Tokhar massacre (2016)

Tokhar massacre
Part of the Manbij offensive (2016) (American-led intervention in Syria)
Location of Manbij in Syria
Location Tokhar and Hoshriya, Manbij District, Aleppo Governorate, Syria
Date July 18, 2016 (2016-07-18)–July 19, 2016 (2016-07-19)
Attack type
Deaths 56–212[1][2][3]
Victims Civilians

The Tokhar massacre, also known as the Tokhar airstrikes, occurred on 19 July 2016 in the village of Tokhar, during an offensive by United States backed forces near the city of Manbij in Aleppo Governorate, and carried out by the United States Air Force. The operation was carried out as part of the American-led intervention in Syria. Reports of the death toll varied, ranging from 56 to 212 civilians being killed[2][5][6][7] with "entire families" pulverized.[8]


The American-led intervention in Syria has been ongoing since 22 September 2014, after the United States intervened in the Syrian Civil War against the Islamic State. Since May 31, 2016, military operations have been ongoing in the area around the city of Manbij in Aleppo province, as the Syrian Democratic Forces, a coalition of anti-ISIL militias led by the YPG, attempt to take Manbij from the Islamic State, supported by US airstrikes.

AirWars director Chris Wood, said of civilian casualties prior to the massacre, "Since the siege began it’s our view that at least 190 civilians have been killed by coalition airstrikes, mostly US. We are concerned that the US-led alliance appears to have relaxed some of their rules concerning civilian casualties,".

Since the beginning of the American-led intervention in Syria, independent monitoring group 'Airwars' estimate 1,422 civilians have been killed in airstrikes carried out by the US Air Force, though the overall total could be as high as between 3,181 and 4,267 civilian non-combatant fatalities from 493 separate reported incidents.[9][10]


On Tuesday 19 July 2016, American warplanes attacked the Syrian village of Tokhar, which was housing civilians displaced by the fighting between the Islamic State and the Syrian Democratic Forces.

“This is likely the worst reported civilian toll of any coalition attack since the bombing campaign against Isis began nearly two years ago,” said AirWars director Chris Wood.[11][12][13]


On 17 July 2016, Colonel Chris Garver, spokesman for the coalition fighting Islamic State, said the United States military has found enough credible information to begin a formal investigation. Garver said a credibility assessment had been completed and the formal investigation had been initiated.[14]


From subnational bodies
From states
From other regional actors


On 28 July 2016, US airstrikes killed at least 28 civilians, mostly women and including seven children, in the nearby village of Ghandoura.[21][22][23][24][25]

See also


  1. 1 2 "Syrian Fighters Give IS 48-Hour Deadline to Leave Syria's Manbij". Voice of America. 21 July 2016. Retrieved July 21, 2016.
  2. 1 2 "Syria conflict: 'Dozens of civilians killed' in US-led strikes near Manbij". BBC. July 19, 2016. Retrieved July 21, 2016.
  3. "Up to 200 killed in Syria in what could be the deadliest US airstrike in war against ISIS". Television New Zealand. Associated Press. July 19, 2016. Retrieved July 21, 2016.
  4. "'Beyond a massacre: France deliberately bombed Syrian civilians after Nice attack'". Russia Today. July 20, 2016. Retrieved July 21, 2016.
  5. Abdulrahim, Raja (July 19, 2016). "Airstrikes on Islamic State-Held Villages Kill at Least 56 Civilians, Say Syrian Activists". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved July 20, 2016.
  6. Sly, Liz (July 19, 2016). "Suspected U.S. airstrikes in Syria kill scores of civilians, activists say". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 20, 2016.
  7. "Syria war: Dozens killed in 'US-led strikes' on Manbij". Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  8. "An airstrike in Syria killed entire families instead of ISIS fighters". Washington Post. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  9. "Civilian and 'friendly fire' casualties – Airwars". Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  10. "Airwars – Monitoring the coalition air war against ISIS". Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  11. "Syria war: Dozens killed in 'US-led strikes' on Manbij". Al Jazeera English. July 20, 2016. Retrieved July 21, 2016.
  12. Ackerman, Spencer; Graham-Harrison, Emma (July 20, 2016). "US airstrikes allegedly kill at least 73 civilians in northern Syria". The Guardian. Retrieved July 20, 2016.
  13. Devereaux, Ryan (July 19, 2016). "Civilian Death Toll From Coalition Airstrikes In Syria Could Be Single Largest in U.S.-led War on ISIS". The Intercept. Retrieved July 20, 2016.
  14. "Investigation begins into allegations of civilians killed in Syria: U.S. military spokesman". 28 July 2016. Retrieved 1 August 2016 via Reuters.
  15. "Dozens of Civilians Reported Dead in U.S.-Led Syria Airstrike". New York Times. Middle East. Reuters. 19 July 2016. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  16. "Iran condemns French airstrikes on Syrian village". Mehr News Agency. 21 July 2016. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  18. Raydan, Noam (July 20, 2016). "Syrian Opposition Group Seeks Investigation After Deadly Airstrikes". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved July 21, 2016.
  19. "Kurds to Syrian opposition: halting coalition airstrikes will only help ISIS". ARA News. Retrieved July 21, 2016.
  20. "Ahrar al-Sham releases the English statement regarding the airstrikes on the city of Manbij by coalition forces.". Live UA Map. 20 July 2016.
  21. Spencer Ackerman (29 July 2016). "US military says it may have killed more civilians in latest airstrike in Syria". Guardian. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  22. "Syrie: 15 civils tués dans des frappes de la coalition" (in French). AFP. 28 July 2016. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  23. "U.S. assessing reports air strike in Syria caused civilian casualties". Reuters. 29 July 2016. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  24. "UN Syria envoy tells Russia: Leave Aleppo corridors 'to us'". Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  25. "Syria: Reports of civilian deaths in US-led strikes". Retrieved 1 August 2016.

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