Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

TS451

Incident date

October 16, 2020

Location

عين عيسى, Ain Issa, Raqqa, Syria

Geolocation

36.391336, 38.875099 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (via Airwars) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Exact location (via Airwars)

Airwars assessment

Hatem Hazem, aged eight or 13 years old, died of injuries he sustained as a result of an alleged Turkey forces or Turkey-backed militants shelling on Ain Issa area and its camp, or the explosion of a mine according to local sources. Other eight civilians including a child and two men were also reported injured in this incident.

At first, Hatem was injured and taken to hospital. One of his legs was amputated, but he died later in a hospital in Raqqa. According to Rojinfo, ‘The young boy’s leg was amputated. He was also severely injured in the other leg and in various parts of the body, he was placed in intensive care at the hospital in the city of Raqqa where he lost his life despite the efforts of medical personnel to save him.’

Most of sources blamed Turkey forced and Turkey-backed militants for the incident, but @soheb20200 tweeted that Hatem was killed while he was herding the sheep when a land mine exploded.

The US embassy in Syria condemned death of the child as a result of ‘apparent artillery fire’, without attributing the incident to any party.

Some sources circulated a different name of they boy calling him Ahmed Hasan, Mihemed Hatem Hazem, Hatim Hazim Mihemed Hatim, Hatem Zaidan Al-Mastu and Hatam Zedan Alkhel. It is unclear which one is the correct name. Sources also gave him different age with some saying eight, and others saying 13.

Freeburmarangers said that ‘At 9:30a.m on October 16th, mortar rounds from Turkish forces fell near Ain Issa, north of Raqqa in northeastern Syria. One mortar landed in the midst of a herd of sheep, killing many sheep and injuring two men and a boy, Akmed Hassan. The men received minor wounds but shrapnel tore through the boy’s left leg just above the ankle, leaving his foot dangling and held on only by skin. Akmed also received a gash high in his right thigh and shrapnel penetrated his right chest cavity. He died later of his wounds. Akmed is the 11th child killed by Turkish forces in the Ein Issa area this year. We pray for a stop to these attacks, a withdrawal of the Turkish forces and their proxies, the Free Syrian Army, and help to get people back to their homes.’

Other results of the shelling reported were destruction and damage of some houses and the killing of a number of sheep.

@Servanenefrine described the shelling on Ain Issa that led to the death of the child as indiscriminate, and Rudaw said that according to ANHA, after the bombardment, Turkish drones were seen flying over the area.

The incident occured at approximately 9:30 am local time.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 child)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1–8
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attackers
    Turkish Armed Forces, Free Syrian Army, Kurdish Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    YPG/SDF

Sources (38) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (11) [ collapse]

  • Shelling on Ain Issa, Tal Abyad district in Raqqa allegedly by Turkey or its Syrian militants on October 16th, 2020. (via ANHA).
  • Shelling on Ain Issa, Tal Abyad district in Raqqa allegedly by Turkey or its Syrian militants on October 16th, 2020. (via ANHA).
  • A child died of his injuries sustained as a result of a Turkey or pro-Turkey militants shelling on Ain Issa on October 16th, 2020. (via ANHA)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Hatem Hazem, a child died of his injuries sustained as a result of a Turkey or pro-Turkey militants shelling on Ain Issa on October 16th, 2020. (via ANHA)
  • Caption translation: Artillery shells fell on the Ain Issa city checkpoint, the silos and the houses of Al-Tahri. Two children were wounded, one of them was seriously injured, and they were taken to a hospital.
  • Caption translation: The child Hatem Hazem Dhu, aged 13, died of wounds he sustained this morning, and another child was wounded, during the Turkish forces' shelling of the vicinity of Ain Issa town, the M4 international road and Ain Issa camp.
  • US Embassy in Syria statement about the death of the chilld.

Geolocation notes (2) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention the fields surrounding the city of Ain Issa (عين عيسى) being struck. Researching audiovisual material, we have narrowed down the exact location of the blast to these coordinates: 36.391336, 38.875099.

  • Reports of the incident mention the fields surrounding the city of Ain Issa (عين عيسى) being struck. Researching audiovisual material, we have narrowed down the exact location of the blast.

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

  • Tagged audiovisual material showing smoke from blast area.

    Imagery:
    Free Burma Rangers

Turkish Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Free Syrian Army Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Free Syrian Army
  • Free Syrian Army position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Kurdish Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 child)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1–8
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attackers
    Turkish Armed Forces, Free Syrian Army, Kurdish Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    YPG/SDF

Sources (38) [ collapse]