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
Civilian Harm Status
Belligerent Assessment
Declassified Documents

Incident Code

CI868

Incident date

October 10, 2017

Location

Al Qaim, Anbar, Iraq

Geolocation

34.393277, 40.984755 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Within 100m (via Coalition) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Within 100m (via Coalition)

Airwars assessment

In December 2017, the Coalition reported having unintentionally killed a civilian in an event previously unreported by Airwars.

It stated: “Oct. 10, 2017 near Al Qaim, Iraq via self-report. During a Coalition strike which destroyed a building being used as an ISIS headquarters it was assessed that one civilian was unintentionally injured when they inadvertently crossed into the blast area.”

Coalition officials told Airwars this incident occurred at the location 37SFU824075 (Military grid reference with 100 m accuracy) which placed the event in the Al Rashid neighbourhood of Al Qaim.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (1) [ 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
    Entered target area just prior to or after munition released
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    1
  • Stated location
    near Al Qaim, Iraq
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SFU824075
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jan 25, 2018
  • During a Coalition strike which destroyed a building being used as an ISIS headquarters it was assessed that one civilian was unintentionally injured when they inadvertently crossed into the blast area.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For October 9th – 10th the Coalition reported “Near Rawah, one strike destroyed an ISIS headquarters.”

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS1871b

Incident date

December 12, 2018

Location

Al Soussa, Deir Ezzor, Syria

Geolocation

34.52933, 40.96344 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Within 100m (via Coalition) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Within 100m (via Coalition)

Airwars assessment

In an event previously untracked by Airwars, the Coalition reported in its monthly civilian casualty report for September 2019 (published November 16th) that it had killed a civilian during an airstrike near Al Shaafah. The Pentagon later declared this to have been a US action.

According to the OIR report, “December 12, 2018, near Al Shafah, Syria, via self-report. Coalition aircraft conducted an airstrike against a Daesh facility. Regrettably, one civilian was unintentionally killed as a result of this strike.”

The Coalition provided Airwars with the location of this event to within 100 metres. The coordinates placed the event in the centre of al Soussa town.

In its annual civilian harm report to Congress published on May 6th 2020, the Pentagon declared this to have been a US incident.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Known target
    ISIS

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Table from DoD's annual civilian harm report to Congress, May 2020, listing additional US civilian harm events in Iraq and Syria conceded for 2018.

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 deaths conceded
    1
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    Near Al Shafah
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SFU802226
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Nov 15, 2019
  • December 12, 2018, near Al Shafah, Syria, via self-report. Coalition aircraft conducted an airstrike against a Daesh facility. Regrettably, one civilian was unintentionally killed as a result of this strike.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

On Dec. 12 in Syria, Coalition military forces conducted 26 strikes consisting of 52 engagements against ISIS targets.

Near Hajin, 25 strikes engaged 11 ISIS tactical units, and destroyed 18 fighting positions, four staging areas, five supply routes, three petroleum oil and lubricant facilities, two financial nodes, one improvised explosive device facility and damaged three fighting positions.
Near Abu Kamal, one strike destroyed one fighting position.

UK Military
  • English
    /
    Original

Wednesday 12 December – a Reaper hit four terrorist targets in Hajin, including a truck being loaded with weapons, whilst Tornados destroyed a Daesh operating base within the town…Reaper support to the SDF continued into Wednesday 12 December. Several terrorists were spotted in a treeline, and successfully targeted with a GBU-12. The Reaper’s crew then observed extremists loading a truck with weapons and ammunition; they and the vehicle were struck with a Hellfire missile. Two more Hellfire attacks were carried out during the patrol, one hitting a group of terrorists firing at the SDF, the other striking a number of terrorists as they held a meeting behind the front line. Tornados were also active over Hajin, as the SDF advanced ever further into the town, and they carried out a successful attack with three Paveway IVs against a Daesh operating base.

Dutch Military
  • English
    /
    Original

In de strijd tegen ISIS ondersteunden Nederlandse F-16’s grondtroepen tijdens 9 missies. Bij 8 werden wapens ingezet. Een overzicht van Defensieoperaties in de week van 12 t/m 18 december. De toestellen kwamen in actie boven de Syrische provincie Deir al Zour bij Abu Kamal. Hierbij zijn voertuigen, logistieke opslagplaatsen en strijders van ISIS aangevallen. Het F-16-detachement vliegt voor de anti-ISIS-coalitie nog tot en met 31 december. Daarna loopt het mandaat voor Nederlandse deelname af.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Known target
    ISIS

Incident Code

CS1961

Incident date

July 16, 2021

Location

ذيبان, Thiban, Deir Ezzor, Syria

Geolocation

35.0162094, 40.5101418 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

A man and his son were reportedly killed in a raid in Deir Ezzor’s Thiban town carried out by Syrian Democratic Forces with support of the US-led coalition at dawn on July 16, 2021.

The dead were identified as Miteb Sherida Al-Ghadir and his son Ahmed.

@Sada_AlSharqieh said they had been grazing their sheep at the time of the incident and “had no links with the terrorist organization ISIS or any other party”. NPA Syria meanwhile reported that two members of Islamic State had been killed, quoting a military source in the Syrian Democratic Forces. However, the ISIS members they were referring to were not named.

The Syrian Democratic Forces shot the two men dead, according to Jesr Press, when “a number of people fled for fear of arbitrary arrests” and “the patrol members opened fire directly on these people”. NPA Syria reported that a military source told them that the forces, “with the support of the International Coalition, carried out a landing operation on the Al-Latwa neighborhood in the town of Thiban, where clashes took place with ISIS members.”

Eyewitnesses told Furat SY that a “force consisting of several cars raided civilian homes, without warning, accompanied by indiscriminate shooting between the houses with the aim of terrorizing the ‘wanted’”. The two men were shot in front of their house, according to its reporting. “This incident sparked a wave of panic among the civilians and generated a state of anger and frustration among the relatives of the victims, forcing the SDF to withdraw from the town,” it added.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 men)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Small arms and light weapons
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attackers
    US-led Coalition, Syrian Democratic Forces
  • Suspected target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    2

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Graphic image of Mutaib Sherida Al-Ghadeer, who was killed in a raid in the town of Thiban on July 16, 2021. (Image posted by @YusufAd76532779)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Graphic image of Ahmed Sherida Al-Ghadeer, who was killed in a raid in the town of Thiban on July 16, 2021. (Image posted by @YusufAd76532779)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention a strike within the Latwa neighbourhood (حي اللطوة) in the village of Diban (ذيبان). Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for Dhiban are: 35.0162094, 40.5101418.

US-led Coalition Assessment:

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

Syrian Democratic Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Syrian Democratic Forces
  • Syrian Democratic Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 men)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Small arms and light weapons
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attackers
    US-led Coalition, Syrian Democratic Forces
  • Suspected target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    2

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI337

Incident date

November 14, 2016

Location

حي الزهراء, Mosul, Sheshan and Zahrah, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.3834943, 43.2109451 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

Airwars researcher met the three injured named kids at the evacuation centre in Goggali frontline east of Mosul after they submitted to Unknown fire in Sheshan and Zahrah neighbourhoods east of Mosul.

In their May 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.

The victims were named as:

Family members (2)

  • Atallah Mohammed Younis Hilal Child male injured
  • Jassim Mohammed Younis Hilal Child male injured
  • Mustafa Nabeel Child male injured

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    3
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Media
from sources (3) [ collapse]

  • A picture of the child (Nabeel Mustafa) who was injured following the alleged coalition airstrike in Sheshan and Zahrah neighbourhoods east of Mosul.
  • An image of the child (Jassim Mohammed Younis Hilal) who was injured following the alleged coalition airstrike in Sheshan and Zahrah neighbourhoods east of Mosul.
  • A picture of the child (Atallah Mohamed Younis Hilal) who was injured following the alleged coalition airstrike in Sheshan and Zahrah neighbourhoods east of Mosul.

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
    38SLF395279
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • May 1, 2020
  • Nov. 14, 2016, in Mosul, Iraq 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. 3065/CI337 38SLF395279

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    3
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Incident Code

CI383

Incident date

December 30, 2016

Location

الانتصار, Mosul, Intisar, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.326674, 43.219614 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
CJTF–OIR Declassified Assessment and Press Release

Attached to this civilian harm incident is the Pentagon's declassified assessment of this civilian harm allegation, obtained by Azmat Khan and the New York Times through Freedom of Information requests and lawsuits filed since March 2017, 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

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.

Incident Code

CI548

Incident date

March 16, 2017

Location

Mosul, Nineveh, Iraq

Airwars assessment

In an incident not previously tracked by Airwars, on July 7th 2017 the Coalition said it had concluded an assessment on claims of civilian harm “near Mosul, Iraq” via an NGO report. According to the Coalition report, “76. March 16, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via NGO report: The report contained insufficient information on the time, location and details to assess its credibility.”

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]

CJTF–OIR Declassified Assessment and Press Release

Attached to this civilian harm incident is the Pentagon's declassified assessment of this civilian harm allegation, obtained by Azmat Khan and the New York Times through Freedom of Information requests and lawsuits filed since March 2017, 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
    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
  • Jul 7, 2017
  • The report contained insufficient information of the time, location and details to assess its credibility.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For March 15th – 16th: “Near Mosul, five strikes engaged three ISIS tactical units; destroyed 11 fighting positions, four mortar systems, two ISIS-held buildings, two vehicles, a medium machine gun, an artillery system, and a rocket-propelled grenade system; damaged 17 supply routes and three ISIS-held buildings; and suppressed six ISIS mortar teams and three ISIS tactical units.”

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

CI603

Incident date

April 3, 2017

Location

تل عفر, Tall Afar, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.379238, 42.44814 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (via Coalition) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Exact location (via Coalition)

Airwars assessment

In an event previously not tracked by Airwars, the Coalition denied social media claims of having caused civilian casualties at Tal Afar.

According to the June report, “22. April 3, 2017, near Tal Afar, Iraq, via social media: No Coalition strikes were conducted on that day in the geographic area of the reported civilian casualties.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Civilians reported injured
    0–1
  • 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 the Pentagon's declassified assessment of this civilian harm allegation, obtained by Azmat Khan and the New York Times through Freedom of Information requests and lawsuits filed since March 2017, 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 Tal Afar, Iraq
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    1 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    38SKF7109029037
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jun 2, 2017
  • No Coalition strikes were conducted on that day in the geographic area of the reported civilian casualties.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For April 2nd-3rd the Coalition publicly reported that: “Near Mosul, five strikes engaged two ISIS tactical units; destroyed a fighting position, a mortar system, and a rocket-propelled grenade system; damaged three fighting positions, two supply routes, and a supply cache; and suppressed eight ISIS mortar teams and four ISIS tactical units.”

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Civilians reported injured
    0–1
  • 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

CI688

Incident date

May 4, 2017

Location

الرطبة, Ar Rutbah, Anbar, Iraq

Geolocation

33.036997, 40.285862 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

In a previously unknown allegation, the Coalition denied involvement in an incident that they said was reported on social media. In their July 2017 civilian casualty report, the Coalition wrote: May 4, 2017, near Ar Rutbah, Iraq, 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 160 km away.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Civilians reported injured
    0–1
  • 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 the Pentagon's declassified assessment of this civilian harm allegation, obtained by Azmat Khan and the New York Times through Freedom of Information requests and lawsuits filed since March 2017, 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 Ar Rutbah, Iraq
    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 160 km away.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For May 3rd-4th, the Coalition reported no strikes in the area.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Civilians reported injured
    0–1
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (1) [ collapse]