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
Contested
Belligerent Assessment

Incident Code

CS1498 RS2457

Incident date

September 16, 2017

Location

محكان, Mahkan, Deir ez-Zor, Syria

Geolocation

34.974444, 40.485556 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

Nine to 19 civilians, including an “entire family,” died following airstrikes on Mahkan, about 45km southeast of Deir Ezzor, local media reported. Sources were conflicted as to who was to blame, some attributing blame to the US- led Coalition and others to Russian warplanes.

There were no reports of wounded.

According to Ortas, Coalition aircraft struck residential areas of the town, which resulted in damage to homes and property, Ortas put the death toll at 12.

Step News however reported that “Nine people from one family were killed in the town of Mahkan in the eastern countryside by coalition raids”.

In a subsequent report Geroun said 19 died, quoting an eyewitness who said “”among the victims of the town of Mahkan, a family consisting of a man, his wife and their seven children” died, the source added “it is difficult to reach the target location; because of the siege imposed by the [so-called Islamic State] organisation”.

Out of the sources obtained, four blamed the US-led Coalition and four sources suspected Russia. The aircraft were unidentified by all other sources. @DeirEzzor24 referred to “Al-Harbi” aircraft, though did not specify which faction was operating the planes. Shaam – which also said the warplane identity was unknown – claimed “two Bahri families” were among those killed.

Mohammed Ahmad Awad al-Bu’ali and his wife, Suqra Muhammad Eid al-Bu’ali, along with a number of their children and children in the neighbouring house, were documented killed by the Euphrates Post. Reportedly, the air raid occurred at dawn and targeted Mohammed Ahmad Awa al Bu’ali’s home.

The incident occured around dawn.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    9 – 19
  • (7 children1 woman1 man)
  • Airwars grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected belligerents
    US-led Coalition, Russian Armed Forces

Sources (32) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (5) [ collapse]

  • "A picture of the children of Mohammed Al-Awad Al-Bawali, who were martyred for two days as a result of the bombing of their home in the town of Muqan in the eastern suburb of Deir Al-Azur", 16th September 2017. (via Syria 2014)
  • The aftermath of an airstrike on Mahkan, 16th September 2017. (via Euphrates Post)
  • The aftermath of an airstrike on Mahkan, 16th September 2017. (via Euphrates Post)
  • The aftermath of an airstrike on Mahkan, 16th September 2017. (via Euphrates Post)
  • News bulletin reporting on the alleged Russian and Coalition airstrikes on Mahkan, 16th September 2017. (via Euphrates Post)

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention the village of Mahkan (محكان), of which the coordinates are: 34.974444, 40.485556. We were unable to verify the location further, but on satellite imagery available to Airwars from October 15, compared to September 7, 2017, a significant amount of traces of destruction and craters as a result of airstrikes can be seen throughout the town, which indicates it was being targeted during this period of time.

  • Traces of destruction and craters in the village of Makhan (محكان), marked in red, seen on satellite imagery of November 2, 2017

    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 Mahkan, Deir Ez Zor, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SFU356712
    Military Grid Reference System

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

For September 15th – 16th the Coalition reported “Near Dayr Az Zawr, three strikes engaged three ISIS tactical units and destroyed two fighting positions.” It additionally added that “On Sept. 15, near Dayr Az Zawr, Syria, five strikes engaged three ISIS tactical units and destroyed two fighting positions and a command and control node.”

Russian Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Armed Forces
  • Russian Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    9 – 19
  • (7 children1 woman1 man)
  • Airwars grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected belligerents
    US-led Coalition, Russian Armed Forces

Sources (32) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI863

Incident date

October 4, 2017

Location

التنك, Al Qaim, al Tanak, Anbar, Iraq

Geolocation

34.377233, 41.003981 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

At least one named civilian male was reported killed in the Tanak neighbourhood of al Qaim. While some sources blamed the US-led Coalition, others implied that Iraqi aircraft or artillery might have been responsible.

According to his family and local reports, an adult man died as a result of air and/ or artillery strikes on the al Tanak area.

The Arabic Centre for Human Rights also referred to dead and injured civilians in the Qaim al Arab area of the town.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 2
  • (1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1–2
  • Airwars grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected belligerents
    US-led Coalition, Iraq government forces

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • A picture of Ihab Ahmad al-Sayyed Ali al-Rawi, killed following a coalition or Iraq forces on Al Qaim, al Tanak (via Al Qaim News)

Geolocation notes (2) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention the neighbourhood of Al Tanak (حي التنك) in Al Qaim. The generic coordinates for this neighbourhood are: 34.377233, 41.003981. Satellite imagery available to Airwars from between June and October 2017 shows structural damage to two buildings in the area, the coordinates for these two buildings are: 34.3829312, 41.0106969 and 34.38124, 41.0122472.

  • Reports of the incident mention the neighbourhood of Al Tanak (حي التنك)

    Imagery:
    © 2018 Google

  • Satellite imagery available to Airwars from between June and October 2017 shows structural damage to two buildings in the area.

    Imagery:
    © 2018 Microsoft

US-led Coalition Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For October 3rd-4th 2017, the Coalition stated that “Near Al Qaim, two strikes destroyed an ISIS-held building and a weapons cache.”

Iraq government forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Iraq government forces
  • Iraq government forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 2
  • (1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1–2
  • Airwars grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected belligerents
    US-led Coalition, Iraq government forces

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS1657 RS2668

Incident date

November 1, 2017

Location

البصيرة, Al Busayrah, Deir ez-Zor, Syria

Geolocation

35.15618, 40.42716 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

Two named civilians died and up to 23 others were wounded in an airstrike on al Busayrah according to local media – though sources were conflicted as to whether the US-led Coalition or Russia were to blame.

Baladi, Jisr TV and Sharqiya Voice all blamed the Coalition.

Euphrates Post reported “the martyrdom of the young man Abdul Muttalib Mohammed Hassan Al-Ali and the injury of his cousins: Abdul Qadir Taleb al-Hassan (critical injury), Yasser Abdul Samad Al Hassan and Abd al-Shafi Saleh al-Hassan. All casualties were the result of air strikes targeting the house of Abdul Samad Dawood al-Hassan”.

However 7al blamed Russia for carrying out six raids, putting the death toll at “two young people” and injury of 23 more.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    4–23
  • Airwars grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected belligerents
    US-led Coalition, Russian Armed Forces

Sources (16) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • Aboud Talib Dawood Hassan Al Ali Ahmad Al Khalid, killed in an alleged Coalition airstrike on Al Busayrah, 1st November 2017. (via Deir free tweet)
  • A victim of an alleged Coalition airstrike on Al Busayrah, 1st November 2017. (via Euphrates)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the town of al Busayrah (البصيرة), for which the coordinates are: 35.15618, 40.42716

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

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Oct 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

For November 1st-2nd: “Near Abu Kamal, one strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed an ISIS vehicle. Near Dayr Az Zawr, three strikes engaged three ISIS tactical units, destroying a fighting position and damaging a line of communication.”

Russian Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Armed Forces
  • Russian Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    4–23
  • Airwars grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected belligerents
    US-led Coalition, Russian Armed Forces

Sources (16) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS1761

Incident date

June 3, 2018

Location

السوسة, Al Soussa, Deir ez-Zor, Syria

Geolocation

34.528889, 40.9675 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

According to local sources, Coalition aircraft targeted the town of Al Soussa, which reportedly resulted in two civilians killed and an unspecified number of people injured.

Initially Step News Agency reported that civilians were wounded when the towns of al Soussa, Al-Aleyat and Bubradan were targeted by airstrikes. In a later report, the media outlet specified that “the bodies of two civilians were found after being hit by shelling in the town of Sousse” by the Coalition.

In a Facebook post, Al Soussa Youth Union detailed that the home of Ali al Aswad in the Boubadran neighbourhood of Al Soussa was struck. However, in the comments it is mentioned that this home was in fact hit a week earlier.

Airwars has assessed an incident in that same neighbourhood in the prior week, though without a match with the names of the victims it is difficult to assess whether the house in the Boubadran neighbourhood was actually struck a week before, or indeed was targeted a second time.

The incident was first reported on June 3, 2018 at 6:30 pm by .

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • 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]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the town of al Soussa (السوسة), for which the general coordinates are: 34.528889, 40.9675

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-Soussa, Syria
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Oct 25, 2018
  • June 3, 2018, near al-Soussa, Syria, via Airwars. 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 June 3rd, the Coalition stated that “On June 3 in Syria, Coalition military forces conducted 28 strikes consisting of 42 engagements against Daesh targets. Near Abu Kamal, 22 strikes engaged one Daesh tactical unit and destroyed one Daesh fighting position, one Daesh logistics hub, four Daesh vehicles and one Daesh line of communication."

United Kingdom
  • English
    /
    Original

Sunday 3 June – a Reaper attacked another command post in eastern Syria, whilst Typhoons collapsed the entrance to a terrorist tunnel…An RAF Reaper remotely piloted aircraft patrolled over eastern Syria on Sunday 3 June. It provided surveillance support to a coalition air attack on a terrorist vehicle, then followed up with two attacks with its own Hellfire missiles against a further Daesh command post. Meanwhile, Typhoons used a Paveway IV to collapse the entrance to a terrorist tunnel.

Netherlands
  • English
    /
    Original

For the 2nd straight week, Dutch F-16s fired weapons near Abu Kamal and Hajin in Deir Ezzor. The Dutch MoD reported that between May 30th-June 5th, aircraft targeted ISIS fighters and logistics centers in three missions. Jets supported ground troops in 9 missions, including in Nineveh, Iraq.

In de strijd tegen terreurorganisatie ISIS ondersteunden Nederlandse F-16’s grondtroepen tijdens 9 missies. Bij 3 daarvan zijn wapens ingezet. Dat gebeurde in de omgeving van Abu Kamal en Hajin in de provincie Deir Al Zour in Oost-Syrië. Hierbij zijn onder andere ISIS-strijders en logistieke opslagplaatsen aangevallen. Ook is gevlogen boven de Irakese provincie Ninawa. Een overzicht van Defensieoperaties in de week van 30 mei tot en met 5 juni 2018.

France
  • English
    /
    Original

France report that the Wagram Task Force continues to support the offensive against the last pockets of Daesh present in the Euphrates Valley. Since the launch of the offensive on May 1st, it has carried out 111 shooting missions including 16 for the past week – May 30th to June 5th. Over the past week, the aircraft of Operation Chammal have carried out 20 sorties in support of local forces engaged on the ground, mainly missions of intelligence gathering and aerial reconnaissance. No strikes were carried out.

‘CHAMMAL SITUATION MILITAIRE DU THEATRE Sur le théâtre irako-syrien, l’activité majeure demeure l’offensive contre les dernières poches de Daech en Syrie. Offensive contre les dernières poches de Daech en Syrie En Syrie, les forces démocratiques syriennes conduisent actuellement l’offensive finale contre les dernières poches de Daech présentes au nord-est de la Syrie. Cette offensive finale a été préparée avec soin par la Coalition qui a fourni un effort conséquent pour affiner le renseignement sur le dispositif de Daech et préparer le terrain pour les forces engagées au sol. Dans ce cadre, le nombre de frappes menées par la Coalition en mai a augmenté de 123 % par rapport à son niveau du mois d’avril. L’offensive est coordonnée avec les forces de sécurité irakiennes qui ont augmenté leur présence le long de la frontière irako-syrienne pour empêcher toute fuite de terroristes des zones de combat vers l’Irak. Poursuite des actions de sécurisation en Irak En Irak, l’action des forces de sécurité irakiennes se poursuit sur un rythme élevé, notamment dans l’Anbar et les monts Hamrim, mais aussi plus au nord en Ninive, et plus à l’ouest dans le désert de Jazirah. ACTIVITE DE LA FORCE Task Force Monsabert : poursuite de l’accompagnement de la 6e division irakienne Cette semaine, trois nouvelles formations ont débuté : une séquence d’entrainement au profit de compagnies commandos irakiennes, une instruction armement et une instruction à la lutte contre les engins explosifs improvisés. La Task Force Wagram en appui de l’offensive contre les dernières poches de Daech présentes dans la vallée de l’Euphrate La Task Force Wagram demeure engagée en appui de l’offensive menée contre Daech dans la vallée de l’Euphrate. Depuis le lancement de l’offensive le 1er mai, elle a réalisé 111 missions de tirs dont 16 pour la semaine écoulée (bilan du 30 mai au 5 juin inclus). Depuis le début de son engagement, elle a réalisé 1770 missions de tirs. Les bases aériennes en Jordanie et aux EAU en appui des opérations Sur la semaine écoulée, les aéronefs de l’opération Chammal ont réalisé 20 sorties aériennes en appui des forces locales engagées au sol (bilan du 30 mai au 5 juin inclus), essentiellement des missions de recueil de renseignements et de reconnaissance aérienne. Aucune frappe n’a été réalisée. Bilan total de l’action du pilier appui aérien depuis le 19/09/14 : 8115 sorties / 1450 frappes / 2241 objectifs neutralisés.’

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • 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]

Incident Code

CI728

Incident date

May 22, 2017

Location

حي النجار, Mosul, Al-Najjar, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.3592367, 43.0998802 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

Sources said that an entire family was killed after airstrikes had hit their house in Najjar neighbourhood, in West Mosul. Sawlf Ateka – a local Facebook group – called for help in a post:

“The bombing of the house of Fayez Nazem Mohammed Anis Shandala since yesterday in the neighborhood of Najjar. No one survived except one woman and the rest are still under the rubble. And the names of their children [are] Ahmed and Ali, and the student in the Faculty of Medicine – Ala – and their grandmother Naima Saadullah Ahmed. [The] address of the house: after going down from Mosul Hotel, the first street on the right.”

Mosul Urgent news, another local Facebook page, posted six photos from Najjar neighbourhood that pictured the destruction. It did not say who was responsible.

Two weeks after the fatal incident, the Ninawa media center reported that some of the bodies had not been found at the house and asked for information. “The bodies of four people were not found in the house during the shelling. They were Fayez Nazem and his sons Ahmad and Ali and his daughter Alaa Faiz. Please feel free to contact us at 07513619341.” @zyaad_alsenjary equally reported on Twitter that they bodies had not been found yet. He blamed the Coalition for the strikes.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (5)

  • Fayez Nazem Mohammed Anis Shandala Adult male Father killed
  • Ahmed Child male Son killed
  • Ali Adult male Son killed
  • Ala Adult female Daughter, medicine student killed
  • Naima Saadullah Ahmed Adult female Grandmother killed

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    5
  • (2 women)
  • Airwars grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected belligerents
    US-led Coalition, Unknown

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • Scenes of destruction in Mosul's Najjar neighbourhood (via Mosul Urgent news)

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Credible
    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
    Killed by strike blast
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Contested
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    3
  • Stated location
    near Mosul, Iraq
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    1 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    38SLF2893325580
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • During a strike on an ISIS fighting position, it was assessed that three civilians in a building adjacent to the target building were unintentionally killed.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For May 21st-22nd, the Coalition reported: “Near Mosul, three strikes engaged three ISIS tactical units and a sniper; destroyed 18 fighting positions, nine medium machine guns, six VBIEDs, four rocket systems, three rocket-propelled grenade systems, three heavy machine guns, a command and control node, a vehicle, a supply cache, a mortar system, and a tunnel; damaged 15 ISIS supply roads, a fighting position; and suppressed an ISIS tactical unit.”

Unknown Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    5
  • (2 women)
  • Airwars grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected belligerents
    US-led Coalition, Unknown

Sources (4) [ collapse]