US-led Coalition in Iraq & Syria

Civilians in the ruins of Mosul city. (Maranie R. Staab)

Belligerent
US-led Coalition
Country
Iraq
start date
end date
Airwars Grading
Belligerent Assessment

Incident Code

CI551

Incident date

March 17, 2017

Location

الموصل الجديدة, Mosul, Mosul al Jadida / New Mosul, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.3323266, 43.1050515 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

The Coalition admitted responsibility for the deaths of  between 105 and 141 civilians in an airstrike on a house in West Mosul’s al Jadida area on March 17th (event CI550).

However, locals have claimed that as many as 230 or even 520 civilians were killed in the catastrophic event at al Jadida – though these higher numbers may conflate a series of events over a number of days of violence in the neighbourhood. To reflect these numbers and the confusion in reporting, Airwars has created this additional event at al Jadida, which has been graded ‘Contested’.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    125 – 370
  • Civilians reported injured
    25
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

US-led Coalition Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike type
    Airstrike and/or Artillery
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    125 – 370
  • Civilians reported injured
    25
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Incident Code

CI830

Incident date

August 19, 2017

Location

Tal Afar, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.375659, 42.451536 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

As many as 300 civilians were allegedly killed and injured in Tal Afar over three days of shelling. Information on the number of lives lost was retrieved from local medical sources, who said mostly women and children were killed and wounded.

According to JBC – which said that 300 civilians were killed across two days of fighting – Iraqi sources have estimated the number of troops attacking Tal Afar is about 40 000, including thousands of the popular mobilization forces of Iran, led by the paramilitary movement backed directly by the Revolutionary Guards. JBS, along with other sources, pointed to air and missile strikes and aerial bombardment as the cause of the significant number of civilian casualties.

Iraqi Spring Media and Omar al Halbusi said that 300 civilians had been killed and injured.

It is pertinent to note that these are general civilian casualty numbers, spanning two to three days, therefore this entry may encompass other entries recorded by Airwars.

The Coalition has confirmed two civilian casualty events in Tal Afar for this date range, see I631a and I631b below.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    150 – 300
  • Civilians reported injured
    150–300
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    US-led Coalition, Iraq government forces

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the city of Tal Afar (تلعفر), for which the coordinates are: 36.375659, 42.451536. 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
    Non credible
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    Insufficient information on the time and location
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    near Tal Afer, Iraq
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    38SKF713286
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jun 28, 2018
  • The report contains insufficient information of the time, location and details to assess its credibility

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For August 18th-19th the Coalition reported “Near Tal Afar, three strikes destroyed 24 vehicles, two tunnels, two weapons caches, two front-end loaders, a command and control node, a staging area, an explosives factory, an explosives cache, and a fighting position, and damaged three bridges and two supply routes.”

Iraq government forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Iraq government forces
  • Iraq government forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    150 – 300
  • Civilians reported injured
    150–300
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    US-led Coalition, Iraq government forces

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI746

Incident date

June 3, 2017

Location

الشفاء والزنجيلي, Mosul, Zanjili and Shifa, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.3502851, 43.1098795 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

Local sources said that more than 300 civilians were killed during two days of fighting in Zanjili and Shifa neighborhoods, in West Mosul. The loss of life was reportedly caused by ISIL shooting on fleeing civilians, as well as by airstrikes carried out by Iraqi Forces and the international Coalition.

Sawlf Ateka Facebook page quoted the Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights, which had reported that 250 civilians had died.

Eyewitnesses and a doctor from the Nineveh Department of Health told Al Araby News that “at least 300 civilians were killed in the past two days during the shelling on the city, and because of executions and ISIL snipers.” The doctor furthermore said that “the streets of Zanjili, Shifa and the Old City are scattered with bodies of civilians of different ages, and the medical teams have not been able to pull them [from the streets] so far, because of continued fighting and shelling and because the army leadership prevented the entry of medical teams and civil defense to recover the bodies of the victims.”

The news site also cited local media who were accompanying the Iraqi security forces in the battle of Mosul. They had reported that US aircraft had launched missiles containing toxic white phosphorous in the bombing of Shifa. A military spokesman of the Joint Operations Command, however, denied the use of White Phosphorous.

Sources had also told Yaqein that “dozens of bodies were scattered around as they [civilians] had tried to flee the Zanjili neighborhood of Mosul, while bags with their belongings were spread on the street on the way out of the neighborhood.” Yaqein spoke of more than 100 bodies.

In a later report, Alaraby spoke to a doctor, who reported over 30 bodies had arrived at the hospital he works at, and dozens of others in various field hospitals. He said some of the bodies had been hit by gunfire from a close distance. Others had died from shrapnel as a result of “Iraqi” bombing and artillery shelling, according to the newspaper.

Survivors had told the doctor that dozens of bodies were still under the rubble of destroyed houses. “One of the survivors who managed to escape spoke of the presence of seven members of her family under the rubble of her demolished house in Zanjili district.”

Journalists around the World and Enlib posted drone images on Facebook showing the aftermath of the destruction in the neighbourhood.

Naqa Al Yasimin said on Facebook that Mullah Walid Khaled was among the dead. He used to be the owner of a famous shop, called Tarshi Smak. Moreover, a local citizen, Yasin Mahmood, posted a handwritten list on Facebook with the names of 106 civilians that were reported wounded in Zanjili.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Mullah Walid Khaled Adult male Owner of a famous shop called Tarshi Smak killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    250 – 300
  • (1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    106
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    US-led Coalition, Iraq government forces, Islamic State (ISIS)

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (3) [ collapse]

  • A list with the names of the many injured civilians in Zanjili neighbourhood after heavy shelling took place (via Yasin Mahmood, Facebook)
  • Continued list of victims (via Yasin Mahmood, Facebook)
  • Imagery from above showing victims of the attack

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    Insufficient evidence of civilian harm
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    near Mosul, Iraq
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Aug 4, 2017
  • After a review of available information and strike video it was assessed that there is insufficient evidence to find that civilians were harmed in this strike.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For June 2nd-June 3rd the Coalition reported: “Near Mosul, five strikes engaged four ISIS tactical units and a sniper; destroyed 21 fighting positions, three medium machine guns, three mortar systems, two rocket-propelled grenade systems, and two VBIEDs; damaged five fighting positions; and suppressed an ISIS tactical unit and mortar team.”

Iraq government forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Iraq government forces
  • Iraq government forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Islamic State (ISIS) Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Islamic State (ISIS)
  • Islamic State (ISIS) position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    250 – 300
  • (1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    106
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    US-led Coalition, Iraq government forces, Islamic State (ISIS)

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI812

Incident date

July 15, 2017

Location

الميدان, Al Maydan, Mosul, Old City, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.335556, 43.125 Note: The accuracy of this location is to level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

A number of local sources reported that 300 civilians were killed and 400 more were wounded – said to be mostly women and children – following alleged Coalition and Iraqi government airstrikes in the Al Maydan neighbourhood of Mosul.

All four sources who reported the deaths alleged that both the Coalition and the Iraqi government were responsible, without making direct allegations against either party.

No further details were available.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    300
  • Civilians reported injured
    400
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    US-led Coalition, Iraq government forces

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention the neighbourhood of Meydan (الميدان) in Old Mosul, for which the coordinates are: 36.335556, 43.125000.

  • Old City of Mosul (موصل القديمة)

    Imagery:
    © 2019 Google

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    No Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    near Mosul, Iraq
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    38SLF317227
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • May 31, 2018
  • After a review of available information it was assessed that no Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area that correspond to the report of civilian casualties.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For July 14th-15th, the Coalition reported: “Near Mosul, three strikes destroyed two ISIS vehicles and a VBIED facility.” It additionally reported that “On July 14, near Mosul, Iraq, one strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed 11 tunnel entrances.”

Iraq government forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Iraq government forces
  • Iraq government forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    300
  • Civilians reported injured
    400
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    US-led Coalition, Iraq government forces

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI802

Incident date

July 7, 2017

Location

المدينة القديمة, Mosul, Old City, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.34075, 43.126911 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

A number of local sources claimed that more than 1,000 civilians had been killed or wounded over a week-long period as a result of alleged Coalition and Iraqi government bombardment of Old Mosul over recent days. However further details were sparse.

Iraq News Center reported that the number of civilian casualties buried under the rubble was so high that civilian defense teams had been unable to keep up in their attempts to recover them, and many remain buried there.

Activist Ali al Hamdani told Alaraby that “intensive bombing” by Iraqi forces was putting many thousands of civilians at risk because they aim to “resolve the battle quickly, without thinking about the fate of the trapped population”.

He added: “Death threatens thousands of civilians, while the bodies of others are still lying in the streets of the liberated areas, some of which are buried in public squares and gardens.”

Three of the five sources claimed that the Iraqi government was responsible. Meanwhile one alleged that both the Iraqi government and the Coalition was responsible.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    300
  • Civilians reported injured
    700
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    US-led Coalition, Iraq government forces

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention the Old City of Mosul (موصل القديمة), for which the coordinates are: 36.34075, 43.126911.

  • Old City of Mosul (موصل القديمة)

    Imagery:
    © 2019 Google

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    Insufficient information on the time and location
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    near Mosul, Iraq
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Mar 28, 2018
  • The report contains insufficient information of the time, location and details to assess its credibility.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For July 6th-7th, the Coalition reported: “Near Mosul, three strikes engaged two ISIS tactical units, destroyed one fighting position, damaged one fighting position, and suppressed a mortar system.”

Iraq government forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Iraq government forces
  • Iraq government forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    300
  • Civilians reported injured
    700
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    US-led Coalition, Iraq government forces

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI697

Incident date

May 8, 2017

Location

الموصل: غرب/الجانب الأيمن, Mosul, West / Right side, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.336843, 43.117979 Note: The accuracy of this location is to level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

A doctor reported to local media that up to 300 civilians had been killed and wounded in 48 hours of heavy fighting in West Mosul

Farid Orfali, a doctor at a German field hospital on the western Mosul border, had told Alaraby news that “more than 300 civilians have been killed and wounded, and we do not know whether the number will rise or it has actually risen [already]. It is not allowed to enter the areas of fighting, as the air and missile strikes continue in the northwestern neighborhoods of the Western side of Mosul.”

The same numbers of dead and wounded were reported by other local media. “The fighting of the last two days on the western side of the city of Mosul is the most violent of its kind in weeks,” a press source had told Yaqein Agency.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    100 – 250
  • Civilians reported injured
    100–250
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    US-led Coalition, Iraq government forces, Unknown

Sources (6) [ collapse]

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    Insufficient information on the time and location
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    near Mosul, Iraq
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jan 25, 2018
  • The report contains insufficient information of the time location and details to assess its credibility.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For May 8th-9th: “Near Mosul, six strikes engaged five ISIS tactical units and a sniper; destroyed 12 fighting positions, seven rocket-propelled grenade systems, four medium machine guns, three mortar systems, two VBIED facilitation areas, two front-end loaders, a sniper position, a weapons cache, an IED facility, a roadblock, a VBIED; damaged 13 ISIS supply routes, three fighting positions; and suppressed a mortar position.”

Iraq government forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Iraq government forces
  • Iraq government forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Unknown Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Unknown
  • Unknown position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    100 – 250
  • Civilians reported injured
    100–250
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    US-led Coalition, Iraq government forces, Unknown

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI772

Incident date

June 18, 2017

Location

الموصل: غرب, Mosul, West (Shifa and Zanjili), Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.336843, 43.117979 Note: The accuracy of this location is to level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Colonel Talal Najm al-Hamdani, from the Directorate of Civil Defense of Nineveh, said that about 200 bodies had been recovered over a 48 hour period in different parts of West Mosul.

In an interview with Al Araby al Jadeeda, Colonerl al-Hamdani estimated that as many as 4,000 bodies remained under the rubble of West Mosul as a result of recent fighting. Of the 200 bodies recovered by volunteers, some had lain there for up to three months he believed, and were now skeletons.

One local assistance group accused the government of orchestrating a coverup of the deaths.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    200
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    US-led Coalition, Iraq government forces

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • An image showing a rescue team after the fighting

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    Insufficient information on the time and location
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    near Mosul, Iraq
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jan 25, 2018
  • The report contains insufficient information of the time, location and details to assess its credibility.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

See Coalition daily reports for February-June 2017.

Iraq government forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Iraq government forces
  • Iraq government forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    200
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    US-led Coalition, Iraq government forces

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI522

Incident date

March 9, 2017

Location

حي المعلمين, Mosul, al Mua'lmen/ Teachers, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.318752, 43.095438 Note: The accuracy of this location is to level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

Local residents and press sources said that more than 200 bodies were still under the rubble and on the streets after Coalition airstrikes and shelling by Iraqi forces targeted the area close to “Syed Jamal” mosque in the Teachers district and other neighbourhoods in the West of Mosul.

@Sonawa1 reported on Twitter: “A huge explosion caused by an air strike this morning near the mosque in Teachers district at the right side caused human damage and destruction of civilian homes # Mosul”. Most sources spoke of dozens of dead and wounded.

Iraqi Spring said 200 civilians were killed. In a tweet, @ahmed_saeed2018 spoke of “around 201 dead and wounded”.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    50 – 200
  • Civilians reported injured
    50–200
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    US-led Coalition, Iraq government forces

Sources (9) [ collapse]

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    No Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    near Mosul, Iraq
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Nov 30, 2017
  • After a review of available information it was assessed that no Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area that correspond to the report of civilian casualties.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For March 8th-9th the Coalition noted: “Mosul, fives strikes engaged four ISIS tactical units; destroyed six vehicles, five tanker trucks, four mortar systems, 4 VBIEDs, two supply caches, a fighting position, an artillery system, an ISIS-held building, a tactical vehicle, an ISIS headquarters, and a weapons storage facility; damaged 32 supply routes; and suppressed nine mortar teams, a sniper team, a medium machine gun team, and an ISIS tactical unit.”

Iraq government forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Iraq government forces
  • Iraq government forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    50 – 200
  • Civilians reported injured
    50–200
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    US-led Coalition, Iraq government forces

Sources (9) [ collapse]