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

CS1945

Incident date

May 16, 2020

Location

بالقرب من مسجد أبو بكر الصديق ,البصيره, Vicinity of Abu Bakr Al Siddiq mosuqe, Al Basira , Deir Ezzor, Syria

Geolocation

35.152540, 40.423494 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Nearby landmark level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Nearby landmark

Airwars assessment

The homes of civilians were reportedly raided and bombed by alleged Coalition forces in a possible joint action with the Syrian Democratic Forces in the city of Al Basira, Deir Ezzor governorate, on May 16th, 2020, leading to the death of five possible civilians. Sources additionally reported that two to three men likely linked to ISIS were killed.

Euphrates Eye reported that Coalition forces had targeted three houses of Internally Displaced People (IDP) in Al Basira. The source indicates that five possible civilians were killed in one of the raids: “In Ibrahim Al Baraka’s house, inhabited by displaced people from Albukamal, there were clashes because the displaced people refused to surrender.” Five of the displaced people present were reportedly killed in the house, after which Coalition forces bombed the building. It is not specified whether the victims were civilians or militants.

According to Euphrate Eye, men and women were arrested and interrogated after raids on the house of Hassan (“pharmacist of Albufahd”) and the house of Hammoud Abu Hani, which were both in use by internally displaced people from Albukamal. According to the source, all those arrested were later released.

@DeirEzzor24 wrote that “three persons believed to be linked to ISIS were killed, and a number of others were arrested, by the international Coalition forces, in an airdrop operation in a neighbourhood of the city of Al Basira, east of Deir Ezzor, on Saturday, May 16, 2020. Special forces from SDF participated in the operation.” The source added that the operation lasted for an hour, while the Coalition requested civilians through loudspeakers to remain in their homes.

Other sources also report the victims were “likely” ISIS members. According to Eye On Hasaka, the operation took place in the evening, whereas Step Agency reported the incident occured around dawn.

According to Euphrates Post “the Coalition aircraft targeted with heavy machineguns around the Abu Bakr Al Siddiq mosque in Al Basira after a military convoy of SDF forces arrived in the city from the side of the Al Safa mosque.”

Whereas all sources reported the operation to be a joint action, Step Agency wrote that “it is worth noting that this raid operation did not witness the participation of the “Qasd militia”, unlike the previous times that the American forces raided the areas of Deir Ezzor.” Hence, Airwars graded the strike status of this incident as contested.

The incident occured during the night.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5
  • 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, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)
  • Suspected target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    2–7
  • Belligerents reported injured
    2

Sources (8) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention a residential building being struck in the vicinity of Abu Bakr Al Siddiq mosque (مسجد أبو بكر الصديق), in the village of Al Basira (البصيره). Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for Abu Bakr Al Siddiq mosque are: 35.152540, 40.423494

US-led Coalition Assessment:

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

Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5
  • 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, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)
  • Suspected target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    2–7
  • Belligerents reported injured
    2

Sources (8) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI843

Incident date

September 10, 2017

Location

Al Qaim, Anbar, Iraq

Geolocation

34.3725, 41.051111 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

According to a number of sources, civilian casualties were occurred following alleged Coalition actions at Al Qaim – although reporting was confused.

A number of sources reported government attacks on Anah and Rawah, coupled with Coalition air or possible guided missile strikes at Al Qaim, western Anbar province. According to a subsequent report by Yaqin, the warplanes renewed heavy bombardment of areas and cities in western Anbar province and focused on the westernmost city of Al Qaim while continuing the suffocating siege on those cities facing imminent intrusions by the joint forces with the Militia and US occupation forces supported by the International Military coalition.

Al Rafidain reiterated Yaqins claims that the Coalition aircraft had operated in conjunction with government bombing and noted that the magnitude of the losses following the bombing was unknown. Shelling of residential neighbourhoods on the outskirts of Anah and Rawah reportedly took place.

Iraq News alleged the attacks were prepared for the start of military operations to control the areas mentioned from the grip of the state organisation.

The incident occured around dusk.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • 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, iraq_government_forces

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention the city of Al Qaim (34.372500, 41.051111), as well as the towns Rawah (34.479498, 41.919272) and Anah (34.372699, 41.986442). Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further

  • Al Qaim, Rawah and Anah

    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
    Insufficient evidence of civilian harm
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    near Al Qaim, Iraq
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Dec 28, 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. (1255)

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For September 9th-10th the Coalition reported “Near Al Qaim, one strike destroyed an ISIS staging area. Near Rawah, five strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed seven command and control nodes, a VBIED, an ISIS-held building, and a vehicle.Near Rawah, one strike destroyed two command and control nodes.”

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
    0
  • 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, iraq_government_forces

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI304

Incident date

October 22, 2016

Location

بخديدا (Bakhdida), Qaraqosh, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.27093, 43.37758 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

The Coalition announced in December 2016 it was conducting an assessment of a possible civilian casualty event: Currently, three reports received in October are still being assessed… Oct. 22, 2016, near Qaraqosh and Hasana, Iraq.

On January 2nd 2017 a new Coalition report noted: No Coalition strikes were conducted on structures in the geographic area that correspond to the report of civilian casualties. A senior Coalition official later told Airwars that the allegation had been “Based on Russian social media and Russian MinDef accusations.

However local reporting at the time said that Coalition airstrikes were conducted at Qaraqosh in support of ISF ground operations.

Given reported British actions in the area that day, Airwars flagged the incident to the UK’s MoD which said we can confirm that there was no UK involvement in the event. However given that RAF strikes were reported in Qaraqosh, Airwars has requested further clarification.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    0–1
  • 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, US-led Coalition

Sources (5) [ collapse]

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 Qaraqosh and Hasana, Iraq
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jan 2, 2017
  • No Coalition strikes were conducted on structures in the geographic area that correspond to the report of civilian casualties.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For October 22nd 2016, the Coalition reported at the time that “Near Kisik, one strike damaged an ISIL tunnel. Near Mosul, four strikes engaged five ISIL tactical units, 12 staging areas, six mortar systems, a rocket position and a heavy machine gun; destroyed 21 fighting positions, 10 mortar systems, eight vehicles, eight command and control nodes, seven ISIL-held buildings, five bunkers, four anti-aircraft guns, four artillery systems, three tunnels, three VBIEDs, two supply caches, two heavy machine guns, a VBIED facility and a front end loader; and damaged three VBIEDs, two tunnels, a fighting position, a repeater tower and a vehicle.”

US-led Coalition Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    0–1
  • 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, US-led Coalition

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI556

Incident date

March 18, 2017

Location

السرجخانة, Mosul, Aserjkhanh, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.3425, 43.130556 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

A local report of the incident stated that “military forces shelled by tanks and mortars the Jawasaq neighbourhood in West Mosul.” The generic coordinates for Jawasaq (الجوسق) neighbourhood are: 36.3280482, 43.1503701.

  • Jawasaq (الجوسق) neighbourhood

    Imagery:
    © 2018 Google

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.

Incident Code

CS1948

Incident date

June 24, 2020

Location

الطريق بين بنش ادلب, the road between Idlib city and Binnish, Idlib, Syria

Airwars assessment

A civilian was reportedly killed in alleged US-led Coalition or Turkish drone strikes on the road between Idlib city and Binnish, Idlib governorate, on June 24th, 2020, according to local sources.

The Syrian Civil Defence in Idlib told Smart New Agency that “an ammunition drone had targeted a Santa Fe car with missiles and destroyed it completely, indicating the death of an unidentified person inside.” The SCD added that another unidentified person, thought to be a civilian, was killed as he was riding his motorbike in the vicinity of the explosion. SCD teams worked to extinguish the fire and collected the human remains.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, “a civilian on a motorcycle was killed near the site where a drone targeted a military vehicle driven by a commander in the Ethbatu operations room on the road between Idlib and Binish. The attack killed the commander instantly.”

While the SOHR initially reported that the US-Coalition had likely been responsible, it later wrote that “sources suggested that the drone that targeted the commander was Turkish, while a Coalition drone was flying over Idlib coinciding with the attack.”

Smart News Agency and @HoseenAdnan reported that the killed militant was Abu Adnan Al Homsi from the Al Qaida linked group Hurras Al Din.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • 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, Turkish Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Other
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (7) [ collapse]

  • Syrian Civil Defence volunteers putting out fire after alleged US-led Coalition or Turkish airstrikes on a vehicle in Idlib governorate on June 24th, 2020 (via SCD on Facebook).
  • Syrian Civil Defence volunteers extinguishing fire after alleged US-led Coalition or Turkish airstrikes in Idlib governorate on June 24th, 2020 (via SCD on Facebook).
  • Syrian Civil Defence volunteers recovering human remains after alleged US-led Coalition or Turkish airstrikes in Idlib governorate on June 24th, 2020 (via SCD on Facebook).
  • Translation: "A circular image of a car that was targeted by an airline belonging to the International Alliance on the road between Idlib and Binnish" (via @moha7_othman).
  • The destroyed vehicle after alleged US-led Coalition or Turkish drone strike on the road between Idlib city and Binnish on June 24th, 2020 (via @moha7_othman).
  • Militant Abu Adnan Al Homsi was reportedly killed in alleged US-led Coalition or Turkish drone strikes on the road between Idlib and Binnish on June 24th, 2020 (via @HoseenAdnan).
  • Translation: "We belong to Allah and to Him we shall return..! Bleed to the Muslim Ummah The news of the martyrdom of the administrative Mujahid brother in the organization of Guardians of religion Abu Adnan Al Homsi, after he was targeted by a raid from an American crusader plane on the road to the city of Bunche in Idlib countryside and God is the helper. Oh God, accept him in the martyrs and raise his rank in the Gardens of Mole" (via @HoseenAdnan).

US-led Coalition Assessment:

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

Turkish Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • 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, Turkish Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Other
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI643

Incident date

April 15, 2017

Location

حي التنك, Mosul, Tanak, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.3364235, 43.0626297 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

One civilian was injured following an airstrike that destroyed his family home, according to the eyewitness.

Amnesty International shared the following field report with Airwars, citing an eyewitness: “I’m a simple ‘free worker’ from the same area in Hai Tenak. My friends and I make a living buying and selling car parts. I left on 17 April. This was before the area was liberated. The airstrikes (presumed) started during the day on 10 April. The airstrikes could be quite precise. The drones in the sky would spot ISIS targets, ISIS cars or mortar positions and after that the strikes would occur.

On 15 April I was at home with my wife and 10 children. I have four sons and four daughters and we live in a simple one storey house in Hai Tenak. The youngest child is three and the oldest is 20. We were hiding in the back room of our house. For four days we’d been hiding in that room. At around 9am my 9 year old daughter needed the bathroom. She got up and went outside into the hallway and into the bathroom. She came back and then the explosion happened. The rocket landed three metres away from my house and the bathroom completely collapse. Had my daughter been in there at the time she’d have been killed.”

I was injured in the leg but I’m not sure how it happened. After the explosion we all ran from the house and hid in another house that was empty. The ISF had told us to stay in our houses. ISIS were in a house across the street from us. Someone must have informed the ISF. I had hung my children’s clothes on the roof of our home so that the ISF would know that it’s a family home, not an ISIS home. The children’s clothes were on the roof when the rocket landed.”

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
    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 (1) [ collapse]

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 Mosul, Iraq
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • May 31, 2018
  • After a review of available information and strike video it was assessed that there is insufficient evidence to find civilians were harmed in this strike.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For April 14th-15th: “Near Mosul, five strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit, destroyed two rocket-propelled grenade systems, destroyed two fighting positions, damaged four supply routes and a fighting position, and suppressed an ISIS tactical unit.”

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
    0
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • 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 (1) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS1278

Incident date

July 26, 2017

Location

البوكمال, Abu Kamal, Deir ez-Zor, Syria

Geolocation

34.466049, 40.907593 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

A number of civilians were reportedly injured following an alleged Coalition airstrike in Abu Kamal in eastern Deir Ezzor, local sources reported.

The strike reportedly targeted an ISIL vehicle in Al Bareed Street near the home of Mujheem al Dandal, injuring those nearby.

Only one of the four sources alleged that the Coalition was responsible for the airstrike, meanwhile the remaining three sources did not make any claims with regards to who was to blame.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Civilians reported injured
    2–4
  • 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 (4) [ collapse]

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 information on the time and location
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    near Abu Kamal, Syria
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • May 31, 2018
  • The report contains insufficient information of the time, location and details to assess its credibility.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For July 26th-27th: “Near Dayr Az Zawr, three strikes destroyed three ISIS well-heads.” And “Near Abu Kamal, two strikes destroyed an ISIS financial exchange facility and a VBIED factory.“

France
  • English
    /
    Original

In the last week (20th-27th) France reports carrying out two strikes in Raqqah, destroying two ISIL combat positions. Task Force (TF) Wagram carried out 21 artillery strikes in Mosul. The overall record of air activity since September 19th 2014 amounts to 1,324 strikes, 2,092 targets destroyed and 6,857 sorties.

‘OPÉRATION CHAMMAL SITUATION En Syrie, Dans la ville de Raqqah, Daech continue de perdre du terrain, jour après jour, face aux Forces Démocratiques Syriennes. Les combattants terroristes continuent néanmoins de disposer de solides positions défensives dans le cœur de la ville, à partir desquelles ils mènent des contre-attaques régulières et des actions de harcèlement. En Irak, Les forces de sécurités irakiennes poursuivent leurs opérations de sécurisation de la ville de Mossoul, face à des équipes isolées de combattants qui continuent de mener des actions symboliques de harcèlement. Dans le même temps, Daech consolide ses positions autour de Tal Afar, pour tenter de résister à l’offensive prochaine de la Coalition pour libérer aussi cette ville. Daech poursuit par ailleurs ses actions de diversion et de harcèlement, en se concentrant dans les régions de l’Anbar et d’Hawijah. Certaines actions ont également été menées cette semaine dans l’Ouest de l’Irak, dans la région de Rutbah. ACTIVITÉS DE LA FORCE Cette semaine, les aéronefs ont réalisé 45 sorties aériennes dont 31 de reconnaissance armée et d’appui au sol (CAS), ainsi que 04 missions de recueil de renseignement et 06 de ravitaillement en vol. Un C135-FR récemment déployé a en effet réalisé de nombreuses missions en quelques jours à peine, soutenant ainsi, à son niveau, la bascule des efforts de la Coalition vers les autres bastions de Daech. Deux frappes ont été menées dans le cadre de la bataille de Raqqah, détruisant deux positions de combattants ennemies, au contact des troupes alliées engagées. De ces positions, des tireurs de Daech tenaient sous leur feu les soldats alliés à une centaine de mètres à peine. La Task Force (TF) Wagram a réalisé 21 missions de tir dont 07 de harcèlement et 14 d’éclairement. Ces missions interdisent une offensive de contre des terroristes vers Mossoul. Le bilan global de l’activité aérienne depuis le 19 septembre 2014 s’élève à 1 324 frappes, 2 092 objectifs détruits et 6 857 sorties. Le bilan global de l’activité artillerie atteint 1 331 missions.’

Unknown
  • English
    /
    Original

‘Wednesday 26 July – a Reaper destroyed a terrorist truck in eastern Syria..A Royal Air Force Reaper flew an armed reconnaissance mission over eastern Syria on Wednesday 26 July. A group of armed terrorists were observed boarding a truck, and the Reaper’s crew tracked the vehicle as it headed west along a desert road, some 20 miles south-south-east of Hasakah, before engaging with a Hellfire missile once it was in an isolated location. The missile scored a direct hit which destroyed the truck.’

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Civilians reported injured
    2–4
  • 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 (4) [ collapse]