Right after 5 Am at Monday dawn, 15th of current April, the People of Al Shaafah town, at the Deir Ez-Zour Eastern countryside, woke up on a huge explosion. It was found that the explosion happenedon the top floor of the two-floor house of the civilian citizen “Ali Muhammad El Ferejy” which killed the house owner and his two wives. Eyewitnesses agreed that the bombing was mostly made by American air force and it is one of a series of civilian targeting executed by the American Air force as one the operations of international alliance to fight the Islamic state “ISIS”.
The investigation team of Jesr press conducted an initial inquiry about the incident and verified this claim according to the initial and general data.
Civilian Victims that have nothing to do with any side of the conflict
Al Shaafah town is located west of Al-Baghuz village which was well known as the final stronghold of ISIS, isolated by a small town called Al-Bobdaranand it was liberated from the fist of ISIS in the first month of this year after the departure of all its inhabitants to avoid the heavy bombardment and military operations. After the announcement of the liberation of Al-Baghuz and the termination of ISIS last March, the inhabitants of Al Shaafah town started to come back to their homes.
Ali Muhammad Al Ferejy, one of the residents of this town, was 55 years old when he was killed. He had been working as a contractor in Kuwait since 1994. He lives there like many of the town’s inhabitants and visits his hometown from time to time since he built a house in it and he has two young sons; Hussein 28 years old and Muhammad 24 years old.
He also has a daughter, two other kids, a number of grandkids and two wives ZahraAl-Khaleef Al-HamdEl-Ferejy 46 years old and Sanaa’ Al-Masha’al El-Ferejy 37 years old.
El-Ferejy owns a house in Damascus and his trips to Syria became limited to staying a week or more and then going back to Kuwait. According to what his sister confirmed, El-Ferejy and his family had nothing to do with any of the conflict sides whether it was ISIS or another and has been seeking his living in Kuwait for decades. The night he was killed was his first night in the area. He even wanted to sleep at his sister’s house that night since he did not have a suitable bed at his house but the malfunction of his car down prevented that.
The house was empty of any explosives
Mr. Hesham Khalaf El-Feregy, the leader of a demining team and the brother of one of his wives, confirmed that the house of Ali El-Ferejy was totally empty of any explosives or mines and he supervised the scanning and cleaning of the house by himself. Dead Ali has already contacted him and asked him to scan his house since he intended to come back to it so Hesham did that with his team and he handed it over to Ali’s relatives who live at Al Shafaah to clean it with water. The cleaning and rinsing with water lasted for five days so if there were any type of mines, it would have been discovered. The house was just bare walls that can’t hide anything. Even the top floor, where the explosion happened, did not have, according to Hesham, anything but one carpet.
His neighbor: I heard an explosion and sound of aircrafts
Muhammad Khaleef Al-Farhan Al Barghouth said to Jesr press: “I was sleeping over my house which is 100 meters away from El-Ferejy’s house and at 5:20 Am on Monday dawn, I woke up by the sound of a strong explosion. I couldn’t see anything because of the dust and I heard planes in the air so I and my sons headed towards to the place to look for the victims. It took three hours and we found the following: a charred woman and another decapitated who were the two wives of El-Ferejy whose body was found 20 meters away from the house blown away due to the intensity of the explosion.
Syria’s democratic forces were already aware
Demining expert, Hesham El-Feregy, said that when he was passing by a barrier for Syrian democratic forces on the day before the bombing, the person responsible for the barrier who was called “Kannas” to tell the civilians of the area that witnessed the explosion to leave it because unexpected thing will happen. Hesham also said that he told the responsible that he will not be able to evacuate the civilians since he does not have the authority or the power to ask them to do that and also where would they go when they leave their houses and there is no alternative shelter?
American Air force in the air that night:
According to many sources from Al Shafaah town such as the explosives expert, Hesham, that day witnessed the flight of surveillance drones of the type used by the alliance forces during Al-Baghuz battle. In addition, Jesr press correspondent in Al-Qamishli, “Abdullah Al-Ali”, has sent a report to the newspaper administration that night at 01:14 AM Syrian timewhich states an intensive flight for unknown warplanes above the city of Al-Qamishli for more than have an hour and could be clearly heard in most parts of that city especially at the eastern and western countryside of Al-Qamishli city. Flights in that area was limited to the air forces of the alliance since no other air planes of any other party were seen in that area because the area was under military operations by the alliance forces against ISIS and it is known that in case of the flight of the air forces of the alliance in a definite area, the airspace will be strictlyobserved which means that the alliance leadershipdefinitely knows the identity of the plane that executed the operation.
Jesr press has vied the obtained images of the targeted house to a military expert and he reported the following: “The walls withdrawal to the outside indicates an explosion inside the room or a thermo baricweapon and the fire inside the room confirms that there was an explosion inside the room. However, the hole in the upper ceiling and a smaller hole in the lower ceiling indicate a projectile with a penetrating head that fell from the top to the bottom and penetrated the first ceiling and then exploded. This all means that mostly the house was struck by an airplane or artillery projectile which penetrated the first ceiling and exploded in the top floor which is very explosive. The remaining ash on the ceiling and the walls should be analyzed or some of the bomb or rock fragments should be found to be able to identify its type precisely”.
Not the first incident
Investigations into many previous targeting incidents resulted in the leaders of the alliance operations confessing the wrong targeting of civilians and the international alliance forces tended to publish monthly reports to review the attacks that caused civilian causalities. In February 2019, they published their last report which stated that at least 1257 civilians were killed during the attacks carried out by the international alliance forces in Syria and Iraq. The international alliance forces admitted that 119 attacks resulted in civilian causalities in Syria only including 31 attacks that led to massacres while the Syrian Human Rights Network documented not less than 172 massacres at the same period of time.
“Jesr” also investigated into two of these massacres, talked to the victims’ families and obtained their full data and it keeps full information and testimonies of eyewitnesses as well. These two massacres are:
Killing 14 people from the family of Suleiman Muhammad Obaid, most of them were children. It occurred at Al Shaafah on Thursday the third of January 2019 by us air strikes. The second massacre was when 12 people of Al Kadraan family were killed when they were attempting to escape from Al-Baghouz on the twenty-ninth of January 2019 including five children and three women.
Conclusions and probabilities:
No matter how professional a press investigation is, it cannot reach firm results in such incidents. However, according to the previous data, we consider more probably that a crime was committed against the family of El-Ferejy based on the following previously-justified data:
1- Mr. Ali El-Ferejy and his family had nothing to do with ISIS or others thus he could not have been targeted when conducting or preparing for a hostile act especially that he just arrived a day before and has not been known to have any previous relation with any fighting or extremist entity. This also denies that neither he nor his family had brought or stored any explosives in the house.
2- There is no evidence or indication of the existence of any other extremists in the house at the time of the attack since only the three bodies of the family were found
3- The mines expert who searched the house denied the possibility of any mines or explosives pre-planted by ISIS in the house.
4- The strike that hit the house, according to most of the testimonies, were likely carried out by aircrafts and the only aircrafts flying in this area are the US air forces or that the US forces can determine the party that were in the airspace at that time as the party in charge of that has the authority in the area. Due to the absence of organizations interested in pursuing this issue and the inability of the victims’ families to reach for the US justice institutions or others and for the fear of loss of evidence, “Jesr” press calls for an urgent investigation in this case as soon as possible and to put the concerned parties and institutions in front of their duties for preserving the rights of the victims and their families by knowing the entity responsible for killing them and by providing the due moral and financial compensation