Between one and four civilians died in an airstrike on al Bukamal according to local sources – though reports are conflicted as to whether Russia or the US-led Coalition were to blame.
SyrianPC said four non-combatants died in a Russian shelling of “oil separators in the Al-Hajjana area”. Deir Ezzor is Being Slaughtered Silently also put the death toll at four after a “war plane targeted an oil refinery in the outskirts of al Boukamal“.
However, the Syrian Network for Human Rights alleged that this was a Coalition strike, reporting that “Luqman Al Zarzour died in International Coalition missile shelling on Al Boukamal city in Deir Ez-Zour governorate, February 24.” And DeirEzzor24 reported that “Coalition aircraft targeted primitive oil refineries” in the Al Bukamal area.
Algharbuya also pointed towards the Coalition, saying: “Coalition with coordination of the army [it’s not clear which army] and the seventh brigade bombarded the road between western Ramadi and Abu Kamal, and the number of people killed is still unknown.”
Other sources referred to raids by “warplanes” but didn’t identify the culprit. According to Alamawi three strikes killed three workers in the oil refinery.
The local time of the incident is unknown.
The victims were named as:
Sources (21) [ collapse]
from sources (2) [ collapse]
This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.
Attached to this civilian harm incident is a provisional reconciliation of the Pentagon's declassified assessment of this civilian harm allegation, based on matching date and locational information.
The declassified documents were obtained by Azmat Khan and the New York Times through Freedom of Information requests and lawsuits filed since March 2017, and are included 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.
Original strike reports
Russia has published no known record of strikes in Syria from February 17th – February 29th.
US-led Coalition Assessment:
Civilian casualty statements
Jul 7, 2017
In its July 2017 civilian casualty report, the Coalition classed this incident as non credible due to insufficient evidence of civilian harm: “Feb. 24, 2016, near Abu Kamal, Syria, via Airwars report: After a review of available information it was assessed that there is insufficient evidence to find that civilians were harmed in this strike.”
Original strike reports
For February 24th-25th 2016 the Coalition noted: “Near Abu Kamal, two strikes struck an ISIL modular refinery and an ISIL gas and oil separation plant.“