Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

RS736 CS191

Incident date

March 18, 2016

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

Between 15 and 20 civilians including up to eight children and five women died in airstrikes on Ar Raqqah, according to multiple local sources – though reports were conflicted as to whether this was the work of Russia or the Assad regime – with one source suggesting the warplanes responsible may have belonged to the Coalition.

According to the Daesh agency Al A’maq,  Russian raids targeted five locations in the city (including near a mosque), killing 17 civilians including five women and seven children, in addition to wounding 35 more. It added that the incident occurred “a day after the killing of five Russian soldiers at the hands of the Islamic State fighters during the battles near the city of Palmyra in the Homs countryside.” The source also posted photographs of some of the slain Russian soldiers.

Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently published numerous posts on the incident, though reporting was confused. It initially referred only to “warplanes” and did not say who they belonged to. However subsequent reports blamed the regime, while another post referred to the “massacres of the Russian aviation on Raqqa” (referring also to an incident the following day – March 19th – in Raqqa). It said that there had been eight raids targeting residential neighborhoods, including the following locations:

1. The buildings near Al Amin nursery in  Al Thakana nursery

2. The area near Sanaa Mouhaidali nursery north of the town centre

3. Almojma’a Square

4. Behind Rabiea new school

5. Archaeological market area near the cemetery of Hittin

6. Silos area

7. Neighborhood of althukna

8. The Wall area

9. Police station

10. Behind al Hanni mosque

11. Behind al Mansouri mosque

RBSS put the overall death toll at 20 including five women and seven children with nearly 30 wounded, some in critical condition. It noted the severity of the situation: “the medical sector in Raqqa is paralyzed and relying on all the private hospitals that do not have big absorptive ability to receive the injured and the shortage of medical staff in those hospitals in addition to the scarcity of medicines and the lack of any possibility to transport the injured out of Raqqa.”

In its own initial reports, Shaam News said that Russian strikes coincided with worshipers leaving afternoon prayers, killing 20 civilians. However, in a third report, SNN said the strikes could have been the work of either Russia or the Coalition: “Raqqa city under the control of IS has witnessed an escalated [sic] of the air campaign during the past two days which is still ongoing, where the city came under dozens of air raids from aircraft believed to be either  Russian or an international coalition.”

The Syrian Network for Human Rights blamed regime warplanes, putting the death toll at “at least 15 victims including 7 children and 5 women, adding that they were killed in the Al Thakana neighborhood.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights,  at least 16 people were killed including eight children and five women, but added that is was “unknown if they were Russian, Syrian regime or International coalition warplanes“.

In their February 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.

The victims were named as:

Family members (2)

  • Ali Ibrahim al Hareeth Age unknown male killed
  • Sister of Ali Ibrahim al Hareeth Age unknown female killed

Family members (2)

  • The wife of Abdallah al Rashed Adult female killed
  • The son Ahmad al Rashed Age unknown male killed

Family members (2)

  •  Zahra al Faihan Adult female killed
  • Mohammad Abdallah Al Rashed Age unknown male Son of Zahra al Faihan killed
  • Mounaf Abd Al Aziz Adult male killed
  • Khaled Al Hamada 10 years old male killed
  • Mohammad Al Khaled Al Qadroua Child male killed
  • Mohammad Izz al din al Nazal Child male killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    15 – 20
  • (3 children3 women4 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    25–40
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Unknown, Syrian Regime Armed Forces, US-led Coalition, US-led Coalition

Sources (42) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (15) [ collapse]

  • 'The child Mohammad Eiz Al Din Nazzal from Al Thakana neighborhood in Raqqa city, died in March 25, due to his wounds from regime warplanes shelling on Al Thakana neighborhood in March 18.' (via SN4HR)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Victims of the strikes targeting Raqqa (via al-Amaq)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Victim of the strikes targeting Raqqa (via al-Amaq)
  • Aftermath of the strikes targeting Raqqa (via Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently Facebook page)
  • Aftermath of the strikes targeting Raqqa (via Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently Facebook page)
  • Aftermath of the strikes targeting Raqqa (via Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently Facebook page)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Child victim of the strikes targeting Raqqa (via Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently Facebook page)
  • Victim of the strikes targeting Raqqa (via Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently Facebook page)
  • Aftermath of the strikes targeting Raqqa (via Sin News)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Child victim of the air strikes targeting Raqqa (via Majid_aboryan twitter)
  • Rescuing team in the aftermath of the strikes targeting Raqqa (via ElDorar AlShamia twitter)
  • Aftermath of the strikes targeting Raqqa (via Nemesis Arcady)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Victims of the strikes targeting Raqqa (via Raqqa_SL twitter)
  • Mohammad Al Khaled Al Qadroua, victim of the strikes targeting Raqqa (via Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently facebook page)

Unknown Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

Unknown

Russia has published no known record of strikes in Syria for March 1st to March 30th.

Syrian Regime Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Syrian Regime Armed Forces
  • Syrian Regime Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

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
    37SEV006783
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Feb 2, 2020
  • March 18, 2016, 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. 2926/CS191 37SEV006783

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
    15 – 20
  • (3 children3 women4 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    25–40
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Unknown, Syrian Regime Armed Forces, US-led Coalition, US-led Coalition

Sources (42) [ collapse]