Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

USSOM340

Incident date

August 1, 2021

Location

Between Qaycad town and Xarardheere , Galmudug, Somalia

Geolocation

4.82888, 47.923205 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Subdistrict level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Subdistrict

Airwars assessment

In its latest actions in support of Somali ground forces, AFRICOM confirmed that it had conducted airstrikes on al Shabaab positions “in the vicinity of Qeycad” on August 1st.

Statements published by both the Somali Ministry of Information and Galmudug State referred to two separate strikes, which Airwars is therefore treating as separate events.

Galmudug State reported the following: “A strike targeted a military base housing al Shabaab militants between Qay’ad and Hareri-dere.”

Separately, the MOI stated that “At 1022 a.m. & 1101 a.m. air strikes occurred b/w Bacadweyne & Camara towns near Wisil town in #Galmudug State in support of a #Danab operation resulting in zero civilian casualties”. It went on to add that “The airstrikes destroyed a large al-Shabab firing position engaging Danab and SNA forces as they approached”. Airwars has treated the action between Bacadweyne and Camara as a separate event (USSOM339).

The US actions – the third and fourth in just eleven days – were once again in support of Somali ground forces fighting al Shabaab for control of towns and villages around Qeycad. According to AFRICOM, “There were no U.S. forces accompanying Somali forces during this operation. U.S. forces were conducting a remote advise and assist mission in support of designated Somali partner forces.”

AFRICOM also asserted that the command’s “initial assessment is that no civilians were injured or killed given the remote nature of where this engagement occurred.” There were also no known local reports of civilian harm.

Pro al Shabaab source Somali Memo tweeted on the Sunday morning that “Forces of the Islamic State of Mudug strongly defend Qeycad after air and ground attacks,” with a more detailed online report asserting that “Reports from the outskirts of Ba’adweyne area say that heavy fighting broke out in the early hours of today near Qeycad village. The fighting came after US-trained militias attacked the defenses of the Islamic State of Mudug between Ba’adweyne and Qeycad. Sources say that after an hour of fighting, the Ashamud militia were defeated and later returned to their base in Ba’adweyne. The report added that US drones had taken part in the airstrikes, but no casualties were reported.”

Somaliweyn also claimed that al Shabaab had attempted to retaliate against the US strikes: “Two rockets were reportedly fired at a fighter jet on the outskirts of Qaycad in Mudug region, where Somali government and Galmudug forces are also conducting operations.”

An image published by Radio Muqdisho on the day appeared to show an airstrike in progress.

In a followup statement, Sonna state media claimed the following day that the Somali National Army backed by Galmudug State forces had killed 200 Al-Shabaab militants in their ongoing military operations in Mudug region, destroying what were described as 16 “terrorist bases” and capturing four towns and eight villages.

The incident occured in the morning.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab

Sources (17) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (5) [ collapse]

  • Somali forces in the vicinity of Qeycud August 1st 2021 (via Radio Moqdisho)
  • An apparent US airstrike in the vicinity of Qeycud, August 1st 2021 (via Radio Moqdisho)
  • Official statement from the Somali Ministry of Information on the August 1st US strikes on al Shabaab

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the area between the town of Qeycad and the boundary of Xarardheere. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for a middle point between these two locations are: 4.82888, 47.923205.

United States Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    United States Armed Forces
  • United States Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

United States Armed Forces

In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command forces conducted an airstrike against al-Shabaab in the vicinity of Qeycad, Somalia August 1.

There were no U.S. forces accompanying Somali forces during this operation. U.S. forces were conducting a remote advise and assist mission in support of designated Somali partner forces. U.S. forces are authorized to conduct strikes in support of combatant commander-designated partner forces under the 2001 Authorization of Use for Military Force.

The command’s initial assessment is that no civilians were injured or killed given the remote nature of where this engagement occurred.

The Federal Government of Somalia and U.S. Africa Command take great measures to prevent civilian casualties. These efforts contrast with the indiscriminate attacks that al-Shabaab regularly conducts against the civilian population.

The Federal Government of Somalia and the U.S. remain committed to fighting al-Shabaab to prevent the deaths of innocent men, women and children.

Violent extremist organizations like al-Shabaab present long-term threats to U.S. and regional interests.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab

Sources (17) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM339

Incident date

August 1, 2021

Location

Between Bacaadweyn and Camara, vicinity of Wisil, Galmudug, Somalia

Geolocation

5.211400, 47.902792 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Subdistrict level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Subdistrict

Airwars assessment

In its latest actions in support of Somali ground forces, AFRICOM confirmed that it had conducted airstrikes on al Shabaab positions “in the vicinity of Qeycad” on August 1st.

Statements published by both the Somali Ministry of Information and Galmudug State referred to two separate strikes, which Airwars is therefore treating as separate events. According to the MOI: “At 1022 a.m. & 1101 a.m. air strikes occurred b/w Bacadweyne & Camara towns near Wisil town in #Galmudug State in support of a #Danab operation resulting in zero civilian casualties”. It went on to add that “The airstrikes destroyed a large al-Shabab firing position engaging Danab and SNA forces as they approached”.

Galmudug State also reported a strike elsewhere: “A strike targeted a military base housing al Shabaab militants between Qay’ad and Hareri-dere.” Airwars has treated this as a separate event (USSOM340).

The US actions – the third and fourth in just eleven days – were once again in support of Somali ground forces fighting al Shabaab for control of towns and villages around Qeycad. According to AFRICOM, “There were no U.S. forces accompanying Somali forces during this operation. U.S. forces were conducting a remote advise and assist mission in support of designated Somali partner forces.”

AFRICOM also asserted that the command’s “initial assessment is that no civilians were injured or killed given the remote nature of where this engagement occurred.” There were also no known local reports of civilian harm.

Pro al Shabaab source Somali Memo tweeted on the Sunday morning that “Forces of the Islamic State of Mudug strongly defend Qeycad after air and ground attacks,” with a more detailed online report asserting that “Reports from the outskirts of Ba’adweyne area say that heavy fighting broke out in the early hours of today near Qeycad village. The fighting came after US-trained militias attacked the defenses of the Islamic State of Mudug between Ba’adweyne and Qeycad. Sources say that after an hour of fighting, the Ashamud militia were defeated and later returned to their base in Ba’adweyne. The report added that US drones had taken part in the airstrikes, but no casualties were reported.”

Somaliweyn also claimed that al Shabaab had attempted to retaliate against the US strikes: “Two rockets were reportedly fired at a fighter jet on the outskirts of Qaycad in Mudug region, where Somali government and Galmudug forces are also conducting operations.”

An image published by Radio Muqdisho on the day appeared to show an airstrike in progress.

In a followup statement, Sonna state media claimed the following day that the Somali National Army backed by Galmudug State forces had killed 200 Al-Shabaab militants in their ongoing military operations in Mudug region, destroying what were described as 16 “terrorist bases” and capturing four towns and eight villages.

The incident occured in the morning.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab

Sources (17) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (5) [ collapse]

  • Somali forces in the vicinity of Qeycud August 1st 2021 (via Radio Moqdisho)
  • An apparent US airstrike in the vicinity of Qeycud, August 1st 2021 (via Radio Moqdisho)
  • Official statement from the Somali Ministry of Information on the August 1st US strikes on al Shabaab

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the area between the villages of Bacaadweyne and Camara, both in the vicinity of Wisil. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for a middle point between these two locations are: 5.211400, 47.902792.

United States Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    United States Armed Forces
  • United States Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

United States Armed Forces

In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command forces conducted an airstrike against al-Shabaab in the vicinity of Qeycad, Somalia August 1.

There were no U.S. forces accompanying Somali forces during this operation. U.S. forces were conducting a remote advise and assist mission in support of designated Somali partner forces. U.S. forces are authorized to conduct strikes in support of combatant commander-designated partner forces under the 2001 Authorization of Use for Military Force.

The command’s initial assessment is that no civilians were injured or killed given the remote nature of where this engagement occurred.

The Federal Government of Somalia and U.S. Africa Command take great measures to prevent civilian casualties. These efforts contrast with the indiscriminate attacks that al-Shabaab regularly conducts against the civilian population.

The Federal Government of Somalia and the U.S. remain committed to fighting al-Shabaab to prevent the deaths of innocent men, women and children.

Violent extremist organizations like al-Shabaab present long-term threats to U.S. and regional interests.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab

Sources (17) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TI064

Incident date

July 30, 2021

Location

قرية سنكسر, Sinksar village, Sulaymaniyah, Iraq

Airwars assessment

At least two civilians were killed in alleged Turkish airstrikes on the village of Sinksar on July 30, 2021.

Mawazin News reported that the director of the Snaksar district in Sulaymaniyah, Nehru Abdullah, said in a press statement “During the past 24 hours, Turkish planes bombed the Qandil Mountains and the surrounding villages in search of PKK fighters, killing two civilians who were on a motorbike in the Sinksar area of Bashdar district in the Raparin district administration. Abdullah added, “It is not known to which side the two victims belonged so far, and we could not verify the matter due to fears of repeated bombing”.

24 AE also quoted Abdullah as saying that “civilians are worried and terrified as a result of the repeated bombing of Turkish planes, which is causing the burning of forests and farms in villages.”

Firat News Agency also reported that two people were killed on a motorcycle in the bombing and that “Turkish planes have been bombing the slopes of Mount Qandil for more than 24 hours”.

All of the sources that reported on the incident attributed the strikes to Turkish planes.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    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

Sources (6) [ collapse]

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
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    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

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM338

Incident date

July 25, 2021

Location

Between Qaycad town and Xarardheere district, Galmudug, Somalia

Geolocation

4.82888, 47.923205 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Subdistrict level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Subdistrict

Airwars assessment

The US conducted its second airstrike within four days against Al Shabab fighters in the Qay’ad area between Qaycad town and Xarardheere district on July 23, 2021 at 10:21AM.

According to Morad News, the US airstrike was in support of Somali forces involved in fighting with Al Shabab fighters as they were trying to capture Qay’ad.

The Somali Ministry of Information released a statement that “at 10:21 in Galmudug state between Qaycad town and Xarardheere district an airstrike has crippled the al-Shabaab terrorist. The precision strike only destroyed al-Shabaab fighters and weapons with zero civilian casualties.”

The US confirmed that it carried out the strike. AFRICOM released a statement saying “In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command forces conducted an airstrike against al-Shabaab in the vicinity of Qeycad, Galmudug, Somalia today. There were no U.S. forces accompanying Somali forces during this operation. U.S. forces were conducting a remote advise and assist mission in support of designated Somali partner forces.”

@jseldin, correspondent for Voice of America, reported that “@PentagonPresSec tells @VOANews’s @CarlaBabbVOA, other reporters traveling w/@SecDef that like Tuesday’s strike, US troops executed the strike while working w/Somali forces remotely.”

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby told VOA and other reporters traveling aboard a US military aircraft with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin that Friday’s strike was carried out in support of Somali forces near the village of Qeycad. He said the strike was permitted by the powers granted by the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force. Kirby added that just as with the earlier airstrike that week, US troops were not on the ground with Somali forces but were conducting a remote advise-and-assist mission. Further information was not provided because of “operational security.”

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin further justified the need for the strikes in a statement that asserted: “Most recently what’s happened is our partner forces have increased their op[erational] tempo, and they have been pushing back on al-Shabab in a more significant way,” Austin told reporters traveling with him to Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska. “The result of that is some engagements that were fairly intense, and we conducted those strikes to support our partner forces,” he added.

The Hill pointed out that while the authority to carry out the strike on July 20th was justified by U.S. Africa Command chief Gen. Stephen Townsend’s “existing authorities to act in the defense of our Somali partners, who were under attack by al Shabaab,” the strike on July 23rd was permitted by the AUMF.

Reuters also quoted several lawmakers, including Democratic Senator Chris Murphy, who leads a key Senate foreign relations subcommittee, [who] criticized the Pentagon for carrying out the strikes even when no US forces were in danger. “It’s time to do away with questionable legal justifications claimed by one administration after the next for acts of war like this,” Murphy said in a statement.

The incident occured at 10:21 am local time.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab

Sources (14) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • A statement released by the Somali Ministry of Information about the US airstrike near Qaycad on July 25, 2021.

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the area between the town of Qeycad and the boundary of Xarardheere district. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for a middle point between these two locations are: 4.82888, 47.923205.

United States Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    United States Armed Forces
  • United States Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

United States Armed Forces

n coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command forces conducted an airstrike against al-Shabaab in the vicinity of Qeycad, Galmudug, Somalia today. There were no U.S. forces accompanying Somali forces during this operation. U.S. forces were conducting a remote advise and assist mission in support of designated Somali partner forces. U.S. forces are authorized to conduct strikes in support of combatant commander-designated partner forces under the 2001 Authorization of Use for Military Force.

The command’s initial assessment is that no civilians were injured or killed given the remote nature of where this engagement occurred.

“The engagement was conducted to support our Somali partners who were taking significant fire from al-Shabaab fighters,” said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Greg Anderson, U.S. Africa Command, director of operations.

The Federal Government of Somalia and U.S. Africa Command take great measures to prevent civilian casualties. These efforts contrast with the indiscriminate attacks that al-Shabaab regularly conducts against the civilian population.

The Federal Government of Somalia and the U.S. remain committed to fighting al-Shabaab to prevent the deaths of innocent men, women and children.

Violent extremist organizations like al-Shabaab present long-term threats to U.S. and regional interests.

Due to operational security U.S. Africa Command is unable to release further information at this time.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab

Sources (14) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS1962

Incident date

July 21, 2021

Location

خربة الجاموس, Kharbet Al Janous, Al Hassaka, Syria

Airwars assessment

Between one and three people, including a child, were killed and others were injured in Coalition and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) strikes on Kharbet Al Janous on July 21, 2021. Various sources report that a child was killed in the operation while other sources report that between one and three members of ISIS were killed.

The Syrian Arab News Agency reported that “Three persons were killed and many others were injured in an attack by US occupation warplanes in Jamous village, east Hasaka” and that the helicopters launched missiles at a house for several hours, killing and injuring all who were inside. Various other sources also referred to “three people” as being killed in the strikes.

Al Khabour posted on Facebook that three people, including a child, were killed “on the pretext of the presence of ISIS cells inside it”.

@modar28 tweeted that the SDF had raided a home and killed the child Osama Adnan Al-Hamid and “to hide the crime, they gave his coordinates to the American planes that the house contained ISIS cells, so the coalition aircraft destroyed the house in Karbet Al Jamous (Tal Hamis) village in Al Hassaka.” Haskaka News reported a similar story that ” the child “Osama Adnan Al-Hamid” was inside the house, and when he saw them, he fled outside the house, so [the Kurdish forces] shot him, killing him instantly.”

Jisr’s correspondent in Hasaka countryside reported that “two people were killed as a result of the attack, in addition to the death of a child who was close to the scene, after he was hit by a stray bullet”.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, “the security operation targeted a house after the troops cordoned it off and calls the people inside the house to surrender, but the suspects resisted, as exchange of fire erupted between the two sides. Meanwhile, International Coalitions fighter jets intervened and bombarded the house, which caused the death of three suspects believed to be ISIS members who were inside the house.” Baladi News also quoted “sites close to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said that the latter had raided a house containing three members of the “ISIS” organization.”

Tweets from @OIRSpox, the US Coalition spokesman, stated that “Today the Syrian Democratic Forces conducted a raid in the vicinity of Hasakah, Syria which resulted in the death of one Daesh terrorist. Coalition forces conducted two airstrikes on the building in support of our partner forces in contact and to ensure the terrorist threat was eliminated. The Coalition has the inherent right to defend our partner forces. No civilians were killed as a result of #SDF operations or  airstrikes. #Syria #Hasaka”

A day later, the @OIRSpox released a revised statement: ” Update: The SDF spokesman has provided an update to #SDF raid on a Daesh hideout on July 21, 2021. SDF reports that 2 Daesh gang members were KIA & 2 were arrested. The SDF requested air support after finding & removing a wounded child from the Daesh hideout. Believing that Daesh gang members were still hiding out in the house; an air strike was conducted. The child subsequently died from his wounds despite @Coalition medical efforts to save his life. The SDF is investigating the death of the child who was being held captive by Daesh during the attack. See below for more information or contact @Farhad_Shami SDF spokesman.”

However, the SDF statement recounts the events as “In order to support, coalition aircraft targeted the cell’s sites with two missiles eliminating two mercenaries while two other members were arrested. By searching the house, our special units discovered the body of a murdered child.” indicating that the child was killed in the strike.

Watan Radio’s correspondent indicated that “the SDF moved the bodies to an unknown location, without revealing the identity of their owners, while the US helicopters hovered for more than half an hour at the site of the operation after it ended.” Syria TV sources added that “a member of the “SDF” was injured during the clashes that took place, after which he was transferred to the mobile medical center of the SDF, and then he was transferred to Al-Hasakah Military Hospital.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 3
  • (1 child)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–2
  • Belligerents reported injured
    1

Sources (26) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (8) [ collapse]

  • Image of alleged US coalition strikes on a home in Kharbet Al Janous on July 21, 2021. (Image posted by Syrian Arab News Agency)
  • #Khabour #Al-Hasakah Three people, including a child, were killed as international coalition aircraft targeted a house in the village of Khirbet al-Jamous in the Hasaka countryside on the pretext of the presence of ISIS cells inside it
  • Damage caused by alleged US coalition strikes on a home in Kharbet Al Janous on July 21, 2021. (Image posted by RT Arabic)
  • Damage caused by alleged US coalition strikes on a home in Kharbet Al Janous on July 21, 2021. (Image posted by RT Arabic)
  • Image of Osama Adnan Al-Hamid, who was killed in an alleged US Coalition-SDF raid on Karbet Al Jamous on July 21, 2021. (Image posted by @modar28)
  • Image of the damage caused by Coalition and SDF strikes on a home in Kharbet Al Janous on July 21, 2021. (Image posted by SDF)

Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)

After a close monitoring and detecting process, the (SDF) counter-terrorism units dismantled, with a joint security operation on Wednesday, a dangerous terrorist cell affiliated with Daesh in Khirbet al-Jamous village, the eastern countryside of al-Hasakah.
The operation was supported by the coalition ISR and targeted a house that was used by the terrorists to hide. Among them are those responsible for committing assassinations against civilians and the security and military forces.
During the raid, one of our fighters was martyred due to clashes with the terrorists who opened fire on our forces in an attempt to escape. In order to support, coalition aircraft targeted the cell’s sites with two missiles eliminating two mercenaries while two other members were arrested.
By searching the house, our special units discovered the body of a murdered child, however; our forces will open an investigation into the detained mercenaries to find out why the child was there and the circumstances that led to his death.

Media
from belligerent (1) [ collapse]

  • Image of the damage caused by Coalition and SDF strikes on a home in Kharbet Al Janous on July 21, 2021. (Image posted by SDF)

US-led Coalition Assessment:

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

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

"Today the Syrian Democratic Forces conducted a raid in the vicinity of Hasakah, Syria which resulted in the death of one Daesh terrorist. Coalition forces conducted two airstrikes on the building in support of our partner forces in contact and to ensure the terrorist threat was eliminated. The Coalition has the inherent right to defend our partner forces. No civilians were killed as a result of #SDF operations or  airstrikes. #Syria #Hasaka"

A day later, the @OIRSpox released a revised statement: " Update: The SDF spokesman has provided an update to #SDF raid on a Daesh hideout on July 21, 2021. SDF reports that 2 Daesh gang members were KIA & 2 were arrested. The SDF requested air support after finding & removing a wounded child from the Daesh hideout. Believing that Daesh gang members were still hiding out in the house; an air strike was conducted. The child subsequently died from his wounds despite @Coalition medical efforts to save his life. The SDF is investigating the death of the child who was being held captive by Daesh during the attack. See below for more information or contact @Farhad_Shami SDF spokesman."

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 3
  • (1 child)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–2
  • Belligerents reported injured
    1

Sources (26) [ collapse]

Incident Code

R4350

Incident date

July 20, 2021

Location

الطريق الواصل بين بداما و الزعينية, the linking road between Bdama and Al-Za'iniyah, Aleppo, Syria

Airwars assessment

At least one civilian, a humanitarian medical worker, was killed and between eight and 19 other civilians, including five children, were injured in a guided missile strike on a car on the road between the towns of Bdama Al-Za’iniyah on July 20, 2021.

@RaedAlSaleh3 tweeted “today, we lost our friend “Iyad Al-Lari,” one of the humanitarian workers in the medical field in northern Syria. Iyad passed away on the first day of Eid al-Adha, by targeting the car he was traveling with with a guided missile on the road between the towns of Bdama Al-Za’iniyah”.

@Hasan_Jneed added that Iyad was from the city of Jisr Al-Shughour and @Mohmmad44alsham referred to him as also being a professor. A tweet from @baznewz included the detail that he was a “fourth-year mechanical engineering student from Idlib University.”

Hala Today TV provided information that Iyad ” is a revolutionary activist from the University of Aleppo, and participated in the first demonstrations of the peaceful popular movement in the city of Aleppo, and the regime arrested him in the “Bab Al-Hadid” demonstration in the city of Aleppo on April 21, 2011, before he was released under popular pressure and sit-ins.”

Baladi News also quoted media activist Muhammad Khudair as saying “after [Iyad’s] release from prison he returned to his village liberated from the Assad militia to begin his revolutionary activity there. He was wounded by a tank shell. He was transferred to Turkey for treatment. He returned a month later and then went to humanitarian work, He was elected more than once as a representative of the western sector and a representative of the region in the provincial council for two consecutive years.”

The Assistance Coordination Unit of Syria identified Iyad as one of their colleagues and released a statement mourning his death.

In addition to the death of Iyad, 19 others, including five children, were injured in the strikes, Enab Baladi News reported. Al Jazeera put the injury toll at “eight other civilians, including 4 children”.

According to @ala_hacioglu, the vehicle was struck “in front of a restaurant in the town of Bdama”. @tommycats4 referred to the location as “a gathering of the people in front of a shop distributing sacrificial meat in the town of Badama”.

The majority of sources identified the regime as being responsible for the strikes, including a tweet from @Gurbtwatan attributed the missile strike to “regime forces stationed in Jabal Al-Akrad”. However, a few sources, including the Syrian Civil Defense, blamed both Russia and the regime for the strikes. Various sources refer to the strike as being carried out by a “Kornet missile”.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    8–19
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Syrian Regime Armed Forces, Russian Armed Forces

Sources (39) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (12) [ collapse]

  • A civilian car was struck with a guided missile while driving on the road to the town of Badama-Al-Za’iniya on July 20, 2021. (Image posted by @hadikhraat)
  • A civilian car was struck with a guided missile while driving on the road to the town of Badama-Al-Za’iniya on July 20, 2021. (Image posted by @hadikhraat)
  • Image of Iyad Al-Lari, a humanitarian worker in the medical field who was killed in his car while traveling on the road between the towns of Bdama Al-Za’iniyah. (Image posted by @RaedAlSaleh3)
  • Syrian Civil Defense arrives at a hospital with victims of the bombing of a car that was struck with a guided missile while driving on the road to the town of Badama-Al-Za’iniya on July 20, 2021. (Image posted by @RaedAlSaleh3)
  • A civilian car was struck with a guided missile while driving on the road to the town of Badama-Al-Za’iniya on July 20, 2021. (Image posted by @RaedAlSaleh3)
  • Image of Iyad Al-Lari, a humanitarian worker in the medical field who was killed in his car while traveling on the road between the towns of Bdama Al-Za’iniyah. (Image posted by @Hasan_Jneed)
  • Image of Iyad Al-Lari, a humanitarian worker in the medical field who was killed in his car while traveling on the road between the towns of Bdama Al-Za’iniyah. (Image posted by @Mohmmad44alsham)
  • Image of Iyad Al-Lari, a humanitarian worker in the medical field who was killed in his car while traveling on the road between the towns of Bdama Al-Za’iniyah. (Image posted by @YusufAd76532779)
  • Civil Defense workers sort through rubble following strikes near a car while traveling on the road between the towns of Bdama Al-Za’iniyah. (Image posted by Bissan Radio)
  • Image of Iyad Al-Lari, a humanitarian worker in the medical field who was killed in his car while traveling on the road between the towns of Bdama Al-Za’iniyah. (Image posted by Assistance Coordination Unit)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

  • Syrian Civil Defense help victims of the bombing of a car that was struck with a guided missile while driving on the road to the town of Badama-Al-Za’iniya on July 20, 2021. (Image posted by Syrian Civil Defense)

Syrian Regime Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Russian Armed Forces Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    8–19
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    Syrian Regime Armed Forces, Russian Armed Forces

Sources (39) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM337

Incident date

July 20, 2021

Location

Vicinity of Qeycad, Mudug, Somalia

Geolocation

5.0105526, 47.991289 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

Exactly six months after Joe Biden became president, the US conducted its first declared strike in Somalia of his administration, at either 10.21 or 11.05am on July 20th 2021.

According to Morad News the attack took place in the Qay’ad area of Muldug, with Sonna state media reporting that the airstrike was conducted on a fortified position in Qaycad village, between Wisil and Bacaadweyn. Sonna also said that 20 al Shabaab militants were killed in the attack, with “many more” injured.

SomaliAffairs instead said the strike “targeted Al-Shabab militants stationed between Qay’ad village and Harardhere town”.

The US military said the strike was near Galkayo – the first recorded US action since 2018 in that immediate area.

According to a Pentagon spokeswoman cited by the New York Times, the attack had struck al Shabaab fighters assaulting Somali special forces on the ground.

According to the Times, “The [drone] strike was carried out by military aircraft against Shabab fighters who were attacking members of the Danab, an elite American-trained Somali commando force, near the town of Galkayo in the country’s north, said a Pentagon spokeswoman, Cindi King.”

“Mrs. King said the Danab commandos were being advised remotely by American trainers when they came under attack. ‘There were no U.S. forces accompanying Somali forces during this operation,’ Mrs. King said in an email. “U.S. forces were conducting a remote advise-and-assist mission in support of designated Somali partner forces.’”

AFP noted that an official DoD letter stated that “A battle-damage assessment is still pending due to the ongoing engagement between Al-Shabab and Somali forces, however the command’s initial assessment is that no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this strike”.

Voice of America reported that Somali commanders had been hoping for a resumption of US strikes: “Somali Army spokesman Colonel Ali Hashi Abdinur told VOA earlier this week he hoped the U.S. would resume the strikes, especially to target the al-Qaida-linked fighters in areas where the Somali infantry can’t reach.  ‘We have good cooperation and collaboration with the U.S.,’ he said. ‘There are hard-to-reach areas in the forests where the airstrikes used to target their leaders.’”

The President of Galmudug State later tweeted that “The aim of the strike was to protect the brave armed forces those who are facing the enemy and it was successfully conducted as there were zero civilian casualties involved.”

An initial statement from the Somali government on the attack made no mention of US forces participation, placing the event at 11.05am local time. Breaking with recent convention, the strike was then declared directly by the Pentagon rather than by US Africa Command. However, the Pentagon’s chief spokesman confirmed to media that the strike had in fact been authorised by General Townsend of AFRICOM.

Biden’s first action in Somalia caused some discomfort in Congress. Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia told Politco’s NatSec Daily that ““I remain concerned with the justification of ‘collective self-defense’ to respond with U.S. military force to protect foreign groups when there is no direct threat to the U.S., its armed forces, or citizens… I look forward to getting more information from the administration about this specific drone strike, especially as we continue to work together to rebalance the Article I and Article II powers on use of force issues and update the 2001 AUMF to reflect current threats against the United States.”

A trio of senators – Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Chris Murphy of Connecticut and Mike Lee of Utah – issued a statement condemning the attack: “We’re troubled that no one in the administration sought the required legal authorization from Congress for Tuesday’s drone strike in Somalia especially with no American forces at risk—and apparently, did not even check with our commander-in-chief.”

And Congresswoman Ilhan Omar wrote expressing her concerns about the strike to President Biden, requesting answers to eight specific questions about the action.

 

The incident occured between 10:21 am and 11:05 am local time.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    20
  • Belligerents reported injured
    6–12

Sources (17) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (4) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the village of Qeycad, for which the generic coordinates are: 5.0105526, 47.991289. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

United States Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    United States Armed Forces
  • United States Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

United States Armed Forces

In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command forces conducted one airstrike in the vicinity of Galkayo, Somalia, July 20, 2021.

A battle-damage assessment is still pending due to the ongoing engagement between al-Shabaab and Somali forces, however the command’s initial assessment is that no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this strike as the strike targeted known al-Shabaab fighters and took place in a remote area.

“This strike was conducted under collective self-defense authority and targeted al-Shabaab fighters engaged in active combat with our Somali partners,” said U.S. Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Thomas Savage, U.S. Africa Command deputy director of operations. “We are committed to supporting our Somali partners as they fight against these terrorists.”

The Federal Government of Somalia and U.S. Africa Command forces take great measures to prevent civilian casualties. These efforts contrast with the indiscriminate attacks that al-Shabaab regularly conducts against the civilian population.

The Federal Government of Somalia and the U.S. remain committed to fighting al-Shabaab to prevent the deaths of innocent men, women and children.

Violent extremist organizations like al-Shabaab present long-term threats to U.S. and regional interests.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    20
  • Belligerents reported injured
    6–12

Sources (17) [ collapse]

Incident Code

TI063

Incident date

July 7, 2021

Location

قرية هرور, Harur Village, Duhok, Iraq

Airwars assessment

Between one and two civilians were injured in alleged Turkish airstrikes on the village of Harur on July 7, 2021.

A security source told Shafaq News Agency, “Turkish warplanes bombed the vicinity of Harour village in Kani Masi district in Al-Amadiyah district in Dohuk governorate. The aerial bombardment resulted in the injury of a citizen and cut off the electricity in the village of Harour.”

Kurdistan Today reported that “A number of people were seriously injured, while the electrical power was cut off, as a result of the bombing of the Turkish warplanes” but did not specify how many people were injured.

Sabah Arabi added that “the village that was subjected to the Turkish bombardment is surrounded by pastures and farms owned by the residents of that district.”

All of the sources that reported on the incident attributed the airstrikes to Turkey.

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
    1–2
  • 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

Sources (6) [ collapse]

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
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    1–2
  • 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

Sources (6) [ collapse]