Local media reported that between one and two civilians died and up to five more were wounded in an airstrike on Al Basira bridge in Al Basira town. The majority of sources blamed the US-led Coalition for the strike, though there was also an allegation against Russia and Syrian Network for Human Rights blamed the regime without mentioning casualties. A number of other reports didn’t identify the culprit.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, “three missiles targeted al-Basira bridge, which is considered a main bridge to carry the oil towards the eastern countryside”.
@soundandpic, @RevolutoinSyria Furat.alwehda and Qasioun blamed the Coalition for the bombing. They made no mention of civilian harm, though Qasioun said that the bridge was now “completely out of service”.
However, 7al, also pointing to the Coalition, reported an unspecified number of civilian casualties. It said that “the International Coalition aircraft targeted Al-Basira Bridge yesterday evening [Oct 18th], which resulted in it being put out of service. Additionally, houses close by were damaged and there were civilian casualties.”
But Al Jazeera attributed the strike to Russia, reporting that “10 people were killed and dozens injured today [Oct 18th] following Russian raids on the town of Al-Basira and the villages of Al-Sabha and Abreha in Deir Al-Zour countryside in eastern Syria. The Russian raids also targeted a vital bridge in the city of Tire and another in Basra, resulting in their destruction and departure from service.”
@RadioAlkul said that two civilians had died in the attack with five more wounded – though it didn’t apportion blame.
In their June 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.
- Hussam Jassem al Kandah Age unknown named by Euphrates Post killed
Sources (16) [ collapse]
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.
Russian Military Assessment:
Original strike reports
Russia has not reported any strikes between October 1st – 19th 2016.
US-led Coalition Assessment:
Civilian casualty statements
Jun 24, 2020
Oct. 18, 2016, in Al Basira, 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. 3070/CS343a 37SFU299912
Original strike reports
For October 17th-18th, the Coalition reported: "Near Abu Kamal, three strikes destroyed six oil well heads, two oil tanker trucks, and an oil pump jack."
For October 18th-19th: "Near Abu Kamal, one strike destroyed two oil tanker trucks and an oil pump jack." And: " Near Dayr Az Zawr, one strike destroyed eight oil tanker trailers and an oil well head."