Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

R4279

Incident date

September 7, 2020

Location

أريحا , Ariha, Idlib, Syria

Airwars assessment

A single source reported that two people were killed and several others injured in Russian forces and Syrian regime artillery shelling on Ariha on Sep 7th, 2020.

No further information is available at this moment.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Armed Forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Russian Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Syrian Regime Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Armed Forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Incident Code

YS095

Incident date

September 4, 2020

Location

العلوة , Alawa, Raqqa, Syria

Airwars assessment

A single source reported that three civilians were injured in alleged YPG strikes on Alawa village, Raqqa governorate, on September 4th, 2020.

Khabour wrote that “three civilians were injured by the bombing of the #PYD_PKK militia on Alawa village west of Tel Abid city, north of Raqqa.”

Currently, further information is unavailable to Airwars.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    3
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    YPG forces

Sources (1) [ collapse]

YPG forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    YPG forces
  • YPG forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    3
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    YPG forces

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Incident Code

ISSY012

Incident date

August 31, 2020

Location

الكسوة, Al Kiswa, Rural Damascus, Syria

Geolocation

33.357582, 36.245826 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

At least one civilian was reported killed in an alleged Israeli airstrike on Al Kiswa in rural Damascus, Syria on August 31st, 2020.

Khabour reported “Israeli warplanes launch an airstrike on the [Syrian] regime’s sites in Al-Kiswa area in Damascus countryside.”

Local sources said that the airstrike led to the death of seven Hizbullah fighters, three Syrian regime soldiers and a civilian.

Step Agency reported that the regime lost two of its soldiers in the attack and that seven others were injured. From their side, the Syrian Observatory said that “five Iranian-backed militiamen were killed, including three of non-Syrian nationalities, and more than ten others were injured today in Israeli strikes on south of Damascus.”

However, Euphrates post said that a rocket that the Syrian regime launched in response to the Israeli airstrike mistakenly felt on an area in Al-Kiswa killings civilians and causing damage.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attackers
    Israeli Armed Forces, Unknown, Syrian Regime Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Unknown
  • Belligerents reported killed
    11

Sources (11) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the village of Al Kiswa (الكسوة), for which the generic coordinates are: 33.357582, 36.245826. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Israeli Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Unknown Assessment:

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

Syrian Regime Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attackers
    Israeli Armed Forces, Unknown, Syrian Regime Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Unknown
  • Belligerents reported killed
    11

Sources (11) [ collapse]

Incident Code

R4278

Incident date

August 30, 2020

Location

الشيخ بحر, Sheikh Bahar, Idlib, Syria

Airwars assessment

An unknown number of displaced civilians was injured in alleged Russian airstrikes on a camp for Internally Displaced People (IDP) near the village of Sheikh Bahar, Idlib governorate, on August 30th, 2020, as reported by local sources.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, “Russian jets carried out airstrikes using air-to-air missiles, which exploded in north-western Idlib countryside. Shrapnel of missiles fell on a camp in Armanaz area, leaving injuries among the displaced people.”

Step News Agency wrote that “civilians were wounded as a result of the Russian raids that targeted the vicinity of a camp for the displaced near the village of Sheikh Bahar Shamal.” Baladi News reported the same news.

Currently, further information is unavailable to Airwars.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Armed Forces

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Russian Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Armed Forces

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS447

Incident date

August 26, 2020

Location

شيخ حسن, Sheikh Hassan, Raqqa, Syria

Geolocation

36.316923, 39.060001 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

A civilian male was reportedly killed by Turkish forces as he was crossing the M4 highway near the village of Sheikh Hassan, Raqqa governorate, on August 26th, 2020, according to local sources.

Rojava Network wrote that “a civilian named Qasim Al Khalil (48) was martyred as a result of Turkish shelling on the Sheikh Hassan village, northern countryside of Ain Issa.”

According to Rohani, civilians in the district also held Russia responsible for the death of the man, who reportedly died when crossing the M4 Highway, writing that “innocents are being targeted on the M4 road, despite Russia’s bearing the guarantee of crossing.” The source added that the man’s family “could not reach his body until late hours at night, due to the targeting of snipers”.

It remains unclear whether the victim died by shelling, as reported by Rojava Network, or sniper fire, as suggested by Rohani.

Currently, further information is unavailable to Airwars.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Armed Forces

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    The 48-year-old man Qasim Al Khalil was killed in alleged Turkish fire while crossing the M4 highway in Ain Issa governorate (via Ronahi).

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention a road, possibly the M4 segment in the vicinity of Sheik Hassan (شيخ حسن) village, for which the generic coordinates are: 36.316923, 39.060001. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

Turkish Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Armed Forces

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Published

August 19, 2020

Written by

Airwars Staff

Support from the Reva and David Logan Foundation follows recent study showing challenges of mainstream media coverage of civilian casualties.

A new Senior Investigator will be joining the Airwars core team in the coming weeks, thanks to a two year grant from the Reva and David Logan Foundation – a Chicago based family philanthropic fund.

Over the past six years, Airwars has consistently shown that its groundbreaking work has a powerful impact on the public understanding of civilian harm – and can lead to positive changes in both policies and practices among militaries. However, systemic challenges in many newsrooms can result in the issue being poorly reported. Our recent study News In Brief, authored by US investigative reporter Alexa O’Brien and also funded by the Logan Foundation, explored the many obstacles to good reporting of this critical issue.

Responding to this deficit, new funding will enable Airwars to majorly enhance its own capacity for much-needed investigations into civilian casualties and their causes, in particular with the appointment of an in-house Senior Investigator – who will be supported by a wider team of geolocation, research and design professionals.

Airwars will then seek partnerships with key US and international media on the most vital and controversial cases and stories. In doing so, it aims to bridge a critical gap in the mainstream reporting of civilian harm from war – and bring many more stories to public awareness. A key focus will be to explore innovative approaches to engaging new audiences on civilian harm issues.

Major investigations

Since its founding, Airwars has published several major investigations into civilian harm. In 2017 our then-inhouse reporter Samuel Oakford revealed with Foreign Policy that, according to senior US military officials, more than 80 civilians had been killed in non-US international airstrikes in Iraq and Syria. That investigation still serves as a key point of engagement for our advocacy work with individual belligerents.

In June 2019, Airwars partnered with Amnesty International on a major project War in Raqqa: Rhetoric versus Reality – which found that at least 1,600 civilian deaths had likely been caused by the US-led Coalition during the battle of Raqqa. More recently, Airwars has played a prominent role in reporting the scandal surrounding Dutch responsibility for a 2015 airstrike in Hawijah, Iraq, in which 70 or more civilians likely died. And in early 2020 – in partnership with the BBC, Liberation, De Morgen and RTL Netherlands – Airwars revealed that European militaries were failing to declare civilian deaths from their own actions in the war against ISIS, even where US military personnel had concluded otherwise.

“Airwars is unique. There are few organisations that shine a light so intensely on the wholesale slaughter of innocent civilians caught up in the fury of war. The Airwars team has developed groundbreaking methodology to track these horrors and has delivered their consequent findings with authority to governments, the military and the public,” commented Richard Logan, President of the Reva and David Logan Foundation.

“Their work has consistently brought changes in perceptions and in the conduct of war. It has contributed to a significant reduction of non-combatant battlefield deaths and injuries. For these and other related reasons, it is crucial to magnify Airwars’ investigative capacity to ensure that the plight of the most vulnerable stays at the forefront of all our minds. We are honoured to support their efforts.”

▲ A young girl passes a bomb crater in West Mosul, April 2017 (Image courtesy of Kainoa Little. All rights reserved)

Incident Code

TS446

Incident date

August 17, 2020

Location

M4 غرب عين عيسى, M4, West of Ain Issa, Raqqa, Syria

Geolocation

36.385278, 38.859444 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Subdistrict level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Subdistrict

Airwars assessment

Deaths and injuries among civilians were reported by local sources as a result of alleged Turkish forces and Turkey-backed militants shelling of Ain Issa, in Raqqa, Syria on August 17th, 2020.

While most sources reported that two civilians were wounded, others reported deaths without a specific number.

@dersi4m tweeted that ‘theTurkish army and it’s jihadist groups shelled this evening the villages Abu Sira, Dibis and the surrounding of the Highway M4 in western of Ain Issa town.Two civilians have been wounded (ANHA).’

@RojavaSiyamend said that ‘Turkish forces bombard Ain Issa town areas with heavy weapons, directly targeting civilians. There are wounded and dead.’

No further information is available yet.

The incident occured in the evening.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention areas being struck along the M4 highway, among them Abu Surra (ابو سيرا) and Dibis, in the western vicinity of Ain Issa (عين عيسى) town. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for Ain Issa are: 36.385278, 38.859444.

  • Reports of the incident mention areas being struck along the M4 highway, among them Abu Surra (ابو سيرا) and Dibis, in the western vicinity of Ain Issa (عين عيسى) town.

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

Turkish Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Turkish Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Incident Code

R4277

Incident date

August 14, 2020

Location

البادية السورية, Syrian Badia, Homs, Syria

Airwars assessment

Civilians were reported killed and injured in alleged Russian airstrikes on the Syrian desert, or Al Badia Al Souria, on August 14th, 2020.

@so_ria98 reported intense airstrikes by Russian warplanes in several areas of the desert and stated there were reports of civilian casualties, as well as the targeting of a car believed to be a civilian vehicle.

Joftlk Al Hadath also reported killed and wounded civilian victims.

Currently, further information is unavailable to Airwars.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Armed Forces

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Russian Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Russian Armed Forces

Sources (2) [ collapse]