Statement on possible civilian casualties near Ar Raqqah, Syria

Release No: 16-016 Aug. 24, 2016 PRINT | E-MAIL
Tampa, FL — August 24, 2016
Release Number 20160824-24

TAMPA, Fla. - A strike yesterday on an ISIL weapons facility near Ar Raqqah, Syria, may have resulted in civilian casualties, according to U.S. Central Command's own post-strike assessment.

CENTCOM's internal assessment of possible civilian casualties in this incident has been deemed credible. The incident will be reviewed, next, at the joint task force level at which point officials will decide whether an investigation is needed.

Reports indicate that what appeared to be a non-military vehicle drove into the target area after the weapon was released from the aircraft. The vehicle's occupants may have perished as a result of the strike.

CENTCOM has extensive processes and techniques in place to avoid or minimize civilian casualties. Every report of civilian casualties, from either internal or external sources, is scrutinized regarding possible casualties and collateral damage. Assessments that are determined to be credible are reviewed as to whether the actions comply with the principles of the Law of Armed Conflict.