Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

RS021 CS134

Incident date

October 6, 2015

Location

تدمر, Palmyra, Homs, Syria

Geolocation

34.5655244, 38.2873535 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

According to the Syrian Observatory, “preliminary information reported the death of civilians – including women and children – in the bombing by Russian warplanes on areas at the eastern outskirts of Palmyra city which is controlled by the ‘Islamic State’.”

According to most sources, between 12 and 14 members of two Bedouin families died, including five children and four women. Russian aircraft reportedly targeted the Al Wadi Al Ahmar [Red Valley] residential area in the east of the city.

The Violations Documentation Center said 15 civilian males were killed, though did not identify any by name. Syrian Observatory for Human Rights instead said 15 Daesh fighters died alongside civilians.

A Russian Defence Ministry spokesperson was quoted as saying “We do not hit populated areas .. especially those with antiquities” when asked whether Russia had carried out strikes at Palmyra. Repeated Russian strikes have since targeted the city according to reports.

It remains possible the action was instead by the US-led Coalition, which publicly reported airstrikes at Palmyra on October 1st, 4th, 9th and 10th 2015.

In their January 2020 civilian casualty report, the US-led Coalition assessed reports that they may have been responsible for civilian harm in this strike as “non-credible”, stating that no strikes were conducted in the geographical area at the time.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    12 – 15
  • (5 children4 women)
  • 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
    Russian Armed Forces, US-led Coalition

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Interview with activist confirming that Russian strikes targeted Palmyra. No further details of any casualties, 6th October 2015. (via: Media office of the rebels of Syria)

Russian Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

Russian Armed Forces

As noted above, Russia explicitly denied carrying out strikes at Palmyra. No Russian airstrikes were publicly reported in Homs governorate for October 6th 2015.

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
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SDU346251
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jan 3, 2020
  • October 6, 2015, in Palmyra, 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. 2861/CS134 37SDU346251

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

The Coalition did not report any strikes in Palmyra for October 5th-7th 2015.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    12 – 15
  • (5 children4 women)
  • 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
    Russian Armed Forces, US-led Coalition

Sources (6) [ collapse]