Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

USYEMTr115-C

Incident date

November 11, 2017

Location

خبران, Khabran, Al Bayda, Yemen

Geolocation

14.514783937, 44.885372917 Note: The accuracy of this location is to District level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

District

Airwars assessment

Multiple sources reported that a US drone strike in Qayfa, in Bayda governorate, killed one civilian and seriously injured another on the morning of November 11th 2017.  Some other sources suggested that at least one alleged ISIS militant was killed in the strike.

US Central Command later confirmed that a strike took place in Bayda governorate on that day, killing one alleged ISIS militant it said. Since there were no other known reports of a US strike on November 11th, this event is treated as declared.

According to local language news sites, including Al-Khabar Now and Yemen Shabab, the strike targeted a car, killing civilian Dares Ahmed bin Ahmed Jaraoun immediately and seriously injuring his brother, Saeed Ahmed bin Ahmed Jaraoun. These sources indicated that the targeted were the children of Ahmed bin Ahmed Jaraoun. The ages of the dead were unclear, although Al-Khabar Now described Ahmed as a “student”.

These sources suggested that the strike took place in the Al-Areen area of Qayfa Radaa, at around 10am.

An on-the-ground investigator told Reprieve that one adult civilian was killed and another injured, both sons of Ahmed bin Ahmed Jaraoun. Reprieve shared their findings on this strike with Airwars.

Some sources instead claimed that those killed in the strike were ISIS militants. One Twitter source, @demolinari, reported that a strike against a motorbike killed one “suspected ISIS militant” and injured another near Khabran village, Qayfa, while @new_24_7 claimed that two were killed.

Another outlet, @ANews_Arabic, said that according to a Yemeni government source, at least three militants were killed.

Airwars has assessed that a minimum of one civilian was reportedly killed in the strike, with another wounded.  Between one and three militants were reportedly killed, in addition to one reportedly wounded.

In its May 2018 annual civilian casualty report, the US Department of Defense stated that “there were credible reports of civilian casualties caused by U.S. military actions in Yemen against AQAP and ISIS during 2017”, but did not specify which specific actions these reports referred to.  Overall, the Department of Defense assessed that there were credible reports of “approximately 499 civilians killed and approximately 169 civilians injured during 2017”, as a result of US military actions in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Yemen.

Responding to Airwars’ publication of its Yemen dataset and accompanying report in October 2020, CENTCOM dismissed all but two civilian harm claims under President Trump, asserting that “USCENTCOM conducted a thorough review of the information AirWars provided regarding allegations of potential civilian harm caused by USCENTCOM strikes in Yemen from 2017-2020… The bulk of the information asserted by AirWars, however, did not correspond with dates and locations of U.S. military strikes or raids in Yemen.   Other AirWars allegations either did not allege civilian harm or were not assessed as credible upon our review.”

The incident occured at approximately 10:00 am local time.

The victims were named as:

Family members (2)

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    ISIS - Yemen
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1–3
  • Belligerents reported injured
    1

Sources (12) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention the village of Khabran (خبران), allegedly located within the Al Areen (العرين) area, in the Al Quraishyah (القريشيه) district. Research shows a Wadi Al Arin (وادي العرين), located 25KM to the south-east of Khabran at 14.464648924, 45.103944956, however, we are unable to confirm whether this is the same area mentioned in the sources. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for Khabran are: 14.514783937, 44.885372917.

  • Reports of the incident mention the village of Khabran (خبران), allegedly located within the Al Areen (العرين) area, in the Al Quraishyah (القريشيه) district. Research shows a Wadi Al Arin (وادي العرين), located 25KM to the south-east of Khabran, however, we are unable to confirm whether this is the same area mentioned in the sources.

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

United States Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    United States Armed Forces
  • United States Armed Forces position on incident
    Non credible / Unsubstantiated
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None

Civilian casualty statements

United States Armed Forces
  • Nov 5, 2020
  • Via email: U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) continues to focus on ways to minimize civilian casualties during its military operations. We assess or review all reports of civilian casualties because such assessments or reviews help us identify ways to improve our operations and counter misinformation and propaganda. We routinely share the results of every one of our assessments in Department of Defense (DoD) reports to Congress, including annual reports, many of which are publicly available. We also share the results of our assessments or reviews with the public via the USCENTCOM website and our statements to the media. Individuals wishing to understand U.S. military operations in Yemen more fully should consult these official sources of information. USCENTCOM conducted a thorough review of the information AirWars provided regarding allegations of potential civilian harm caused by USCENTCOM strikes in Yemen from 2017-2020. Of the information AirWars provided, one strike on September 14, 2017, was assessed to have caused injuries to two civilians. Also, as previously released by USCENTCOM to the public in February 2017, USCENTCOM acknowledged there may have been civilian casualties during a raid on January 29, 2017. The bulk of the information asserted by AirWars, however, did not correspond with dates and locations of U.S. military strikes or raids in Yemen. Other AirWars allegations either did not allege civilian harm or were not assessed as credible upon our review. Consistent with our mission, our authorities, and our obligations under the law of war, USCENTCOM will continue to conduct military actions in Yemen when required to protect the Nation and our allies and partners from al Qa’ida and ISIS terror cells that are committed to inflicting terror. In every strike and raid, we take careful measures to minimize civilian harm and take responsibility for our actions. When our military operations result in reports of civilian harm, we will continue to assess the credibility of such reports to help us identify ways to improve our operations and respond as appropriate.

Original strike reports

United States Armed Forces

We conducted three strikes against ISIS in al-Bayda Governorate, Yemen Nov. 10-12.
· 10 Nov – 1 strike – 2 EKIA
· 11 Nov – 1 strike – 1 EKIA
· 12 Nov – 1 strike – 2 EKIA

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    ISIS - Yemen
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1–3
  • Belligerents reported injured
    1

Sources (12) [ collapse]