Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

USYEMBi006

Incident date

February 6, 2022

Location

الكولة, Al Kawlah, Mareb, Yemen

Geolocation

15.54686, 45.41379 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

On February 6th 2022, an alleged US drone strike was reported to have targeted a car with Al-Qaeda members inside, posssibly including a ” suspected leader.”  All passengers – reported as Al-Qaeda militants – in the car were reported to have been “killed and wounded”, and civilian casualties were also reported of those “who were near the operation.” Although multiple sources reported that “civilians” were harmed, it is not clear how many were killed and injured as a result of this drone strike, at this stage.

The drone strike targeted the car in the Al Kola area in Wadi Ubayda, in the Mareb governorate of north Yemen.

A tweet from @Islandcorner2 as well as Fromo2g News referenced “civilians who were near the operation” as being victims of the drone strike but did not mention how many.

According to local sources, three Al-Qaeda militants were killed in total. One source, Fromo2g reported that the militants belonged to “Hadi’s forces”, but this was the sole reference. Saras 24 indicated that the military group were “affiliated with Hadi’s forces.”

Local sources referenced that the car was “loaded with ammunition” and that the militants had guns. This caused the care to explode when it was struck by the drone.

Al Youm Al 7 reported that “the aerial bombardment, preceded by hours of flying, led to the burning of the car and the charring of the bodies of those on board” which meant that the identity of the targeted leader could not be understood. Apparently, Al-Qadea militants were deployed into the area after the raid and prevented entry and exit into the area.

According to Akhbar Al Aan news, a US drone was launched from a military base in Dijbouti.

The incident occured around dawn.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 2
  • Civilians reported injured
    1–2
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • 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 targets
    Al Qaeda, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
  • Belligerents reported killed
    3

Sources (20) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • After an alleged US drone strike in Mareb, Al-Qaeda were reported to have blocked off the area, preventing exit and entry (Image via Saras 24)

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention a vehicle being struck in the vicinity of Al Kawlah (الكولة) village, in the north east of Wadi Obeida (وادي عبيدة). Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. The generic coordinates for Al Kawlah are: 15.54686, 45.41379.

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
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    None known
  • Civilians reported killed
    1 – 2
  • Civilians reported injured
    1–2
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • 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 targets
    Al Qaeda, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
  • Belligerents reported killed
    3

Sources (20) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CS626

Incident date

March 27, 2017

Location

سرمدا, Sarmada, Idlib, Syria

Geolocation

36.18553, 36.72231 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (via Coalition) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Exact location (via Coalition)

Airwars assessment

Up to three civilians were killed on the road between Sarmada and Kafr Daryan when their nearby motorcycle was hit in what appears to have been a unilateral US strike targeting members of Ahrar al Sham. The Coalition later admitted to the strike and reported that three civilians were killed and two were injured.

According to Baladi, “two civilians and four fighters were killed on Monday in a bombardment by an international coalition aircraft [sic] targeting the town of Sarmada in the countryside of Idlib.

The correspondent of My News (Ahmed Rahal) said that Coalition aircraft targeted a missile vehicle belonging to Tahrir Al Sham near the northern city of Sirmda, Idlib, causing the deaths of civilians, and four fighters, including a commander in the army of Fatah.

Step instead reported that “a US drone targeted a vehicle carrying members of the Tahrir Al Sham Organization, killing Abu Jaber al-Shami, three members of the Commission and two civilians riding a motorcycle near the incident.” The Syrian Network for Human Rights put the civilian death toll at three.

On March 10, 2022, in their CJTF-OIR Civilian Casualty Report, the Coalition assessed this incident as credible, stating that “Coalition aircraft conducted a strike on Al Qaida-Syria terrorists in a vehicle. Regrettably, three civilians were unintentionally killed and two others unintentionally wounded due to their proximity to
the strike.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2 – 3
  • (2–3 men)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Known target
    Al Qaeda

Sources (17) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (5) [ collapse]

  • The aftermath of a strike on the road between Sarmada and Kafr Daryan in which two or three nearby civilians were alleged killed, March 27th 2017. (via Baladi)
  • The aftermath of an alleged Coalition airstrike on Sarmada, 27th March 2017. (via Kanari313)
  • The aftermath of an alleged Coalition airstrike on Sarmada, 27th March 2017. (via Kanari313)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    A civilian casualty in the aftermath of an alleged Coalition airstrike on Sarmada, 27th March 2017. (via Kanari313)
  • Abu Jaber Al-Hamwi, killed in an alleged Coalition airstrike on Sarmada, 27th March 2017. It is possible he was a combatant. (via Kanari313)

Geolocation notes

Prior to the Coalition releasing the MGRS for this incident, Airwars had geolocated it to 36.18553, 36.72231 to the nearest town.

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Open incident
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    3
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    2
  • Stated location
    near Sarmada, Syria
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    1 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SBA9518306931
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Mar 10, 2022
  • Mar. 27, 2017, near Sarmada, Syria, via Airwars report. Coalition aircraft conducted a strike on Al Qaida-Syria terrorists in a vehicle. Regrettably, three civilians were unintentionally killed and two others unintentionally wounded due to their proximity to the strike. 2496/S548 37SBA9518306931

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

Mar. 27, 2017, near Sarmada, Syria, via Airwars report. Coalition aircraft conducted a
strike on Al Qaida-Syria terrorists in a vehicle. Regrettably, three civilians were
unintentionally killed and two others unintentionally wounded due to their proximity to the strike. 2496/S548 37SBA9518306931

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2 – 3
  • (2–3 men)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Known target
    Al Qaeda

Sources (17) [ collapse]