Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CS1951

Incident date

October 16, 2020

Location

المجيد أو المجبل, Al Majid or Al Majbal, Deir Ezzor, Syria

Geolocation

35.504595, 40.656100 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Subdistrict level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Subdistrict

Airwars assessment

A possible civilian male was killed in an alleged US-led Coalition airdrop operation in the village of Al Majbal or Al Majid, Deir Ezzor governorate, on October 16th, 2020. While some local sources reported that the man was a civilian, others wrote the man was suspected of being affiliated with ISIS or a previous member of pro-Turkish factions. Two other civilians, including a woman, were reportedly injured.

Al Khabour reported that the Coalition operation targeted the house of Al Hawash Al Trifin in Al Majbal village, around 2 AM on October 16th. An hour later, Al Hawash, reportedly a civilian, was arrested.

According to Al Khabour, the civilian Asad Suleiman Al Sawadi was killed “with a direct bullet wounding him in the neck, killing him immediately, as he stood in front of his window.” The operation reportedly lasted until 5 AM.

According to a DeirEzzor24 correspondent, “the operation resulted in one death, two injuries, including a woman, and one arrest, in addition to the bombing of an abandoned house in the village”.

The DeirEzzor24 report also stated that four Coalition helicopters carried out the operation with a joint Coalition and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) ground force. The Coalition “called on the people through loudspeakers to stay at their homes and not to leave them, and to separate women and children from youths and men”.

JisrTV wrote that the operation targeted people suspected to be affiliated with ISIS, “while one of the wanted persons was killed while trying to arrest him”, adding that “SDF forces carried out raids in a number of houses, combing them, and blew up a house”.

The official spokesperson for Operation Inherent Resolve (@OIRSpox) tweeted on October 16th: “This week Iraqi and Syrian partners did 32 #defeatDash operations, saving local communities from 41 #Daesh terrorists”.

Zengin wrote that the operation “led to the death of a person and the injury of his wife, who was a former member of the ranks of the pro-Turkish factions.”

Currently, further information is unavailable to Airwars.

The incident occured between 2:00 am and 5:00 am local time.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1–2
  • 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
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–1

Sources (8) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Assad Yassin Al Sawadi was killed in an alleged joint US-led Coalition and SDF airdrop operation in Al Majid or Al Majbal on October 16th, 2020 (via Euphrates Eye).

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention a residential building being struck within the village of Al Majbal (المجبل) or Al Maijd (المجيد), allegedly within the Suwar (صور‎) subdistrict. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for Suwar are: 35.504595, 40.656100.

US-led Coalition Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1–2
  • 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
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–1

Sources (8) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM317

Incident date

September 7, 2020

Location

IVO Janay Abdalle, Lower Juba, Somalia

Geolocation

0.02819, 42.287022 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Subdistrict level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Subdistrict

Airwars assessment

Several militants were allegedly killed or injured by an Al Shabaab VBIED and subsequent exchange of gunfire near Janay Cabdalle.

The New York Times reported: “Three Somali military officers were killed and two others injured along with an American service member in a bombing in southern Somalia on Monday, the authorities said, the latest example of a deadly insurgency that has continued to wreak havoc in the Horn of Africa nation.

Officials in Jubaland State said an explosives-laden pickup truck exploded around 8 a.m. at a military outpost in the Jana Abdalle area in the Lower Juba region of southern Somalia. The attack came just days after Somali forces, with the support of American military personnel, reclaimed the area from the Somali terrorist group Al Shabab.”

Somali Memo, close to Al Shabaab, said: “Al-Shabaab said in a statement that the car bomb attack killed at least 16 US-trained militants and wounded 12 others.”

Caleb Weiss quotes another Al Shabaab statement saying “the suicide bombing killed and wounded 7 US soldiers and killed 16 Somali special forces.”

The AFRICOM statement said: “One U.S. service member was injured in an attack by al-Shabaab this morning in the vicinity of Jana Cabdalle, Somalia. U.S. and Somali forces were conducting an advise, assist and accompany mission when al-Shabaab attacked using a vehicle employed as an improvised explosive device and mortar fire. The U.S. service member is in stable condition and receiving treatment for injuries that are not assessed to be life-threatening. It is also assessed at least one al-Shabaab fighter was killed during the attack.”

The incident occured at approximately 8:00 am local time.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Known attackers
    United States Armed Forces, somalia_military_forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    4–17
  • Belligerents reported injured
    3–12

Sources (13) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the vicinity of Jana Abdalle, for which the generic coordinates are: 0.02819, 42.287022. 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

The following statement is attributed to Col. Chris Karns, U.S. Africa Command’s director of public affairs:

One U.S. service member was injured in an attack by al-Shabaab this morning in the vicinity of Jana Cabdalle, Somalia. U.S. and Somali forces were conducting an advise, assist and accompany mission when al-Shabaab attacked using a vehicle employed as an improvised explosive device and mortar fire. The U.S. service member is in stable condition and receiving treatment for injuries that are not assessed to be life-threatening. It is also assessed at least one al-Shabaab fighter was killed during the attack.

The U.S. regularly conducts advise and assist missions with Somali partner forces. The collective efforts of the U.S. and Somalia place pressure on al-Shabaab, limiting their ability to extend their reach and movement. al-Shabaab remains a dangerous enemy. Continued pressure is being placed on this Al Qaeda-affiliated threat to limit its ability to expand and export violence, terrorism, and crime more broadly.

somalia_military_forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    somalia_military_forces
  • somalia_military_forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Known attackers
    United States Armed Forces, somalia_military_forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    4–17
  • Belligerents reported injured
    3–12

Sources (13) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM315a

Incident date

August 24, 2020

Location

دار السلام, Darusalaam, Lower Shabelle, Somalia

Geolocation

1.92135, 44.78777 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Subdistrict level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Subdistrict

Airwars assessment

Six Al Shabaab members were allegedly killed and three more injured by a US strike in combination with a US/Somali ground operation near Darusalaam. Local sources claimed US soldiers had been injured which AFRICOM denied.

A report from Halgan Media said: “US trained Somali paramilitary forces, commonly referred to as “Danab” carried out counter terrorism operations under the cover of US air power in the volatile Lower Shabelle province of Somalia.

The Somali paramilitary militia (Danab) carried out groups ops targeting outlining villages near the Al Shabaab controlled district of Awdheegle, which has been a Militant stronghold for a number of years.

During the ground ops, scores of militants where reportedly killed, while a large catche of weapons and logistical equipment was seized according to Paramilitary commander Ismacil Cabdimalik Macaalin, who spoke to the local press.

[…]

On a similar note, Ismacil revealed they received aerial support from there American counterparts, which led to the US carrying out a series of strikes targeting the village of Daarusalam. At least 10 suspected Al Shabaab militants where alleged to have been killed in this particular drone raid, Ismacil reveled.”

It later tweeted: “Three #US soldiers where wounded when there Military convoy struck a Roadside Bomb in the village of #Daarusalam in the Lower Shabelle province of #Somalia. The wounded Americans where rushed to the nearby #US drone base (Balidogle) for medical treatment.”

Somali Memo, like Halgan Media close to Al Shabaab, said seven Somali soldiers had been killed and one American wounded.

The AFRICOM press release responded to the claims: “In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted one (1) airstrike targeting al-Shabaab terrorists after they attacked partner forces from a building in the vicinity of Dar as Salam, Somalia, Aug. 24.

When this airstrike occurred, U.S. forces were in the vicinity in order to advise and assist Somali partner forces. Al-Shabaab falsely claimed U.S. casualties. No U.S. forces were injured or killed during the attack.

Initial assessments indicate that the airstrike killed six (6) terrorists and wounded three (3) terrorists.

We currently assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrikes.”

Garowe reported: “Gen. Ismail Abdimalik, the Danab’s 60th unit commander, told SNA Radio that the army waged an operation at Daru-Salam area in Lower Shebelle killing several militants among them a “top Al-Shabaab operative” who is believed to be a trainer and an explosives expert.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground), Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    13–17
  • Belligerents reported injured
    4–6

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the vicinity of Darusalaam (دار السلام), for which the generic coordinates are: 1.92135, 44.78777. 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 conducted one (1) airstrike targeting al-Shabaab terrorists after they attacked partner forces from a building in the vicinity of Dar as Salam, Somalia, Aug. 24.

"Al-Shabaab is a dangerous enemy," said U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Bradford Gering, deputy director for operations, U.S. Africa Command. "It is a danger to Africa and the United States. “We will continue to place pressure on the network and impact their ability to plan and execute these acts."

Al-Shabaab leadership has expressed its primary desire is to conduct attacks not just in East Africa, but against Americans and U.S. interests across the globe. International efforts and the persistent pressure placed on al-Shabaab helps contain the group's broader ambitions and desire to conduct attacks beyond Somali borders.

When this airstrike occurred, U.S. forces were in the vicinity in order to advise and assist Somali partner forces. Al-Shabaab falsely claimed U.S. casualties. No U.S. forces were injured or killed during the attack.

"Al-Shabaab routinely resorts to the tradecraft of terror, crime, and propaganda to intimidate and seek control of the local populace," said Col. Chris Karns, director of public affairs, U.S. Africa Command. "Persistent pressure against the al-Shabaab damages their narrative, network, and plans for broader destruction and violence."

Initial assessments indicate that the airstrike killed six (6) terrorists and wounded three (3) terrorists.

We currently assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of this airstrikes.

As part of an international effort, U.S. Africa Command and U.S. interagency partners continue to help support Somali-led efforts to counter and contain dangerous terrorist organizations from exporting violence more broadly.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground), Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    13–17
  • Belligerents reported injured
    4–6

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM311

Incident date

July 21, 2020

Location

Timirshe, Bari, Somalia

Geolocation

10.56245, 50.42396 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

Seven ISIS fighters were killed by a US airsrtrike near Timirshe, according to AFRICOM.

The press release said: “In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike against ISIS-Somalia terrorists after they attacked partner forces in a remote location near Timirshe, Somalia, July 21. Timirshe is located 140 kilometers southeast of Bosasso.

At this time, it is assessed this airstrike killed seven (7) ISIS-Somalia terrorists.

Currently, we assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of these airstrikes.”

Radio Dalsan said eight ISIS members were killed and two vehicles destroyed.

The strike was conducted in support of the Puntland Security Forces, according to Real Clear Defense: “Local reporting has said that the PSF engaged in a multi-hour gunfight with the ISS militants, which led to the supporting U.S. airstrike.”

After an exchange on Twitter with Rita Katz, AFRICOM conceded that one partner force sustained in injury in the incident, after initially claiming it had not.

Halgan Media later published details about one of the ISIS members killed in the operation: “The Somali-ISIS faction has released a statement of admission revealing one of there senior figures Khalid Jama Mohamed, better known as Abu Osama Al-Muhajir was killed in a US drone strike in the Bari province of Northeast Somalia.

The statement by Somalia’s Islamic State faction stated that the now, deceased Abu Osama Al-Muhajir was key figure in the Somali-ISIS faction, prior to his death.

Abu Osama Al-Muhajir was said to be of Pakistani orgin and was a former member of Al Shabaab’s media branch prior to defecting to the Somali-ISIS faction.”

Garowe said that the incident took place in the Golis Mountains and provided further information: “In addition, the Puntland forces confirmed that over 20 militants were killed following an airstrike and subsequent ground combat.”

The outlet added: “During the operation, Puntland said, two trucks and several explosives were seized by ground forces, with several other militants also surrendering to the security teams.”

It is unclear whether US special forces supported the operation on the ground and to what extent the Puntland Security Forces are supported by the US.

The incident occured in the afternoon.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground), Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    ISIS - Somalia
  • Belligerents reported killed
    7–8
  • Belligerents reported injured
    1

Sources (14) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (3) [ collapse]

  • Screenshot of ISIS media outlet mourning the death of Abu Osama Al-Muhajir, allegedly killed by a US airstrike near Timirshe on July 22nd, 2020 (via Puntland Mirror)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the vicinity of Timirshe. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for Timirshe are: 10.56245, 50.42396.

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 conducted an airstrike against ISIS-Somalia terrorists after they attacked partner forces in a remote location near Timirshe, Somalia, July 21. Timirshe is located 140 kilometers southeast of Bosasso.

"We continue to apply pressure on terrorist groups and assist our Somali partners in disrupting their operations," said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Miguel Castellanos, deputy director of operations, AFRICOM. "We continue our support to rid Somalia of the likes of ISIS and al-Shabaab."

At this time, it is assessed this airstrike killed seven (7) ISIS-Somalia terrorists.

Currently, we assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of these airstrikes.

When this airstrike occurred, U.S. forces were in the area in order to advise and assist Somali and partner forces. Terrorist groups continue to resort to the tradecraft of terror and propaganda in an effort to intimidate the local populace.

"Mistruths and lies are the terrorist weapons of choice," said Col. Chris Karns, director of public affairs, AFRICOM. "ISIS-Somalia and al-Shabaab have bankrupt narratives and visions of the future. Our partnership to unmask and degrade the capability of these terrorists is essential to security and stability in Somalia."

U.S. Africa Command continues to support the Government of Somalia by strengthening its security forces and promoting regional security, stability, and prosperity. Concurrently, the command is building enduring relationships and strategic alliances in East Africa to address looming challenges and malign activity by near-peer competitors.

The U.S continues to provide support to Somali efforts and counter violent extremist threats. The challenges in Africa will require African and international solutions. U.S. Africa Command remains committed to working with our African partners.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground), Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    ISIS - Somalia
  • Belligerents reported killed
    7–8
  • Belligerents reported injured
    1

Sources (14) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS1946

Incident date

May 17, 2020

Location

الزر, Al Zir, Deir Ezzor, Syria

Geolocation

35.12527, 40.42864 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

A civilian was killed by a sniper on the rooftop of his house in Al Zer as he was watching Coalition forces entering the village of Al Shouhaibl, Deir Ezzor governorate, on May 17th 2020, according to local sources.

Euphrates Eye wrote that “Muhammad Khleif Al Hamra was killed when he was watching the Coalition forces from the roof of his house as they stormed the house of Muhammad Al Hussein Al Madad in Al Shouhaibl town and arrested several people from Al Madad’s house.” The source added that Al Hamra was killed by a sniper and was “a civilian who does not belong to any faction who is the owner of a food store in the town of Al Zir.”

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that “the raiding forces killed a civilian who was shot while he was on the roof of his house located at the outskirts of the village of Al Zir near Al Shouhaibl, where the young man was watching the operation [in Shouhaibl]. His brother was arrested after that.”

According to the SOHR, the incident occurred during a United States forces operation in coordination with the Syrian Democratic Forces in the village of Al Shouhaib to find two people from the same family, reportedly working in trade. The special task forces of the SDF surrounded two houses and secured the area before the houses were raided and searched. The two wanted individuals were not found, but two of their sons were arrested.

In their monthly civilian casualty reports, the US-led Coalition has indicated that the credibility of this civilian harm allegation is in the process of being assessed.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    US-led Coalition, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Muhammad Khleif Al Hamra was killed by alleged US-led Coalition snipers when he watched Coalition forces enter his village Al Shouhaibl from the roof of his house on May 17th 2020 (via Euphrates Post).
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Muhammad Khleif Al Hamra was killed by alleged US-led Coalition snipers when he watched Coalition forces enter his village Al Shouhaibl from the roof of his house on May 17th 2020 (via Euphrates Post).

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention a civilian being struck by gunfire on a rooftop in the village of Al Zir (الزر), while on looking into the adjacent village of Al Shahel (الشحيبل). Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for Al Zir are: 35.12527, 40.42864.

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Open incident
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None

Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    US-led Coalition, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)
  • Suspected target
    Unknown

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS1945

Incident date

May 16, 2020

Location

بالقرب من مسجد أبو بكر الصديق ,البصيره, Vicinity of Abu Bakr Al Siddiq mosuqe, Al Basira , Deir Ezzor, Syria

Geolocation

35.152540, 40.423494 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Nearby landmark level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Nearby landmark

Airwars assessment

The homes of civilians were reportedly raided and bombed by alleged Coalition forces in a possible joint action with the Syrian Democratic Forces in the city of Al Basira, Deir Ezzor governorate, on May 16th, 2020, leading to the death of five possible civilians. Sources additionally reported that two to three men likely linked to ISIS were killed.

Euphrates Eye reported that Coalition forces had targeted three houses of Internally Displaced People (IDP) in Al Basira. The source indicates that five possible civilians were killed in one of the raids: “In Ibrahim Al Baraka’s house, inhabited by displaced people from Albukamal, there were clashes because the displaced people refused to surrender.” Five of the displaced people present were reportedly killed in the house, after which Coalition forces bombed the building. It is not specified whether the victims were civilians or militants.

According to Euphrate Eye, men and women were arrested and interrogated after raids on the house of Hassan (“pharmacist of Albufahd”) and the house of Hammoud Abu Hani, which were both in use by internally displaced people from Albukamal. According to the source, all those arrested were later released.

@DeirEzzor24 wrote that “three persons believed to be linked to ISIS were killed, and a number of others were arrested, by the international Coalition forces, in an airdrop operation in a neighbourhood of the city of Al Basira, east of Deir Ezzor, on Saturday, May 16, 2020. Special forces from SDF participated in the operation.” The source added that the operation lasted for an hour, while the Coalition requested civilians through loudspeakers to remain in their homes.

Other sources also report the victims were “likely” ISIS members. According to Eye On Hasaka, the operation took place in the evening, whereas Step Agency reported the incident occured around dawn.

According to Euphrates Post “the Coalition aircraft targeted with heavy machineguns around the Abu Bakr Al Siddiq mosque in Al Basira after a military convoy of SDF forces arrived in the city from the side of the Al Safa mosque.”

Whereas all sources reported the operation to be a joint action, Step Agency wrote that “it is worth noting that this raid operation did not witness the participation of the “Qasd militia”, unlike the previous times that the American forces raided the areas of Deir Ezzor.” Hence, Airwars graded the strike status of this incident as contested.

In the second of their September 2020 civilian casualty reports, the US-led Coalition assessed reports that they were responsible for civilian harm in this strike as “non-credible”, stating that no Coalition actions were conducted in the geographical area at that time.

The incident occured during the night.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    US-led Coalition, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)
  • Suspected target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    2–7
  • Belligerents reported injured
    2

Sources (8) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention a residential building being struck in the vicinity of Abu Bakr Al Siddiq mosque (مسجد أبو بكر الصديق), in the village of Al Basira (البصيره). Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for Abu Bakr Al Siddiq mosque are: 35.152540, 40.423494

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible / Unsubstantiated
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    No Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SFU296908
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Sep 9, 2020
  • May 16, 2020, in Al Basira, Syria, via Airwars report. After a review of all available records it was assessed that no Coalition actions were conducted in the geographical area that corresponds to the report of civilian casualties. 3182/CS1945 37SFU296908

Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    5
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    US-led Coalition, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)
  • Suspected target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    2–7
  • Belligerents reported injured
    2

Sources (8) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS1944

Incident date

May 1, 2020

Location

حقل كونيكو النفطي, Koniko Oil Fields, Deir Ezzor, Syria

Geolocation

35.341858, 40.319093 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

One civilian was reported killed on May 1st, 2020 allegedly by a sniper bullet fired at him by the American troops in Koniko oil field in Deir Ezzor or by YPG/QSD members who guard the oil field as local sources said.

The victim who worked as a teacher in Raqqa city was identified as Yasser Al-Asman. (Yasser Muhammad Al Aslan/Al-Osman as other variations of the name).

SMART Agency reported that the victim “was heading on the main road from the countryside of Deir Ezzor Al-Sharqi to Raqqa, but his car veered off the road towards the [oil] field, by mistake, which drove the American forces to kill him instantly.”

SMART also said that YPG members transported his body to to the Hospital of Jadid Bakar village in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor, and asked the hospital staff to communicate with his relatives to receive his body.

On a different story of how the civilian was killed, Shaam News reported that he was first shot by the guards of the oil field who belong to YPG/QSD as he took the wrong road, and afterwards a US led-coalition warplane targeted his car and burned it completely.

However, Suriye.u.a.d didn’t specify who was responsible but reported “the death of the civilian Yasser Muhammad Aslan with a sniper bullet from the American base in the Koniko oil field, northeast of Deir Ezzor.”

In the second of their September 2020 civilian casualty reports, the US-led Coalition assessed reports that they were responsible for civilian harm in this strike as “non-credible”, stating that no Coalition actions were conducted in the geographical area at that time.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Yasser Al Asman Adult male Other sources named the victim (Yasser Muhammad Al Aslan) killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    US-led Coalition, YPG forces

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention a vehicle being struck in the vicinity of the Koniko Oil Fields (حقل كونيكو النفطي), in the east of Deir Ezzor (دير الزور‎). Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for the oil field are: 35.341858, 40.319093.

  • Reports of the incident mention a vehicle being struck in the vicinity of the Koniko Oil Fields (كونيكو النفطي بريف), in the east of Deir Ezzor (دير الزور‎).

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible / Unsubstantiated
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    No Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SFV198117
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Sep 9, 2020
  • May 1, 2020, near the Koniko Oil Fields, Syria, via Airwars report. After a review of all available records it was assessed that no Coalition actions were conducted in the geographical area that corresponds to the report of civilian casualties. 3131/CS1944 37SFV198117

YPG forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    YPG forces
  • YPG forces position on incident
    Open incident
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None

Summary

  • Strike status
    Contested strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    US-led Coalition, YPG forces

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Incident Code

USSOM307-C

Incident date

April 10, 2020

Location

Kamsuuma, Lower Juba, Somalia

Geolocation

0.249699, 42.780173 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

One elderly civilian, claimed by al Shabaab to be a tribal elder, was allegedly killed by a US airstrike in Kamsuuma. The US later pushed back heavily against the claim, insisting the victim was a terrorist.

AFRICOM initially described the action – which it said killed one al Shabaab fighter – as a response to US and partner forces coming under fire on the ground, noting “a collective self-defense strike against al-Shabaab terrorists who engaged U.S. partner forces, Somali National Army Danab, and Jubaland Security Force.”

Local media – some with pro Shabaab leanings – claimed the victim of the strike was a civilian. Halgan Media reported: “Confirmed reports reaching the Halgan Media service desk reveal suspected US drones bombed the Al Shabaab controlled town of Kabsumma in the Lower Jubba province of Somalia. Local media reports surfacing from Somalia’s Jubba Valley reveal unmanned drones fired a series of missiles on the town, which fatally struck a motorist. It’s being revealed the motorist died instantly in the drone strike. The victim has been identified as a local clan elder named Abbas Mohamed Haji. It’s not clear at the moment whether there are any more victims from the strike.”

Morad News said: “Reports of US drone strike in the outskirt of Kabsuuma town in Somalia’s Lower Jubba region. Prominent clan elder, Suldaan Abaas Mahamed Haji, Suldan of Jareerwene clan killed while riding on his motorbike”

AFRICOM itself declared two strikes in the area on April 9th and 10th: “In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted a collective self-defense strike against al-Shabaab terrorists who engaged U.S. partner forces, Somali National Army Danab, and Jubaland Security Force, near Kobon, Somalia, Apr. 9. The command also conducted an airstrike targeting al-Shabaab terrorists in the vicinity of Jilib, Somalia, Apr. 10. The command’s initial assessment concluded the Apr. 9 airstrike killed ten (10) terrorists and that the Apr. 10 airstrike killed one (1) terrorist. U.S. Africa Command currently assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of these airstrikes.”

The press release of the Somali Ministry of Information revealed more on the location of the April 9th strike, which it said was conducted “in the vicinity of Koban between Jammaamme and Jilib Districts.” Kamsuuma is located between those two.

AFRICOM later overtly refuted claims of civilian harm in a detailed statement issued five days after the attack: “Immediately prior to the airstrike, this al-Shabaab terrorist displayed the murdered bodies of Somali National Army (SNA) soldiers in a village. Following this act of coercion and intimidation, the al-Shabaab terrorist departed the village. Once isolated in a remote and secluded area, the terrorist was killed by an airstrike executed by the command in coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia.

“‘This was no innocent civilian. This was a purposeful and heinous act. It was a war crime by an al-Shabaab terrorist who desecrated bodies to scare and intimidate innocent Somalis into submission,’ said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. William Gayler, U.S. Africa Command director of operations. ‘This terrorist posed with al-Shabaab flags prominently displayed in the background as Somalis of all ages were exposed to his gruesome public display.’

“One of the two outlets falsely reporting civilian casualties is al-Shabaab associated news affiliate SomaliMemo. Weakened by sustained military operations led by the SNA and AMISOM forces, al-Shabaab is increasingly relying on lies and propaganda, including releasing gruesome pictures of unverified civilian casualties, in an effort to grab media attention, as well as deceive the Somali public.”

AFRICOM later reiterated the statement: “Immediately prior to the strike, the al-Shabaab member displayed the murdered bodies of SNA soldiers, posing with al-Shabaab flags prominently displayed in the background. This was in an area where al-Shabaab had previously conducted executions and displayed deceased SNA soldiers. The al-Shabaab member then departed the village and the strike was conducted in a remote area where the effects were confirmed to be limited to the individual. It is assessed with a high degree of confidence that no civilian casualties occurred as a result of U.S. military action.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground), Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1

Sources (14) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (8) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Suldaan Abaas Mahamed Haji, allegedly killed by a US strike on Kamsuuma on April 9th or 10th (via Morad News)
  • Funeral of Suldaan Abaas Mahamed Haji, allegedly killed by a US strike on Kamsuuma on April 9th or 10th (via Halgan Media)
  • Funeral of Suldaan Abaas Mahamed Haji, allegedly killed by a US strike on Kamsuuma on April 9th or 10th (via Halgan Media)
  • Funeral of Suldaan Abaas Mahamed Haji, allegedly killed by a US strike on Kamsuuma on April 9th or 10th (via Halgan Media)
  • Funeral of Suldaan Abaas Mahamed Haji, allegedly killed by a US strike on Kamsuuma on April 9th or 10th (via Morad News)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention strikes in the vicinity of Kamsuuma, for which the generic coordinates are: 0.249699, 42.780173. 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
    Non credible / Unsubstantiated
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    Other
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None

Civilian casualty statements

United States Armed Forces
  • Jul 28, 2020
  • Apr 15, 2020
  • U.S Africa Command is aware of two news affiliates alleging an innocent civilian was killed as a result of the command’s precision airstrike in the vicinity of Jamaame, Somalia, on Apr. 10, 2020. These allegations are based on al-Shabaab propaganda and are false. The terrorist that was killed in the Apr. 10 airstrike was an al-Shabaab member complicit in the murder of at least six innocent Somalis. Immediately prior to the airstrike, this al-Shabaab terrorist displayed the murdered bodies of Somali National Army (SNA) soldiers in a village. Following this act of coercion and intimidation, the al-Shabaab terrorist departed the village. Once isolated in a remote and secluded area, the terrorist was killed by an airstrike executed by the command in coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia. “This was no innocent civilian. This was a purposeful and heinous act. It was a war crime by an al-Shabaab terrorist who desecrated bodies to scare and intimidate innocent Somalis into submission,” said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. William Gayler, U.S. Africa Command director of operations. "This terrorist posed with al-Shabaab flags prominently displayed in the background as Somalis of all ages were exposed to his gruesome public display.” One of the two outlets falsely reporting civilian casualties is al-Shabaab associated news affiliate SomaliMemo. Weakened by sustained military operations led by the SNA and AMISOM forces, al-Shabaab is increasingly relying on lies and propaganda, including releasing gruesome pictures of unverified civilian casualties, in an effort to grab media attention, as well as deceive the Somali public.

  • April 11, 2020 (Unsubstantiated) USAFRICOM received two allegations from an online media source and social media account claiming one (1) civilian was killed as a result of a U.S. airstrike in the vicinity of Jamaame, Somalia, on April 10, 2020. After review, the allegations were assessed to be unsubstantiated. On April 10, 2020 an airstrike was executed on an al-Shabaab member complicit in the murder of at least six Somali National Army (SNA) soldiers. Immediately prior to the strike, the al-Shabaab member displayed the murdered bodies of SNA soldiers, posing with al-Shabaab flags prominently displayed in the background. This was in an area where al-Shabaab had previously conducted executions and displayed deceased SNA soldiers. The al-Shabaab member then departed the village and the strike was conducted in a remote area where the effects were confirmed to be limited to the individual. It is assessed with a high degree of confidence that no civilian casualties occurred as a result of U.S. military action.

Original strike reports

United States Armed Forces

In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. Africa Command conducted a collective self-defense strike against al-Shabaab terrorists who engaged U.S. partner forces, Somali National Army Danab, and Jubaland Security Force, near Kobon, Somalia, Apr. 9.
The command also conducted an airstrike targeting al-Shabaab terrorists in the vicinity of Jilib, Somalia, Apr. 10.
Somali security forces continue to lead operations alongside African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces to increase security and seize ground from al-Shabaab.
"Our assistance continues to build on the gains our partners are making," said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Miguel Castellanos, deputy director of operations, U.S. Africa Command. "The SNA and African partners on the ground keep hitting al-Shabaab hard, and it's having an effect on the al-Shabaab terror network."
The command's initial assessment concluded the Apr. 9 airstrike killed ten (10) terrorists and that the Apr. 10 airstrike killed one (1) terrorist.
U.S. Africa Command currently assess no civilians were injured or killed as a result of these airstrikes.
U.S. Africa Command and our international partners recognize that stability in Somalia will not be achieved through purely military means. It requires providing programs and opportunity for the Somali people.
In support of the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces will use all effective and appropriate methods to assist in the protection of the Somali people, including partnered military counterterrorism operations with the Federal Government of Somalia and Somali National Army forces. Together with the partner and allied forces, U.S. Africa Command works on a daily basis to improve security conditions to enhance governance and economic development.
U.S. Africa Command continues to work with its Somali partners to transfer the responsibility for long-term security in Somalia to the Federal Government of Somalia and its Member States.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground), Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (1 man)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Known attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Al-Shabaab
  • Belligerents reported killed
    1

Sources (14) [ collapse]