjib. While CENTCOM insisted that the grain facilities were occupied by Islamic State forces, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that only civilians – workers at the silos – had been killed, although militants were also wounded.

According to the Syrian Network for Human Rights [which did not record any civilian deaths] the silos and associated facilities were still producing vital food for nearby residents: “If these mills were damaged, it would mean that 650,000 people will be unable to get bread.”

In an apparent reference to the Manbij incident, a declassified CENTCOM file published in September 2015 noted that “An initial review of a strike during the initial deliberate strikes in Syria prior to 29 September on the area IVO grain silos in Idlib had been conducted, determined not to have been ClVCAS.” The review then concluded that “No further inquiry [was] required.”

In July 2017 the Coalition said it had classed the event as non-credible based on a lack of available information: “Sep. 28, 2014, near Manbij, Syria, 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.”

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • Airwars grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (3) [ collapse]

  • Video purporting to Show rubble of school in day time. Posted by Inghimassi Biftikhar (a pseudonym) a Syrian who appears to live in the Eastern countryside of Aleppo and who is from the opposition.
  • More images of school rubble. Posted by Inghimassi Biftikhar.
  • Image of the alleged strike (via SN4HR)

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:21:"insufficient_evidence";}
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    near Manbij, Syria
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • May 1, 2015
  • 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. From May 2015 CENTCOM document: A review of BDA imagery did not credibly determine that civilians were present at the site. Open source images presented as casualties from the strikes actually came from previous GoS strikes.; caused the collapse of a resideNe nearby, killing 13

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

The coalition has confirmed responsibility for the event: “Two airstrikes struck an ISIL training camp and ISIL vehicles within a vehicle staging area adjacent to an ISIL-held grain storage facility near Manbij. The storage facility was being used by ISIL as a logistics hub and vehicle staging facility,” an official report noted.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • Airwars grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS008

Incident date

September 28, 2014

Location

جرابلس, Road between Manbij and Jarabulus (216), Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.6268445, 37.9348657 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Subdistrict level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Subdistrict

Airwars assessment

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a coalition airstrike “on Islamic State buildings” killed “several” civilians who were being held captive, as well as five Islamic State militants.

Other sources reported that the Omar Abu Risha school at Manbij was also destroyed in a coalition attack.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention an “IS building” on the road between ( منبج ) Manbij and( جرابلس ) Jarablus. The road is number 216. There was no further information on the location on the building. The coordinates for the middle point of Road 216 between Mabij and Jarablus are: 36.6268445, 37.9348657 Location of ( منبج ) Manbij: 36.5269242, 37.9559288 Location of ( جرابلس ) Jarabulus: 36.818378, 38.010343

  • Road 216 Mabij-Jarablus

US-led Coalition Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

The coalition has confirmed strikes in the vicinity, though has denied any civilian casualties. For September 28th-29th 2014 it reported: “U.S. and partner nations conducted two airstrikes on an ISIL compound and an ISIL-held airfield in northwest Syria near Aleppo.“

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS005

Incident date

September 28, 2014

Location

الجسر العتيق, Ar Raqqah, Syria

Geolocation

35.935, 39.010833 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

An alleged early morning coalition airstrike hit a small plastics factory on the Old Bridge Road in Ar Raqqah, the headquarters town of Islamic State in Syria. The strike reportedly killed the factory site’s young night watchman (or alternatively the owner).

In what may be a separate incident in the city, the Syrian Martyrs website (citing VDC) reported the death of a 21 year old man as a result of a coalition airstrike on Ar Raqqah” on September 28th. He was described as originally coming from Aleppo.

In July 2017 the Coalition said it had classed the event as Non Credible based on a lack of available evidence: “Sep. 28, 2014, near Raqqah, Syria, 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.”

Given the available evidence, Airwars continues to list this event as fair.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 2
  • (1–2 men)
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • Video posted by Abdulkader Hariri, filmed at night time, of resident walking towards rubble to see if they can find anyone and they find the body that they identify as Ismail. Video was included by a SNHR report published on 26th October 2014.
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    The body of Ismail Hussain Al Ibbou found under the rubble [Via: VDC]

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
  • Stated location
    near Raqqah, Syria
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jul 7, 2017
  • 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.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

The coalition has confirmed strikes in the vicinity of Ar Raqqah for September 27th-28th 2014: “U.S. and partner nations conducted airstrikes on four ISIL-held modular refineries and an ISIL command and control node north of Ar Raqqah; although we continue to assess the outcome of these attacks, initial indications are that they were successful.”

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 2
  • (1–2 men)
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS004

Incident date

September 27, 2014

Location

الفدغمي, Fadghami, Al-Hasakah, Syria

Geolocation

35.9117847, 40.8869932 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

Six male civilians, all cousins were killed in the village of Al Fadghami, Al Hassakah “as a result of Coalition strikes” it was reported.

Local activist Siraj al Hasskawi published details of the event on the day: “At 10:30 on Friday morning the Western/Arab alliance jets committed a massacre against six unarmed civilians and wounded two in the village of Al Fadghami 70 km South of Hasaka city on the old Hassaka/Deir Ezzor road near Shaddadi city…. The six martyrs had met, along with a number of relatives, in front of the home of Mr. Suleiman to eat breakfast and had their cars parked in front of the house. Unmanned surveillance planes were circling the skies of the village and surrounding villages. Then without warning a coalition aircraft fired a missile on one of their cars, burning it completely and killing the six cousins, and injuring two others. The first car was completely destroyed and the second one was damaged. The house where women and children live was partially damaged.

Civilians reported killed: Coalition position: Sources: Quality of reporting:

… Both Mahmoud and Hussein had returned from Iraq two months ago with their parents after the border between Syria and Iraq was removed, and they both decided to live in the village of their parents. Mahmoud lived in the house of Mr. Suleiman Hussein al Salim, in front of which the massacre took place. The other four martyrs (Satem, Abdullah, Ghassan .and Ali ) were all civilians working in agriculture and other freelance work and did not belong to any armed military faction. All were married and each had children between the ages of 9 and 15. They have now been buried in al Fadaghma Cemetery.”

The men, all residents of al Fadghami, have been identified by the VDC.

Also reported injured in the event were Bashar Hamidi al Salim and Ashraf Mukhlef Al Ali.

In July 2017, the Coalition said there was ‘insufficient evidence’ to determine civilian casualties: “Sep. 27, 2014, near Al Fadghami, Syria, 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.”

Given how well reported the event was, Airwars is seeking additional clarification from the Coalition. We continue to assess this event as Fair.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    6
  • (6 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (11) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Hasaka AlFadagmi shows alleged effects of the bombing of Coalition planes and remains of civilians

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:21:"insufficient_evidence";}
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    near Al Fadghami, Syria
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jul 7, 2017
  • 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.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

Sources: Quality of reporting:

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    6
  • (6 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (11) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS003

Incident date

September 26, 2014

Location

الحسكة, Al-Hasakah, Syria

Geolocation

36.5044792, 40.74354 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

The Syrian Martyrs website claimed that three named men were killed in a Coalition airstrike.

On its summary page Syrian Martyrs listed the trio as civilians. However, their individual pages describe them as fighters.

According to a video tribute, Akta’a was an opponent of the Assad regime who had also fought the Kurds in Syria’s chaotic civil war, and it appears unlikely he was a non-combatant: “One of the first to come out in peaceful protests in the town of Jissr Al Shoughour, he [Akta’a] fought the regime peacefully but he found that peaceful means with the regime do not work so he fought like a hero and he avenged the blood of the pure. He was victorious and with his own blessed blood he wrote history. The coming generations will remember his victories against the Kurdish forces loyal to the regime. He lived and died a free man. May God accept him.”

The Violations Documentation Center listed a fourth name, that of “non-civilian” Yasin Shaikh Mosa.

In July 2017 the Coalition classed the event as non credible, saying there was too little information for it to make a determination: “Sep. 26, 2014, near Al Hasakah, Syria, via Airwars report: After a review of available information it was assessed that there is insufficient evidence to find that civilians were harmed in this strike.”

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    2 – 4
  • (0–3 men)
  • Airwars grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Translation: "One of the first to come out in peaceful protests in the town of Jissr Al Shoughour. He fought the regime peacefully but he found that peaceful means with the regime do not work so he fought like a hero and he avenged the blood of the pure. He was victorious and with his own blessed blood he wrote history. The coming generations will remember his victories against the Kurdish forces loyal to the regime. He lived and died a free man. May God accept him." (via freejs11)

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:21:"insufficient_evidence";}
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    near Al Hasakah, Syria
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jul 7, 2017
  • After a review of available information it was assessed that there is insufficient evidence to find that civilians were harmed in this strike.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

US and allied airstrikes were only officially reported as taking place around Dayr az Zawr on September 25th-26th.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    2 – 4
  • (0–3 men)
  • Airwars grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (5) [ collapse]