News & Investigations

News & Investigations

Published

March 2, 2021

Written by

Airwars Staff

US accountability for civilian casualties declines sharply during Trump's final year, as CENTCOM 'forgets' deaths of Yemen civilians.

Tracking by Airwars across multiple conflicts during 2020 shows that the number of locally reported civilian deaths from the use of explosive weapons was down by two thirds compared to the previous year. Of these fatalities, around half were in the first two months of 2020.

Comprehensive new data released by Airwars in its Annual Report 2020 suggests a possible ‘Covid effect’ – a significant reduction in conflict violence, as communities locked down during the global pandemic.

Other factors were at work too. Truce deals in Syria and Libya had a major impact in reducing civilian casualties. And the United States significantly scaled back its targeted strikes campaign in Yemen – though counterterrorism actions in Somalia continued at a high tempo. Meanwhile, limited Turkish military actions continued in both Iraq and Syria, sometimes with associated claims of civilian casualties.

“Any fall in reported civilian casualty numbers from their desperately high levels of recent years has to be welcomed,” says Airwars director Chris Woods. “Yet concerns remain that some of these wars will re-ignite as the impact of Covid recedes. Declines in US accountability for civilian deaths are also very worrying, and require urgent attention from the incoming Biden administration.”

US accountability challenges

Reported US actions declined steeply for the second year running – with no known US strikes in Pakistan or Libya, and significantly fewer in Yemen, Iraq and Syria. However US counterterrorism strikes remained at a high level in Somalia – with uncertainty about how many US actions in Afghanistan were conducted. In total, an estimated 1,000 US airstrikes took place during Donald Trump’s last full year as president – down from around 13,000 during Obama’s own final year in office.

Locally reported civilian harm was also sharply down. But as the Annual Report  shows, so too was US public accountability. In Iraq and Syria, there was an unexplained 80 per cent fall in the number of events assessed as ‘Credible’ by the US-led Coalition. And in Yemen, US Central Command had to apologise after forgetting that its own forces had killed up to a dozen civilians in a 2017 raid – despite CENTCOM’s former commander having publicly confirmed those deaths to the US Senate.

Limited respite for Syria, Iraq

Russia and the Assad government began 2020 with a ferocious campaign targeting rebels in several governorates, including Idlib. However of at least 398 civilian deaths allegedly resulting from Russia’s actions in Syria last year, all but 34 occurred before a major ceasefire was enacted on March 5th. That pause in hostilities – which still mostly holds – was prompted both by Covid concerns, and as a result of military pressure by Turkey on Assad’s forces.

Turkey also continued its ongoing campaigns against the Kurdish YPG in northern Syria, and the PKK in northern Iraq. During 2020, Airwars tracked a total of 60 locally alleged civilian harm incidents from Turkish-led actions in Syria, resulting in at least 37 alleged deaths and the injuring of up to 152 more civilians. And in Iraq, 21 locally alleged incidents were tracked throughout the year from Turkish actions, resulting in between 27 and 33 civilian deaths and up to 23 injuries.

Meanwhile, reported civilian harm from US-led Coalition actions against ISIS in Syria during 2020 was down by an astonishing 96% – with at least 18 civilians alleged killed, versus more than 465 likely civilian fatalities the previous year. Iraq saw just three locally reported civilian harm claims from US or Coalition actions – including during the US targeted assassination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani at Baghdad International Airport.

Most civilian deaths from Russian strikes in Syria were reported prior to a March 5th ceasefire

‘Forgotten’ civilian deaths in Yemen

Ongoing monitoring by Airwars of counterterrorism actions in Yemen indicated a continuing if limited US campaign against Al Qaeda – despite US Central Command (CENTCOM) not having publicly declared a strike since summer 2019. Confirmation of several actions by US officials suggested control of the long-running campaign may have been passed to the CIA.

Meanwhile, following publication of an Airwars Yemen report in October, CENTCOM had to admit that it had forgotten its own recent admission of the killing of civilians during a 2017 raid on a Yemeni village.

Previous commander General Joseph Votel had told the US Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) during in-person evidence that he took personal responsibility for the deaths of “between four and twelve” civilians in a botched raid. But three years later, CENTCOM was claiming only that there “may have been casualties” at Yakla. A senior official later apologised to Airwars for “Our failure to provide an accurate assessment [which] was an administrative mistake, and not an intent to deceive.”

Bucking a global trend of reduced conflict violence, US airstrikes against al Shabaab continued at near record levels during 2020 – although reported civilian deaths halved in number. That may have been a reflection of AFRICOM’s increased emphasis on assessing and reporting civilian harm under new commander General Stephen Townsend.

Advocacy team engages with militaries, governments and parliaments

As well as providing comprehensive data on locally reported civilian harm across multiple conflicts, Airwars works hard to ensure that the voices of affected communities are properly heard. During 2020 productive meetings were held with Dutch, British, US and NATO military officials – often alongside our partners – with the aim of reducing battlefield civilian harm.

Our advocacy team also briefed parliamentarians and media in several countries, offering expertise and insights on issues ranging from the perils of explosive weapon use in urban centres, to the benefits of public transparency for civilian harm claims.

In October 2020 Airwars also launched a new investigations team, aimed at building on its recent study looking at the challenges faced by newsrooms when reporting on civilian harm. Our first investigation – taking a critical look at Libya 2011 – will launch in mid March.

Read our Annual Report 2020 in full.

Locally reported civilian deaths declined across all conflicts tracked by Airwars during 2020.

Incident Code

CS1956

Incident date

February 25, 2021

Location

حارم, Harem, Idlib, Syria

Airwars assessment

Shaam Network and @NagiNajjar reported that three ‘people’ were wounded when a drone struck them in Harem, Idlib on Feb 25th.

Though Shaam Network didn’t blame any belligerent, @NagiNajjar attributed the attack to the US-led Coalition saying:  “News of the cause of the explosion in the city of Harem is the targeting of a person by the international coalition, but his identity is not known yet.”

It’s not clear whether those injured are civilians or not. No further information is available at the moment.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    3
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    Unknown
  • Belligerents reported injured
    3

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • The surrounding of Harem.

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    3
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    Unknown
  • Belligerents reported injured
    3

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Incident Code

R4297

Incident date

February 24, 2021

Location

عين الحمرا, Ain Al Hamra, Idlib, Syria

Airwars assessment

Syrian Civil Defence reported that six civilians from one family in Ain Al Hamra were injured when a cluster bomb from previous Russian or Syrian regime bombing that was in their house yard iexploded on February 24th, 2021.

Two children and two women are among those injured.

No further information is available at the moment.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    6
  • 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
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    6
  • 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

YS100

Incident date

February 17, 2021

Location

عفرين, Afrin, Aleppo, Syria

Airwars assessment

Up to 13 civilians including women and children were injured in an alleged rocket attack by YPG on residential areas in Afrin on February 17th, 2021. However, some sources like the Syrian Civil Defence said that the rockets were launched from areas controlled by the Syrian regime and the Syrian Democratic Forces, and didn’t blame a certain belligerent.

The source said “13 civilians were injured, including six children and three women, this evening, Wednesday, February 17th, after missile strikes targeted residential neighborhoods in Afrin city. The source of the attack is areas under the control of the regime forces and the Syrian Democratic Forces.”

At first, Shahba Press said that six civilians were injured, then EdlibEmc1 reported ten injuries as a result of the attack. The highest toll was reported by the Syrian Civil Defence at 13.

Some sources didn’t blame any party, while the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the rockets came from regime controlled areas.

The incident occured in the evening.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    6–13
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attackers
    Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Syrian Regime Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (8) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (7) [ collapse]

  • Translation: Nine wounded civilians in Afrin city, in the countryside of Aleppo, as a result of the artillery shelling that it was subject to a short while ago.
  • Civilians moved with an ambulance after reported injured as a result of a mortar attack on Afrin, Aleppo on February 17th, 2021. (via SCD)
  • Injuries among civilians and material damage due to mortar shelling allegedly by YPG in Afrin in Aleppo on Feb 17th, 2021. (via Shahba Press).
  • Remnants of a rocket used in an attack on Afrin on Feb 17th, 2021. (via Syrian Observatory for Human Rights).
  • Remnants of a rocket used in an attack on Afrin on Feb 17th, 2021. (via Syrian Observatory for Human Rights).
  • A rocket attack allegedly by YPG on residential areas in Afrin on Feb 17th, 2021. (via the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights).
  • A rocket attack allegedly by YPG on residential areas in Afrin on Feb 17th, 2021 led to injuries among civilians. (via the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights).

Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)
  • Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) 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
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    6–13
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attackers
    Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Syrian Regime Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (8) [ collapse]

Incident Code

YS099

Incident date

February 16, 2021

Location

أم عدسة, Um Adasa, Aleppo, Syria

Airwars assessment

Shaam Network reported that on Februarty 16th, “The villages of Umm Adasa and al-Sukkariyah in the countryside of al-Bab city in the eastern countryside and the village of Kafr Kalbin in the northern countryside were subjected to artillery and missile strikes by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which led to the fall of a martyr in Umm Adasa, and the Turkish army responded by targeting the Qasd strongholds in the villages of Meng and Maranaz with artillery shells.”

No further information is available at the 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
    1
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)
  • Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Single source claim
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TS465

Incident date

February 10, 2021

Location

الدشيشة, Al Darisha, Hassakah, Syria

Geolocation

36.648296, 40.282423 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

A number of civilians including a 6-year-old child were reported injured in Turkish or pro-Turkey forces shelling on residential areas in Tal Tamr in Hasakah, Syria on February 10th, 2021. @baze_kurd said the child was seriously injured.

The child was identified by local sources as Yazan Mohammad Ali, while one source had a different variation of the name; Rizan Mohammad.

ANHA said the child is originally from Al-Dishisha village. The source reported that “the village of al-Tawila and that of al-Dishisha adjacent to the Aleppo- Hasaka International Highway known as the M4, were shelled by the Turkish Occupation Forces and the affiliated mercenary groups with artillery and mortar shells heavily in which Yezen Mohamed Ali, 6, from the village of Dishisha was injured in addition to some material damage.”

However, althawrah reported from the Syrian News Agency (SANA) that the child was injured in Al-Arisha village, not Al-Dashisha as other sources mentioned.

ASO network said the child was injured when a mortar shell landed and exploded near him while he was grazing sheep, and that he was taken to Al-Shaab hospital in Hasaka with wounds in different parts of his body as Ezdina reported. Afterwards, his condition was described as stable.

Basnews said that Turkey and pro-militants targeted sites of Syrian Democratic Forces in Tal Tamr on the day when the child was injured. Also reported that Turkish shelling on the M4 International road with heavy weapons led to the suspension of traffic on the M4 between the towns of Tal Tamer and Ain Issa.

No further information is available.

The incident occured around midday.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • 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
    Turkish Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    YPG/SDF

Sources (12) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (4) [ collapse]

  • Translation: Civilians injured including a child in a Turkish shell attack on the outskirts of Tal Tamr on the outskirts of #Hassaké in #Syrie. ( SANA)
  • Yazan (or Rizan) Mohammad, aged 6, was reported in alleged Turkey shelling on Tal Tamr, Hasaka on Feb 10th, 2021. (via Hawar News).
  • An image shared by Ezdina taken from social media in connection to the incident of alleged Turkey shelling on Dashisha village in Tal Tamr on Fab 10th. It shows damage to a wall as a result of shrapnel.
  • An image shared by Ezdina taken from social media in connection to the incident of alleged Turkey shelling on Dashisha village in Tal Tamr on Fab 10th.

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the village of Al Darisha (الدشيشة), for which the generic coordinates are: 36.648296, 40.282423. 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
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • 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
    Turkish Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    YPG/SDF

Sources (12) [ collapse]

Incident Code

R4296

Incident date

February 9, 2021

Location

ترحين, Tarhin, Aleppo, Syria

Airwars assessment

Between two and five civilians were killed in alleged Russian or Syrian regime artillery strikes on the village of Tarhin, Aleppo governorate, on February 9th, 2021, according to local sources. Up to 10 civilians, including children, were injured.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported: “SOHR activists say that five people, including three unidentified, were killed and four others were injured, this evening, in surface-to-surface missiles fired by the Russian military base in Hmeimim on the oil refineries in the village of Tarhin in the areas held by Turkish-backed factions in Aleppo countryside. The strikes resulted in fires and significant damage to civilians’ property.” The SOHR, however, added that other sources reported that the missiles came from the military academy in Aleppo.

The Syrian Civil Defence wrote on Facebook: “One dead, a number of injured and huge fires by the missile strikes that targeted the primitive fuel refineries in the village of Tarhin, east of Aleppo, this evening, Tuesday, February 9th, our teams are working to search for survivors in addition to extinguishing the fires burning in the place.”

On their website, the SCD wrote that a Toshka surface-to-surface missile loaded with cluster bombs was fired on the village, “which led to the killing of two civilians and wounding four others, as well as the outbreak of very large fires due to the nature of the area, which includes a large number of fuel tanks and primitive refineries.”

Assad Al Zalam posted the names of four victims on Facebook: the men Abdul Hadi Al Hammadi and Muhammad Al Hammadi were killed, while Omar Jumaa Al Ahmad and Abdullah Al Ahmad were reported injured. The source added that the wounded were brought to Al Bab Al Jadid Hospital.

Activists told Shaam News Network that “several long-range missiles targeted the oil burners in the village of Tarhin in the countryside of Aleppo, causing a martyr to fall and wounded among civilians, including children.”

According to Syria News, illegal oil refining burners of Turkey-affiliated militants were targeted, leading to injuries among “the gunmen”, indicating that combatants were injured in the strikes.

@IdlibPlus reported five killed people and a number of injured on the Haragat area of the village of Tarhin. A local source told North Press Agency Syria that “five civilians were killed and ten others were wounded, as a preliminary outcome, with a ground-to-ground missile that targeted Haragat sites in the village of Tarhin, in the eastern countryside of Aleppo.”

Anadolu Agency said that “at least six ballistic missiles fell on the Tarhin area, killing two civilians and wounding six others, in an initial outcome.” @Sy24ria tweeted that three civilians were killed and four others were injured.

Al Modon wrote: “A military source in the National Army confirmed to Al Modon that the Toshka-type surface-to-surface missiles were loaded with cluster bombs from the regime-controlled areas, targeting the town of Tarhin.”

Sources blamed both Russia and the Syrian regime for the strikes.

The incident occured in the evening.

The victims were named as:

Family members (2)

Family members (2)

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2 – 5
  • (2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2–10
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Armed Forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (25) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (8) [ collapse]

  • Aftermath of alleged Russian or Syrian regime artillery strikes on the village of Tarhin, Aleppo governorate, on February 9th, 2021 (via Halab Today TV).
  • Remnants of a missile after alleged Russian or Syrian regime artillery strikes on the village of Tarhin, Aleppo governorate, on February 9th, 2021 (via Halab Today TV).
  • Footage of alleged Russian or Syrian regime artillery strikes on Tarhin, Aleppo governorate, on February 9th, 2021 (via Breaking News).
  • Translation: “Unidentified bombing targets the Tarhin area near the city of Al Bab in the eastern countryside of Aleppo” (via @mohmad_rasheed).
  • Translation: “The Russian occupation base in Handarat, north of Aleppo, has repeatedly bombed the Euphrates Shield areas in the countryside of Aleppo, and this time its Tochka missiles reached the Tarhin area near Al Bab, where primitive fuel refining stations are spread” (via @khaleedalkhteb).
  • Translation: “The effects of destruction in the Tarhine area in the countryside of Al-Bab city in the countryside of Aleppo, as a result of regime forces' shelling with missiles” (via SY-24).
  • Translation: “The effects of destruction in the Tarhin area in the countryside of Al Bab city in the countryside of Aleppo, as a result of its bombardment by the regime forces with missiles, killing three civilians and four injuries yesterday night” (via @Sy24ria).
  • Remnants of a missile after alleged Russian or Syrian regime artillery strikes on the village of Tarhin, Aleppo governorate, on February 9th, 2021 (via SyriaTV).

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
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2 – 5
  • (2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2–10
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Russian Armed Forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (25) [ collapse]

Incident Code

YS097

Incident date

February 8, 2021

Location

الباب, Al Bab, Aleppo, Syria

Airwars assessment

One child was killed and nine civilians injured in alleged YPG or Syrian regime artillery shelling on the city of Al Bab, Aleppo governorate on February the 8th.

At the start, local sources reported that at least nine civilians, including at least four children and three women, were injured in alleged YPG or Syrian regime artillery strikes on the city of Al Bab, Aleppo governorate, on February 8th, 2021. Some of the victims remain in critical condition.

Howeber, on February 12th, the Syrian Network for Human Rights, Macro Media Center and @mohamed1aldaher reported that child Taim Maatarmawi died on February 12th of injuries he sustained on February 8th.

According to the Syrian Civil Defence (@SyriaCivilDefe), “10 civilians, including four children and two women, were wounded, some of them in critical condition, today, Monday, February 8, by an unknown-source missile strike, on the city of Al Bab in the eastern countryside of Aleppo. Our teams rescued the injured and worked to secure the place.”

According to a correspondent for Enab Baladi, the bombing took place around 6:30 PM and came from areas controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). @zakaria19972 tweeted: “10 wounded, including four children and three women, as a result of the YPG militia targeting the city of Al Bab, northeast of Aleppo, with missiles.”

Shahed Agency wrote that eight civilians were injured as the results from strikes with five missiles by the Qasd Militia, stationed in the outskirts of the city. Shahed Agency’s correspondent said that “civil defence teams transported the injured from the targeted places to the hospital in the city, and also recovered a wounded child from under the rubble as a result of the collapse of the house wall due to the bombing.”

The Syrian Arab News Agency, affiliated to the Syrian regime, wrote that “violent clashes with heavy weapons broke out this evening between the Turkish occupation forces and their mercenaries on the one hand and the “Qasd militia” on the other hand, causing the injury of at least 14 civilians, including 5 children and three women, and material losses to the homes, properties, and public properties of the people in the city of Al Bab and several villages in its vicinity.” It is unclear if the injury toll only includes civilian casualties in Al Bab.

Ahmad Ali Makra published the names of nine injured civilians, including four children and three women, on Facebook. @seerij80 posted a photo of an injured child on the ICU as the result of the strikes.

Shaam News Agency reported ten wounded, including a woman in a critical condition and four children, as the result of shelling on civilian residential areas. The missiles reportedly came from “the area of ​Al Sukkariyya and Al Urimah, which is considered a common area between the Assad regime and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).”

The Syrian Network for Human Rights said “A three-year-old child, named as Taim Obadah M’atramawi, from Ma’aret al Numan city in the southern suburbs of Idlib governorate, died on February 12th, 2021, due to wounds sustained on February 8th, 2021, when a Syrian regime missile launcher shelled a residential area in al Bab city in the eastern suburbs of the governorate. SNHR can confirm that the area attacked is a civilian area and is free of any military presence or equipment.”

@OtmanAlkneter reported nine injured, and said that the following areas had been targeted: “The side of the Great Mosque, beside Azraq Pharmacy” and “near El Kurdi Generator”. @IdlibPlus mentioned the use of rocket-propelled grenades.

While a few sources did not attribute blame for the strikes, most sources blamed the YPG for targeting the city of Al Bab. However, the Syrian Network for Human Rights blamed the Syrian regime for this incident. The source said “Syrian regime forces used a missile launcher to shell al Bab city in the eastern suburbs of Aleppo governorate on February 8th, with the missiles that landed in residential areas and near the city’s al Kabir Mosque. As a result, ten civilians, including a child, were injured, while a number of residential buildings were partially destroyed and the mosque’s structure and furniture were partially damaged on February 8th.”

Also the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights accused the Syrian regime, backed by Russian forces, of responsibility for the casualties and the incident. The source said that casualties took place as a result of “artillery shelling by the Manbij Military Council forces, which were carried out at Russian orders, on the town of Al-Bab, an area under the control of Turkish-backed factions in eastern Aleppo countryside.”

Shaam Network didn’t rule out a Syrian regime’s involvement in this incident when they said that missiles were fired from the area of ​​al-Sukkariyya and al-Urimah, considered a common area between the Assad regime and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

The incident occured at approximately 6:30 pm local time.

The victims were named as:

Family members (4)

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 child)
  • Civilians reported injured
    9–14
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attackers
    YPG forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (29) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (38) [ collapse]

  • Medical staff helping an injured child after alleged YPG strikes on the city of Al Bab, Aleppo governorate, on February 8th, 2021 (via Enad Baladi).
  • Translation: “10 wounded, including four children and three women, as a result of the YPG militia targeting the city of Al-Bab, northeast of Aleppo, with missiles” (via @zakaria19972).
  • An injured child receiving medical help after alleged YPG strikes on the city of Al Bab, Aleppo governorate, on February 8th, 2021 (via @zakaria19972).
  • Remnants of one of the missiles reportedly used in alleged YPG strikes on Al Bab on February 8th, 2021 (via @zakaria19972).
  • Aftermath of alleged YPG strikes on the city of Al Bab, Aleppo governorate, on February 8th, 2021 (via @zakaria19972).
  • Translation: “The first moments of our teams' response to the missile strikes that targeted the city of Al-Bab, east of Aleppo, which injured 10 civilians. Our team inspected the bombing sites and works to remove the effects of the explosion from the scene” (via @SyriaCivilDefe).
  • Translation: “10 civilians, including four children and two women, were injured, some of them in critical condition, as a result of bombing the city of Al-Bab in the eastern countryside of Aleppo” (via @fawaz_jwaid).
  • An injured man after alleged YPG artillery strikes on Al Bab on February 8th, 2021 (via @fawaz_jwaid).
  • Translation: “10 civilians, including four children and two women, were wounded, some of them in critical condition, today, Monday, February 8, by an unknown-source missile strike, which was hit by the city of Al Bab in the eastern countryside of Aleppo” (via @RaedAlSaleh3).
  • Civilians at the site after alleged YPG strikes on Al Bab, Aleppo governorate, on February 8th, 2021 (via @RaedAlSaleh3).
  • Remnants of artillery after alleged YPG strikes on Al Bab, Aleppo governorate, on February 8th, 2021 (via @RaedAlSaleh3).
  • Rubble being cleared form the site after alleged YPG strikes on Al Bab, Aleppo governorate, on February 8th, 2021 (via @RaedAlSaleh3).
  • Damage after alleged YPG strikes on Al Bab, Aleppo governorate, on February 8th, 2021 (via @RaedAlSaleh3).
  • Translation: “10 civilians, including four children and two women, were wounded, some of them in critical condition, today, Monday, February 8, by an unknown-source missile strike, on the city of Al-Bab in the eastern countryside of Aleppo. Our teams rescued the injured and worked to secure the place” (via @SyriaCivilDefe).
  • A Syrian Civil Defence volunteer at the site after alleged YPG strikes on Al Bab, February 8th, 2021 (via @SyriaCivilDefe).
  • Damage after alleged YPG strikes on Al Bab, Aleppo governorate, on February 8th, 2021 (via @SyriaCivilDefe).
  • Aftermath of missile strike on Al-Bab, Aleppo, Feb 8th, 2021. (via SCD)
  • Remnants of missiles used in strikes on Al-Bab in Aleppo, Feb 8th, 2021. (via SCD)
  • Translation: “Civilian casualties with missile strikes on the city of Al Bab in the eastern countryside of Aleppo. Our correspondent Malik Abu Ubaida and the details” (via @HalabTodayTV).
  • Translation: “Nine injuries, most of them children, as a result of the missile strikes that targeted residential neighborhoods in the city of Al Bab in the eastern countryside of Aleppo” (via @mohmad_rasheed).
  • Translation: “Part of the destruction caused by the missile strikes of the SDF on the city of Al Bab in the eastern countryside of Aleppo, which resulted in the injury of eight civilians, including children” (via @ShahedagencyAr).
  • Remnants of a missile after alleged YPG strikes on Al Bab on February 8th, 2021 (via @ShahedagencyAr).
  • Aftermath of alleged YPG strikes on Al Bab on February 8th, 2021 (via @ShahedagencyAr).
  • Rescue workers at the site after alleged YPG strikes on Al Bab on February 8th, 2021 (via @ShahedagencyAr).
  • Remnants of a missile after alleged YPG strikes on Al Bab on February 8th, 2021 (via @ShahedagencyAr).
  • Aftermath of alleged YPG strikes on Al Bab on February 8th, 2021 (via @fawaz_jwaid).
  • An injured child after alleged YPG strikes on Al Bab, Aleppo governorate, on February 8th, 2021 (via @fawaz_jwaid).
  • Remnants after alleged YPG strikes on Al Bab, Aleppo governorate, on February 8th, 2021 (via @fawaz_jwaid).
  • An injured child receiving medical help after alleged YPG strikes on Al Bab, Aleppo governorate, on February 8th, 2021 (via @fawaz_jwaid).
  • Translation: “Several explosions in residential neighborhoods in the city of Al Bab, east of Aleppo, were caused by unidentified rocket shells, and news of a number of civilian casualties” (via @MNoaymi).
  • Photo of alleged YPG strikes on Al Bab, Aleppo governorate, on February 8th, 2021 (via @MNoaymi).
  • Translation: “Remnants of rockets and the resulting destruction in the city of Al Bab in the eastern countryside of Aleppo” (via @ZaitunAgency).
  • Remnants of a missile after alleged YPG strikes on Al Bab on February 8th, 2021 (via @ZaitunAgency).
  • Remnants of the weapon used in alleged YPG strikes on Al Bab on February 8th, 2021 (via @ZaitunAgency).
  • Remnants of a missile after alleged YPG strikes on Al Bab on February 8th, 2021 (via @ZaitunAgency).
  • Translation: “The city of Al Bab, east of Aleppo, was subjected to direct bombardment by the PKK militia on the gatherings of our civilians, causing injuries, and this is a picture of an injured child in intensive care” (via @seerij80).
  • An injured child in the ICU after alleged YPG strikes on Al Bab, Aleppo governorate, on February 8th, 2021 (via @seerij80).

YPG forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    YPG forces
  • YPG 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
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 child)
  • Civilians reported injured
    9–14
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attackers
    YPG forces, Syrian Regime Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (29) [ collapse]