Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

USSOM368

Incident date

January 25, 2023

Location

Almiskad mountains, Bari, Somalia

Airwars assessment

An ISIS leader and 10 of his associates were killed by a declared US counterterrorism operation in the Almiskad mountains of Bari region, Somalia on January 25, 2023. One US service member was injured during the operation when a dog bit him.

AFRICOM initially released a statement that “the U.S. military conducted a successful counterterrorism operation in Somalia.” The statement only included the assessment that no civilians were injured or killed, adding that “additional details will be provided in the coming days.”

The next day, the Department of Defense released a statement from Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III that “On January 25, on orders from the President, the U.S. military conducted an assault operation in northern Somalia that resulted in the death of a number of ISIS members, including Bilal-al-Sudani, an ISIS leader in Somalia and a key facilitator for ISIS’s global network. Al-Sudani was responsible for fostering the growing presence of ISIS in Africa and for funding the group’s operations worldwide, including in Afghanistan. This action leaves the United States and its partners safer and more secure, and it reflects our steadfast commitment to protecting Americans from the threat of terrorism at home and abroad. No civilians were harmed as a result of this operation.”

During a Q&A with two senior administration officials, one official provided details that the operation took place in a mountainous cave complex in northern Somalia and resulted in the killing of 10 ISIS associates in addition to al-Sudani. According to the official, American forces were prepared to capture al-Sudani but “the hostile forces’ response to the operation resulted in his death”. The operation had been planned for months, including extensive rehearsals at sites “specifically built to recreate the terrain where the operation ultimately needed to take place” but mentioned that the Somalia government was “notified” of the operation, indicating that they were not involved and that they may not have been forewarned. Somali government security adviser Hussein Sheikh Ali stated that the death of al-Sudani was “very positive and welcoming,” adding that Islamic State was not as big a threat as al-Shabab in Somalia, but that al-Sudani was “dangerous”.

The same official reiterated that there were no injuries among civilians and that the only injury was to a US service member who was bit by their own canine. A reporter later pointed out that this senior official was the Homeland Security Advisor, questioning whether the operation target was a direct threat to the US homeland.

Another senior administration official described al-Sudani as supporting ISIS’s expansion and activities in Africa and beyond, including providing funding to ISIS around the world, specifically the ISIS Khorasan branch in Afghanistan. al-Sudani had been designated by the U.S. Treasury Department in 2012 for his role in al-Shabaab before joining ISIS. Security researcher Dino Mahtani told BBC that al-Sudani was “an important figure in the attempt by this faction of Islamic State to build a trans-national network straddling Central Africa and East Africa and now with links down to Mozambique” and that his groups were also involved in weapon-smuggling. Analysts told BBC that the fact that US troops were sent rather than a less risky drone strike indicates the importance of al-Sudani.

All Africa News reported that “airstrikes” had taken place in the Almiskad mountains, which is an area where ISIS affiliates have training and hideout camps. This was likely reported prior to the US announcing their involvement. US officials declined to provide details on the service members that were involved in the raid. However, the New York Times reported that US Special Operations commandos carried out the operation, pointing out that the US troops stationed in Somalia were only there to provide training to Somali forces.

BBC pointed out that the raid came just a week after ISIS published a rare propaganda video from Somalia showing footage of clashing with Somali government forces in the mountainous radian in north-eastern Bari, the same area the raid took place.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Small arms and light weapons
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    ISIS - Somalia
  • Belligerents reported killed
    11
  • Belligerents reported injured
    1

Sources (16) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

US Forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US Forces
  • US Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

US Forces

Statement by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III
On January 25, on orders from the President, the U.S. military conducted an assault operation in northern Somalia that resulted in the death of a number of ISIS members, including Bilal-al-Sudani, an ISIS leader in Somalia and a key facilitator for ISIS’s global network. Al-Sudani was responsible for fostering the growing presence of ISIS in Africa and for funding the group’s operations worldwide, including in Afghanistan. This action leaves the United States and its partners safer and more secure, and it reflects our steadfast commitment to protecting Americans from the threat of terrorism at home and abroad. No civilians were harmed as a result of this operation. We are grateful to our extraordinary service members as well as our intelligence community and other interagency partners for their support to this successful counterterrorism operation.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    No
  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Cause of injury / death
    Small arms and light weapons
  • Known attacker
    US Forces
  • Known target
    ISIS - Somalia
  • Belligerents reported killed
    11
  • Belligerents reported injured
    1

Sources (16) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS1988

Incident date

November 22, 2022

Location

قرية الرز, Al-Zar Village, Deir Ezzour, Syria

Airwars assessment

A young man was either injured or killed during a raid allegedly carried out by the Coalition and Syrian Democratic Forces in the village of al-Zar the evening/morning of November 22, 2022.

According to @euphratspost, a young man named Ahmed Hussein Ali al-Qubbah was severely injured and a 13 year old named Ahmad Mahmoud al-Hilu was arrest during a raid carried out by the SDF in the village of al-Zar around 2am.

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that units affiliated with the SDF, with the support of “International Coalition” aircraft, carried out a raid and arrested a person alleged to be a member of ISIS. At the time of reporting, SOHR did not have information on human losses or material damage.

Nedaa Post referred to the raid as being carried out against “a number of civilian homes” and added that armed clashes between the people in the homes and the SDF resulted in the injury of the young man Ahmed Hussein Ali al-Qubbah when he tried to leave his house.

Baladi News reported that Ahmed Hussein was killed during the raid and Chamtimes referred to the person killed as being a civilian, indicating that Ahmed later died from his injuries. @DeirEzzore identified Ahmed Hussein as being 37 years old and added that he was wounded by a bullet that penetrated his back, paralyzing him.

The incident occured at approximately 2:00 am local time.

  • hmed Hussein Ali al-Qubbah 37 years old male Possibly killed injured

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (0–1 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    0–1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Small arms and light weapons
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS

Sources (13) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • The young man, "Ahmed Hussein Ali al-Qubba," who was injured or killed by alleged Coalition and SDF raids on November 22, 2022. (Image posted by @DeirEzzore)

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
  • (0–1 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    0–1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Small arms and light weapons
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS

Sources (13) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS1986

Incident date

November 3, 2022

Location

رويشد, Ruwaished, Deir Ezzor, Syria

Geolocation

35.723299, 40.449240 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

A young man was killed during an airdrop operation allegedly carried out by the Coalition and Syrian Democratic Forces in the village of Al Ruwaished on November 3, 2022.

Euphrates Post reported that a young man named Muhannad Ibrahim al-Khalaf was killed during a raid carried out by the SDF at dawn in the village of Al Ruwaished.

According to Naher Media, Muhammad left the SDF after receiving a threat from ISIS several months ago. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that the SDF were raiding the house of someone accused of theft and rape, and an armed clash took place resulting in the death of a young man and arrest of two others.

All of the sources that reported on the incident attributed the operation to the SDF and Coalition forces, with Naher Media specifically pointing out that the military forces that carried out the raid came from the city of Al-Shaddadi in the Hasaka countryside with support from Coalition helicopters.

The incident occured around dawn.

  • Muhannad Ibrahim al-Khalaf Adult male killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Small arms and light weapons
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the village of Ruwaished (رويشد), for which the generic coordinates are: 35.723299, 40.449240. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

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
    1
  • (1 man)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Small arms and light weapons
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS1985

Incident date

October 28, 2022

Location

ذيبان, Thiban, Deir Ezzor, Syria

Geolocation

35.00502, 40.513045 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

A woman was killed and two others, including a minor, were injured in an alleged airdrop operation carried out by the Coalition and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the Hawija neighborhood of Thiban town, east of Deir Ezzor, on October 28, 2022.

Nahr Media reported that a woman named Nadia Mustafa al-Ali was killed and two other people were injured when an SDF patrol raided the homes of the “Al-Askar” family in the Hawija neighborhood of Thiban town to arrest someone connected to smuggling operations. Clashes broke out between the SDF and the people of the houses, resulting in the casualties. According to Orient News, a minor was among those injured and the SDF arrested a number of people, taking them to al-Omar field base.

Local sources from Deir Ezzor governorate told Alaraby News that ““a woman was killed on Thursday/Friday night, and two other people were injured of varying degrees, in addition to the arrest of several people following a raid carried out by the SDF with the support of US helicopters of the coalition forces,” adding that this was an operation carried out by the SDF and the US Coalition.

@DeirEzzore added that the clashes were between the SDF/Coalition forces and people who smuggle oil cross the Euphrates River.

Orient News pointed out that this operation was part of an increase of operations carried out by the Coalition and SDF, with the majority of them occurring in Deir Ezzor

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Nadia Mustafa al-Ali Adult female killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Cause of injury / death
    Small arms and light weapons
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the Al Hawija (الحويجة) neighbourhood, reportedly within the town of Thiban (ذيبان), for which the generic coordinates are: 35.00502, 40.513045. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

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
    1
  • (1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Cause of injury / death
    Small arms and light weapons
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS1983

Incident date

September 20, 2022

Location

قرية البيدر, Al Baydar in Al Karama village, Raqqa, Syria

Geolocation

35.859327, 39.310004 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Two civilians, a man and his minor son, were killed and another man, who is alleged to be a civilian or a member of ISIS, was injured during an airdrop operation carried out by the Coalition and the SDF in the village of Al Baydar on September 20, 2022.

According to the Euphrates Post, Muhammad Al-Shalash and his son Abadi Al-Shalash were killed during a raid carried out by the SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) along with the Coalition in the village of Al Baydar.

Eye of Euphrates added that the father and son were shot when the American forces and the SDF were trying to arrest a displaced person from the countryside of Aleppo and residing in the village who had fled to the home of the Al-Shalash family and was firing at the raiding forces. The correspondent added that a third civilian was wounded by a bullet and taken to the hospital and that the intended person was arrested during the raid.

@AlkneterOthman tweeted that the wounded person is the other son of Muhammad and Baladi News provided the name of the wounded son as Muhammad Al-Shalash, detailing that he was taken to Raqqa hospital for treatment of his injuries. According to Nedaa Post, the wounded son Muhammad was the intended person to be arrested and was arrested on charges of “working in the ranks of ISIS cells in the area”. The three men had only been in the area for ten days and were displaced from a village in northern Aleppo.

Shaam News disputed that the injured person was a member of ISIS, referring to him as a civilian, and reporting that the SDF “raided the house because it received information about the names of wanted persons, who are relatives of the owner of the house that they raided, but instead of raiding the house of the wanted persons, they mistakenly raided another house.”

@DeirEzzore identified Abadi, the son that was killed, as being a minor, and reported that the raid occurred at approximately 3:30 in the morning. @DeirEzzore added that the father and son were from “the Al-Bureij clan – Al-Aliat”.

All of the sources referred to the incident as a joint operation between the SDF and Coalition, with some sources blaming the shooting on the SDF while others attributed the shooting to the Coalition.

The incident occured at approximately 3:30 am local time.

The victims were named as:

Family members (2)

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Strike target
    IDP or refugee camp
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (1 child1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    0–1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Small arms and light weapons
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported injured
    0–1

Sources (12) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the village of Al Baydar (البيدر), for which the generic coordinates are: 35.859327, 39.310004. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

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)
  • Strike target
    IDP or refugee camp
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (1 child1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    0–1
  • Cause of injury / death
    Small arms and light weapons
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported injured
    0–1

Sources (12) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS1982

Incident date

July 4, 2022

Location

الزر, Al Zer, Deir Ezzor, Syria

Geolocation

35.124387, 40.432541 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Two children under the age of 18 were killed during a joint Coalition and Syrian Democratic Forces airdrop operation in the village of Al Zer on July 4th, 2022. Sources were conflicted as to whether the two killed were civilians or members of ISIS.

Al Khabour posted on Facebook that a young man named “Muhammad Fateh Khalaf Al-Daham” and another person were killed during an airdrop operation carried out by the Coalition in the village of Al Zer. Euphrates Post added that the other person killed was an IDP and @19had93eel identified the two people killed as civilians.

According to @syria_news123, a “citizen” was killed and another was wounded by the SDF during an operation with the support of the “American occupation forces,” with @19had93eel specifying that Coalition helicopters participated and that the occupation was carried out at dawn.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) stated that the two men that were killed were accused of working for ISIS and were killed when they resisted arrest. Activists specified to SOHR that one of the men killed was detained for about four months by the SDF and had been released in April, while the other man was accompanied by his mother and was working to distribute financial guarantees to the women of ISIS in the area.

Private sources told Euphrates Post that the operation was carried out at a house near the “Al-Munkar” neighborhood that was inhabited by a displaced family from Aleppo and resulted in the death of a 14 year old member of ISIS named Omar who was from Aleppo whose father was a former member of ISIS and was detained by the SDF, while the other child killed, Muhammad Fateh Khalaf Al-Daham, was a 17 year old who had been released from SDF prison two months ago. The sources added that  the two people killed had been holding a lunch feast and that Coalition drones had been flying in the area at the time.

The Syrian Network for Human Rights reported that the two people were shot and killed when SDF personnel raided a house while Orient News referred to the operation as involving “light bombs”.

The incident occured around dawn.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 2
  • (0–2 children)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Small arms and light weapons
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attackers
    US-led Coalition, Syrian Democratic Forces
  • Suspected target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–2

Sources (18) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the village of Al Zer (الزر), for which the generic coordinates are: 35.124387, 40.432541. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

US-led Coalition Assessment:

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

Syrian Democratic Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Syrian Democratic Forces
  • Syrian Democratic Forces 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 – 2
  • (0–2 children)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Small arms and light weapons
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attackers
    US-led Coalition, Syrian Democratic Forces
  • Suspected target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–2

Sources (18) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS1981

Incident date

June 9, 2022

Location

العطالة, Al-Atta, Hassakah, Syria

Airwars assessment

At least one man was killed during an airdrop operation carried out by the Syrian Democratic Forces and alleged US-led Coalition in the village of Al-Atta in the countryside of Al-Shaddadi city at dawn on June 9, 2022. Sources were conflicted as to whether the man killed was a civilian or a member of ISIS.

Al Khabour reported that one person was killed during an airdrop operation by the international coalition backed by helicopters at dawn on June 9th. Coalition forces carried out the operation at the house of “Hamed Al-Nasser” in the village of Al-Atta, storming his house after imposing a curfew on the people through loudspeakers and asking them not to leave their houses.

According to Al-Khabour Network correspondent, Al-Nasser worked in an agricultural pharmacy and was the imam of a mosque in the area, adding that “he was arrested for a year and a half by the militias of the Democratic Union Party “PYD” and released earlier.” @asdaslm9 added that Al-Nasser was from the Baggara tribe.

Euphrates Post identified the operation as being carried out by both the Syrian Democratic Forces and the Coalition, adding that Al-Nasser was killed for resisting arrest during the operation. However, Al Mahjar reported that the “young man” was killed after the attacking forces arrested him.

According to @alhariri58, Hamed Al-Nasser’s house was a “civilian house” while @jamlyyyyy_ referred to Al-Nasser as being a “leader of the ISIS organization.” Other sources that reported on the incident were also conflicted as to whether the man killed was a civilian or a militant, with Athar press referring to him as a “civilian who had never participated in any armed action”.

All of the sources reported that the operation was carried out by the Coalition, the SDF, or both, with Syrian Observatory for Human Rights adding that “Al-Atta village is not far from the American base in the city of Al-Shaddadi”, with Athar Press pointing out that it was “remarkable” that the “American forces” would use the airdrop method for a raid so close to their base.

The SDF released a statement that “Special united of the Syrian Democratic Forces carried out a security operation with the support of the International Coalition forces in the southern countryside of Hasaka. The operation targeted a wanted ISIS leader in the village of Al-Atta in Al-Shaddadi countryside, south of Al-Hasakah. He was active in transferring and distributing funds to the organization’s cells and their families, in addition to promoting the organization’s ideological messages, and participating in planning operations targeting service, military and security institutions. The forces executing the raid pursued the desired target after he fled his house, and appealed to him to surrender, but he opened fire, which prompted our forces and the international coalition to deal, and after the shooting stopped and the place was combed, it was found that he had died due to his injury. The weapon that was in the target’s possession was confiscated, the place was thoroughly searched, and other documents belonging to him were found.”

The incident occured around dawn.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (0–1 men)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Small arms and light weapons
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Known attacker
    Syrian Democratic Forces
  • Suspected target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–1

Sources (25) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Man killed during alleged Coalition airdrop operation in Al-Atta village on June 9, 2022. (Image posted by Al Khabour)

US-led Coalition Assessment:

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

Syrian Democratic Forces Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    Syrian Democratic Forces
  • Syrian Democratic Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

Syrian Democratic Forces

Special units of the Syrian Democratic Forces carried out a security operation with the support of the International Coalition forces in the southern countryside of Hasaka.
The operation targeted a wanted ISIS leader in the village of Al-Atta in Al-Shaddadi countryside, south of Al-Hasakah. He was active in transferring and distributing funds to the organization’s cells and their families, in addition to promoting the organization’s ideological messages, and participating in planning operations targeting service, military and security institutions.
The forces executing the raid pursued the desired target after he fled his house, and appealed to him to surrender, but he opened fire, which prompted our forces and the international coalition to deal, and after the shooting stopped and the place was combed, it was found that he had died due to his injury.
The weapon that was in the target's possession was confiscated, the place was thoroughly searched, and other documents belonging to him were found.
Our special units concerned with combating terrorism continue with our security forces, in partnership with the international coalition, their activities in combating terrorism and the cells of the terrorist organization ISIS, in order to maintain the security of the region and stabilize the stability that terrorist cells and their supporters seek to undermine.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (0–1 men)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Small arms and light weapons
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Known attacker
    Syrian Democratic Forces
  • Suspected target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–1

Sources (25) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS1980

Incident date

March 28, 2022

Location

ذيبان, Thiban, Deir Ezzor, Syria

Geolocation

35.005020, 40.513045 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

At least one man was killed and another was arrested during a joint airdrop operation carried out by the Syrian Democratic Forces and the Coalition on March 28, 2022. Sources were conflicted as to whether the man killed was a militant or a civilian.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), backed by the Coalition forces and helicopters carried out a raid at a house of a suspected ISIS member in Al-Litwah neighbourhood in Thiban city. After refusing to surrender, the man was killed and his house was blown up. Al Khabour identified the name of the man to be 35 year old Abdul Salem Al-Abo.

According to Euphrates Post, the SDF asked the man to surrender over loudspeakers after they had surrounded him and he was hit by helicopter fire after he tried to flee, which resulted in his death. The source also pinpointed his house as being near the al-Rudaini Mosque and added that his house was blown up with explosive devices by the SDF after his family was evacuated.

Local media @YusufAd76532779 tweeted that Abdul Salem Al-Abo’s father was arrested during the operation and that Abdul “returned from Turkey about five months ago and settled in the town of “Theban” and smuggled oil from the areas controlled by the PKK/PYD militia to the areas controlled by the Assad militia west of the Euphrates River (Shamiya)”.

Tweets from @NourYoussef111 and @WestAsia21, in addition to reporting from regime-controlled Syrian Arab News Agency, referred to a civilian being killed during the operation but it is unclear if they are referring to Abdul.

All of the sources that reported on the incident referred to the operation as being a joint operation between the SDF and the Coalition, with Euphrates Post specifying that the operation was carried out by a helicopter belonging to the International Coalition forces accompanied by a drone and a ground force from the SDF on the ground.

The incident occured at 01:00:00 local time.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 1
  • (0–1 men)
  • Causes of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions, Small arms and light weapons
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–1

Sources (26) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the town of Thiban (ذيبان), for which the generic coordinates are: 35.005020, 40.513045. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

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
  • (0–1 men)
  • Causes of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions, Small arms and light weapons
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    0–1

Sources (26) [ collapse]