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

CS1942

Incident date

December 25, 2019

Location

البوكمال, Al Bukamal, Deir Ezzor, Syria

Geolocation

34.45151, 40.918193 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

Around ten people were killed and an unknown number wounded in alleged Coalition artillery strikes that reportedly targeted Iranian and Lebanese militias in the city of Al Bukamal, Deir Ezzor governorate, on December 25th, 2019, according to local sources. It is unclear if those killed were civilians or belligerents.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored several explosions in areas where Iranian militias are active, but stated that information is conflicted “about whether it was caused by drones or if it was the result of long-range missiles. The shelling targeted an Iranian militia headquarters in Al Jam’eyyat neighborhood of Al Bukamal city, also other explosions took place in Al Jala’a Des.”

Step News Agency reported on three attacks, stating that American forces stationed in an oil field in Al Shuaitat area were responsible. The first attack allegedly targeted the headquarters of the 47th Brigade of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Militia in the city center with five missiles. Seven people were killed and others wounded.

The second raid targeted the headquarters of the Lebanese Hezbollah militia, which had recently established itself in the outskirts of the city, killing three people and wounding others.

The third raid targeted two headquarters of Iranian militia on the outskirts of the town of Al Galaa in the countryside of Al Bukamal. The death toll is not yet known.

It is unclear if those killed or injured were civilians or members of armed militias.

In their August 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 no Coalition actions were conducted in the geographical area at that time.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 3
  • Civilians reported injured
    0–2
  • 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
  • Belligerents reported killed
    7–10
  • Belligerents reported injured
    2

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention multiple strikes in the city of Abu Kamal (البوكمال) at: 34.45151, 40.918193, and the city of Al Jalaa (الجلاء) at: 34.632043, 40.830081. Some sources mention the neighbourhood of Al Jam’eyyat also being struck, however, due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

  • Reports of the incident mention multiple strikes in the city of Abu Kamal (البوكمال) and the city of Al Jalaa (الجلاء).

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

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
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SFU762138/37SFU677337
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Aug 22, 2020
  • Aug 22, 2020
  • Dec. 25, 2019, in Abu Kamal, Syria, via Airwars report. After a review of all available records it was assessed that no Coalition actions were conducted in the geographical area that corresponds to the report of civilian casualties. 3135/CS1942 37SFU762138

  • Dec. 25, 2019, in Al Jalaa, Syria, via Airwars report. After a review of all available records it was assessed that no Coalition actions were conducted in the geographical area that corresponds to the report of civilian casualties. 3136/CS1942 37SFU677337

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 3
  • Civilians reported injured
    0–2
  • 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
  • Belligerents reported killed
    7–10
  • Belligerents reported injured
    2

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI381

Incident date

December 30, 2016

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

An unnamed doctor at a local medical centre near Mosul told Iraqi Spring Media Centre that his facility had received 200 civilians over the preceding 24 hours, as a result of bombing and mortar shelling.

In related news, Kurdistan’s health minister told reporters that health facilities in the region had so far received 13,000 injured and sick people as a result of the assault on Mosul.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    200
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • 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 / Unsubstantiated
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    Insufficient information on the time and location
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    near Mosul, Iraq
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Aug 4, 2017
  • The report contained insufficient information of the time, location and details to assess its credibility.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For December 29th-30th the Coalition publicly stated: “Near Mosul four strikes engaged an ISIL tactical unit; destroyed 11 ISIL-held buildings, five supply caches, three tactical vehicles, two mortar systems, two fighting positions, two VBIEDs, a tunnel, an observation post, a research lab, a command and control node, an up-armored VBIED, two barges, and two artillery pieces; suppressed five mortar teams; and damaged 20 supply routes and two repeater towers.”

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    200
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI466

Incident date

February 18, 2017

Location

جامع يحيى الطالب, Mosul, Omar al Taleb mosque, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.35438, 43.10159 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Within 1m (via Coalition) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Within 1m (via Coalition)

Airwars assessment

In an incident not previously tracked by Airwars, the Coalition later confirmed the injuries of two civilians in an event near Mosul.

Their July 2017 civilian casualty report noted: “During a strike on an ISIS headquarters building, after reviewing post-strike video, it was assessed that two civilians were unintentionally injured.”

The Coalition provided Airwars with the location for this incident, accurate to within a one metre box. The location given placed the event near the Omar al Taleb mosque.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (3) [ collapse]

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Credible / Substantiated
    The investigation assessed that although all feasible precautions were taken and the decision to strike complied with the law of armed conflict, unintended civilian casualties regrettably occurred.
  • Given reason for civilian harm
    No reason given
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    2
  • Stated location
    near Mosul, Iraq
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    1 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    38SLF2966024929
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jul 7, 2017
  • Feb. 18, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via self-report: During a strike on an ISIS headquarters building, after reviewing post-strike video, it was assessed that two civilians were unintentionally injured.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For February 17th-18th the Coalition publicly noted: “Near Mosul, three strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit; destroyed eight front-end loaders, four excavators, three watercraft, an ISIS-held building and a barge; damaged 11 supply routes; and suppressed five mortar teams and an ISIS tactical unit.’

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI532

Incident date

March 10, 2017

Location

Mosul, Rajm Hadid, Nineveh, Iraq

Airwars assessment

In an incident not previously tracked by Airwars, on September 1st 2017 the Coalition said it had concluded an assessment of civilian harm “near Mosul, Iraq” via an NGO report. According to the Coalition report, “March 10, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via NGO 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 Coalition shared the location of this assessed strike with Airwars. The location was stated as Rajm Hadid in Mosul.

No additional details are presently known.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

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 / Unsubstantiated
    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 Mosul, Iraq
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Sep 1, 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

For March 9th-10ththe Coalition publicly reported: “Near Mosul, six strikes engaged five ISIS tactical units and an ISIS staging area; destroyed 11 vehicles, nine mortar systems, eight fighting positions, five VBIEDs, two medium machine guns, two roadblocks, two watercraft, an anti-air artillery system, a supply cache, an ammunition cache, and a recoilless rifle; damaged 15 supply routes; and suppressed 10 mortar teams.”

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

CS810

Incident date

May 12, 2017

Location

near Raqqah, Ar Raqqah, Syria

Airwars assessment

In an incident not previously tracked by Airwars, on April 1st 2017 the Coalition said it had concluded an assessment on social media claims of civilian harm “near Raqqah, Iraq”. According to the Coalition report, “102. May 12, 2017, near Raqqah, Syria, via social media report: No Coalition strikes were conducted on that day in the geographic area of the reported civilian casualties. The closest strike to the report of possible civilian casualties was over 2 km away.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

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 / 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
  • Jul 7, 2017
  • No Coalition strikes were conducted on that day in the geographic area of the reported civilian casualties. The closest strike to the report of possible civilian casualties was over 2 km away.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For May 11th-12th, the Coalition reported: “Near Raqqah, eight strikes engaged two ISIS tactical units and destroyed four fighting positions, three VBIEDs, two ISIS oil storage tanks, two ISIS oil stills, two excavators, a front-end loader, an IED, and an ISIS staging area.”

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]