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

CS1560

Incident date

October 1, 2017

Location

Al Haweij crossing near al Shaheel, Deir Ezzor, Deir ez-Zor, Syria

Geolocation

35.068432, 40.454664 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

Two named civilians died in an airstrike on the al Hawaji crossing near al Shaheel in Deir Ezzor, according to local media. It is currently unclear which party was to blame for the deaths. While no source explicitly blamed the US-led Coalition, many didn’t identify the culprit. Other sources, however, pointed to both Russia and the Assad regime.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the death toll at two and said that Russian warplanes were “believed” to have carried out the attack. But according to the Syrian Network for Human Rights, the regime was to blame.

Two victims were named by Euphrates Post (though it didn’t say which party was responsible for their deaths).

Deir Free, however, attributed the men’s deaths to Russia.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Ghannam Al-Atwan Abu Abdul Adult male killed
  • Hamid Hamed Al-Mishaan Adult male killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 men)
  • 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, Russian Armed Forces

Sources (8) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • Hamid Hamed Al-Mishaan, killed in a strike on al Shaheel, Oct 1st (via Euphrates Post)
  • Ghannam Al-Atwan Abu Abdul, killed in a strike on al Shaheel, Oct 1st (via Euphrates Post)

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention the Al Hawaij (الحوایج) river crossing, located between the villages of Shahil (الشحیل) and Buqrus (بقرص), for which the coordinates are: 35.068432,40.454664. On satellite imagery available to Airwars the river crossing is seen active on October 1st and on October 2nd a Coalition MQ-1/MQ-9 can be seen flying over it

  • The strike targeted the Al Hawaij (الحوایج) river crossing, located between the villages of Shahil (الشحیل) and Buqrus (بقرص)

    Imagery:
    © 2018 Google

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 al Haweij crossing, Deir Ez Zor, 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

For September 30th-October 1st the Coalition reported “Near Abu Kamal, three strikes destroyed an ISIS well head and engaged two tactical units. Near Dayr Az Zawr, one strike destroyed an ISIS tactical vehicle.”

Russian Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 men)
  • 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, Russian Armed Forces

Sources (8) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS1652 RS2663

Incident date

October 30, 2017

Location

السوسة, Al Soussa town, Deir Ezzor, Deir ez-Zor, Syria

Geolocation

34.516166, 40.951635 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (via Airwars) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Exact location (via Airwars)

Airwars assessment

A family of up to six civilians died in airstrikes on Al Soussa town, according to local media. While most sources said that Russia was to blame, two alleged that the Coalition was responsible. One other source pointed towards the Syrian regime.

The majority of sources (Al Latamna Youth Gathering, Al Jisr, Baladi, Eldorar, Step News Agency, the Shaam News Network, the Syrian Network for Human Rights and Rozana) attributed the event to Russia.

According to Marsad al Sharqiya, “the bombing focused on Al Soussa police station, the home of Ibrahim Al Mohsen and the farm of Jassim al-Fares, and the raids led to the martyrdom of a displaced family who lived in the police station.”

However, Zaki al Houkan, who appears to be an activist living in Germany, claimed that the warplane “likely belonged to the International Coalition”, alleging that it struck at “01:30 today”.

Al Hall also blamed the Coalition, reporting that “‘Coalition raids targeted several areas of the towns of (Al Sukkariya, Al Bagouz and Al Suwayyah), with most of the raids focusing on the village of al Soussa, killing a whole family of six people and injuring others,’ said Faisal al-Sayed, a resident of Albu Kamal city”.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that it could not tell whether the planes responsible belonged to Russia or the Coalition.

SMO was alone in alleging that the regime carried out several strikes, killing a displaced family.

The incident occured around dawn.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5 – 6
  • (2 children1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • 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, Russian Armed Forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (17) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Civilian housing which was allegedly targeted by either Coalition or Russian warplanes. 30th October 2017. (via Euphrates)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the village of Al Soussa (السوسة), for which the coordinates are: 34.528889, 40.9675. Satellite imagery available to Airwars from Oct. 13,  2017, shows structural damage to a building in the area, for which the coordinates are: 34.516166, 40.951635.

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 al-Soussa, 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

For October 30th-31st: “Near Abu Kamal, two strikes engaged two ISIS tactical units, destroying a vehicle and an ISIS headquarters. Near Dayr Az Zawr, two strikes engaged two ISIS tactical units.“

Russian Armed Forces Assessment:

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

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
    5 – 6
  • (2 children1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • 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, Russian Armed Forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces

Sources (17) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS1709

Incident date

January 10, 2018

Location

غرانيج, Granij, Deir ez-Zor, Syria

Geolocation

34.776667, 40.73 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

Twenty civilians were said to have died in alleged Coalition airstrikes on Granij, according to some local media. The high end claim appeared to have originated with ISIS.

According to Euphrates Post, “a number of civilians were killed as a result of air strikes likely belonging to the International Alliance aimed at the town of Granij this afternoon.”

Smart News reported that “Syrian Democratic Forces are trying to complete their control of the city of Granij (90 km east of the town of Deir al-Zour), north-east of Syria. Activists reported heavy clashes with IS.”

According to the Step News Agency, “on the 10th of this month, at least 20 people were killed by Coalition bombing of the town of Granji” – though the source provided no further details.

Montaked, who appears to be an activist, also put the claimed death toll at 20 with 30 others wounded, blaming Coalition warplanes. However, a reply to Montaked’s tweet by an account called ‘The Pride of Shaetat’ [an area in Deir Ezzor] denied the news, saying that no civilians were killed. Damascus News Network also denied reports of civilian casualties, saying that “no air operations had been seen”.

Baladi, however, also reported a death toll of 20 with 30 more injured in Coalition strikes – saying the claim had originated with ISIS. Qasioun said there had been fatalities “likely” caused by the alliance in Granij.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    20
  • Civilians reported injured
    30
  • 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 (8) [ 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

"On Jan. 10 in Syria, Coalition military forces conducted 19 strikes consisting of 34 engagements against ISIS targets.
• Near Abu Kamal, 19 strikes [3 British] engaged 10 ISIS tactical units and destroyed an ISIS supply route, four ISIS vehicles, three control and command centers, a recoilless rifle, two logistics centers, an indirect fire weapon and a VBIED."

Unknown
  • English
    /
    Original

"‘Wednesday 10 January – a Reaper hit three terrorist targets in eastern Syria, whilst Tornados destroyed an armed truck…The following day [January 10th], another Reaper worked closely with coalition surveillance aircraft and fast jets in a series of strikes in support of the SDF advance. Our aircraft supported coalition air attacks on a Daesh-held building and a mortar position, and conducted three attacks with its own Hellfire missiles, destroying an armed truck parked under cover of a vehicle shelter, and hitting two groups of terrorists on foot. A flight of Tornado GR4s also took part in this operation, and targeted an armed truck positioned within a compound; the use of a Brimstone missile allowed the vehicle to be destroyed without posing a risk to nearby buildings."

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    20
  • Civilians reported injured
    30
  • 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 (8) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI551

Incident date

March 17, 2017

Location

الموصل الجديدة, Mosul, Mosul al Jadida / New Mosul, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.3323266, 43.1050515 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

The Coalition admitted responsibility for the deaths of  between 105 and 141 civilians in an airstrike on a house in West Mosul’s al Jadida area on March 17th (event CI550).

However, locals have claimed that as many as 230 or even 520 civilians were killed in the catastrophic event at al Jadida – though these higher numbers may conflate a series of events over a number of days of violence in the neighbourhood. To reflect these numbers and the confusion in reporting, Airwars has created this additional event at al Jadida, which has been graded ‘Contested’.

In their monthly civilian casualty reports, the US-led Coalition has indicated that the credibility of this civilian harm allegation is in the process of being assessed.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    125 – 370
  • Civilians reported injured
    25
  • 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

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Open incident
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None

Summary

  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    125 – 370
  • Civilians reported injured
    25
  • 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

Incident Code

RS176 CS148

Incident date

November 20, 2015

Location

الرقة‎, Ar Raqqah, Syria

Geolocation

35.949949, 39.007363 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

A number of sources reported that an adult woman from Soran in Hama governorate was killed in an alleged Coalition airstrike on Raqqah.

Violations Documentation has published the name & photo of the victim which as said he was killed due to the coalition air force’s shelling. 

In their January 2020 civilian casualty assessment, 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

  • 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, Russian Armed Forces

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Yasin Khaled al-Nouri (Picture courtesy of VDC)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the city Ar Raqqah (الرقة‎), for which the generic coordinates are: 35.949949, 39.007363. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

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
    37SEV007784
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jan 3, 2020
  • November 20, 2015, in Raqqah, 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. 2881/CS148 37SEV007784

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

No Coalition airstrikes were reported for Syria on November 19th-20th 2015.

CJTF-OIR confirmed that for November 20th-21st 2015, “Near Ar Raqqah, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL checkpoint.“

Russian Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Russian Armed Forces
  • Russian 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, Russian Armed Forces

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI019

Incident date

November 22, 2014

Location

يت, Hit, hospital and Zohour, Anbar, Iraq

Geolocation

33.628878, 42.838829 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

Multiple airstrikes reportedly targeted Hit, allegedly leading to significant civilian casualties. News agency Herak reported one eyewitness as saying that five airstrikes had struck the city: “The first targeted outside a hospital building, and the other targeted a house near the mosque. A further air strike targeted a house in the Qadisiyah district, leading to the deaths of three children killed, and another bombing targeted in the vicinity of a school.” NINA described the attack as a “random raid” by the coalition. However, the coalition denies carrying out any strikes in the vicinity on this date.

Four houses in the al-Zohour district were among those reported damaged or destroyed. Residents were urged by loudspeaker to donate blood at the local hospital.

Russia Today made no mention of civilian casualties, though reported that 85 “Daesh militants” were killed in coalition airstrikes on Hit that day.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5 – 8
  • (3 children)
  • Civilians reported injured
    9–35
  • 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 (7) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • The aftermath of the alleged incident (via Herak)
  • The aftermath of the alleged incident (via Herak)

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention that the alleged Coalition airstrike targeted civilian houses in the East side of the city of Hit. Cars were also reported to have been burnt down and damage was reported “outside a hospital building” (coordinates for the general hospital: 33.637113, 42.838696) and in Qadisiyah district, al-Zohour neighborhood (33.628878, 42.838829) and Al Itfa’a area. Since Hit is a small city, the areas mentioned are located next to each other

  • The general hospital of Hit and the al-Zohour area

    Imagery:
    © 2018 Google

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 Hit, Iraq
    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

Responding to a query from Airwars, a CENTCOM spokesman stated that “based on available records“, no US or allied strike occurred in the vicinity of Hit on November 22nd 2014, although it was noted that a strike in the vicinity of Hit the following day had destroyed “an ISIL vehicle.”

Unknown Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5 – 8
  • (3 children)
  • Civilians reported injured
    9–35
  • 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 (7) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI120

Incident date

October 8, 2015

Location

الفلوجة‎, Fallujah, Anbar, Iraq

Geolocation

33.3532137, 43.7875674 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

Local sources reported that either government shelling or a warplane from the international Coalition struck civilians betwen noon and 1pm as they were using the Albu Shajal crossing point north of Fallujah, allegedly killing up to 14 non-combatants and injuring 12 more. According to Al Fallujah News there were two strikes at the crossing point, separated by several hours.

Al Alamy, claiming to cite medical officials at Fallujah Hospital, reported that “Our hospital emergency department for Thursday, October 8th 2015 has so far [midnight] received twelve injured (including five women and five children) and fourteen martyrs (including four women and six children).

One local news service carried pictures of locals giving blood in response to an emergency request.

In their January 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

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    11 – 14
  • (6 children4 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    12
  • 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 (5) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • People donating blood in Fallujah because of the alleged incident

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
    38SLB872911
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jan 3, 2020
  • October 8, 2015, in Fallujah, 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. 2841/CI120 38SLB872911

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For October 7th-9th 2015, no publicly-reported Coalition strikes appeared to match the event.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    11 – 14
  • (6 children4 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    12
  • 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 (5) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI228

Incident date

April 18, 2016

Location

صديرة, Sudayrah, Salahudin, Iraq

Geolocation

35.4669, 43.28284 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

According to local sources, unknown aircraft struck boats in Sidera village east of Shirkat north of Tikrit, killing 22 civilians and injuring at least 15 more.

Russia Today claimed that the night time event “killed five brothers from one family” with a number of houses in the village destroyed.

According to News of Iraq, the civilians died when boats carrying food were struck on the river: “It’s noteworthy that as a result of the siege of Fallujah and the hunger people are suffering, they are being forced to use boats to move some relief aid in from other regions, particularly after the destruction of nearby bridges.”

Al Sumaria blamed the Coalition, while News of Iraq said the Iraqi military was responsible.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    22
  • Civilians reported injured
    15–20
  • 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, iraq_government_forces

Sources (6) [ 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

For April 17th-18th 2016, the Coalition did report destroying a boat, though placed the attack near Mosul: “Near Mosul, four strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL mortar positions, two ISIL assembly areas, an ISIL vehicle, and an ISIL boat and suppressed an ISIL rocket team.“

iraq_government_forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    22
  • Civilians reported injured
    15–20
  • 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, iraq_government_forces

Sources (6) [ collapse]