US-led Coalition in Iraq & Syria

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

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

Incident Code

CI550

Incident date

March 17, 2017

Location

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

Geolocation

36.33256, 43.1059 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Within 100m (via Coalition) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Within 100m (via Coalition)

Airwars assessment

In the highest confirmed civilian casualty event of the war against ISIL, at least 105 and as many as 141 non-combatants were later confirmed by the Coalition as having been killed in a US airstrike on a house in West Mosul’s al Jadida area. At least 137 bodies were reportedly recovered from the scene.

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.

The Coalition later confirmed it had carried out a strike “in the vicinity of alleged civilian casualties” and launched an investigation. This eventually concluded that a US bomb had killed between 105 and 141 civilians – though the Coalition also claimed that ISIL explosives had contributed to the disaster.

The Iraqi military initially placed the death toll at 61 killed – and blamed ISIL. This was at odds with Iraqi civil defence on the scene, who reported at least 137 bodies at first and said the incident was caused by an airstrike.

It was reported that a house near Al Rahma Al Ahli Hospital was bombed in which hundreds of displaced people were hosted, providing them food and shelter as well as a cellar to provide protection from airstrikes. However there were also claims that ISIL had deliberately trapped people in the building.

There was some initial reporting confusion about the date of the incident, which was placed variously between March 17th-20th. It is possible that a number of additional strikes in the near vicinity over some days may also have caused casualties.

Both the Coalition and Iraq had announced investigations into whether they had conducted an airstrike which may have ‘indvertently’ ignited a fuel truck and perhaps a VBIED at the scene.

Correspondences Team identified the house as the 3-storey building of Haj Tawfik house. Abdulrahman Al Lawzi reported on Facebook that the Coalition hit the house in New Mosul and that all the people in it had died. 56 male bodies had been found, but “rescue efforts were unable to reach the lower hall where the bodies of women and children are buried”. In total, 126 people were reported killed, as well as 8 in the house next door. Later, Waradana news said that about 150 bodies were still under the rubble. Mosul Insta, a local Facebook group, reported as many as 250 dead:

“More than 250 human beings lost their lives in vain. Children, women, elderly and disabled only in the new Mosul area. The list of victims goes on and on and the war rages and burns everything and I do not see it ending soon. The people of Mosul do not have their parents”.

Al Jazeera posted a graphic video reporting the strikes, speaking of 137 bodies, mostly women and children.

Iraqi Vice-President Osama al-Nujaifi called for an immediate halt to the bombing of western Mosul neighborhoods. “The intensity of the fighting against the terrorist is not exempting officials and leaders from moral and humanitarian responsibility for the increase in the number of innocent civilian casualties who have been forced to remain in their areas by the terrorist organization,” he said.

In a filmed visit to the scene on March 24th, the head of the Iraq Provincial Council Basma Basim said that she feared as many as 500 locals had in fact died at al Jadida. The Iraqi Observatory also claimed that 500 bodies had so far been recovered. Local MP Ali al-Metwati claimed 600 had died – and that the authorities were covering up the deaths. These high allegations may relate to overall civilian fatalities in the neighbourhood.

On March 26th, Alaraby news reported that “the number of people killed in the US air raid on the new Mosul district on the western coast of the city rose to 511, including 187 children under the age of 15, Iraqi officials said.”

A day later, on March 27th, Al Araby put the death toll at 520. On March 31st, it raised it to 531.

Both the United Nations and Amnesty International subsequently released information on the attack. The Amnesty report contained the following account: “As the fighting intensified Wa’ad Ahmad al-Tai, his brother Mahmoud and their families sought shelter at their other brother’s two-storey home hoping it would offer them more protection. “We were all huddled in one room at the back of the house, 18 of us, three families. But when the house next door was bombed, it collapsed on us, precisely over the room we were sheltering in. My son Yusef, nine, and my daughter Shahad, three, were killed, together with my brother Mahmoud, his wife Manaya and their nine-year-old son Aws, and my niece Hanan. She was cradling her five-month-old daughter, who survived, thank God,” he said.”

A relative of the family said the following in a video by Al Jazeera:

“My family were in three houses, 26 persons, I was always in touch with them before the bombardment. On Thursday morning, my brother sent me a message which reads “ Wafa’a, we cannot call due to the heavy bombardment” my heart was feeling like I am not going to see my family again. Their neighbor, Saker, was the only one who survived (…)”

In July 2019, the Coalition provided Airwars with the location of this incident, accurate to within a 100 metre box.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (2)

  • Hisham Hazem Age unknown male From the Sheikh family killed
  • Issam Hazem Age unknown male From the Sheikh family killed

Family members (2)

  • Firas Child male Child of Ali Sarhan Al Hayali - possibly killed in separate event killed
  • Taiba Child female Child of Ali Sarhan Al Hayali - possibly killed in separate event killed

Family members (4)

  • Ali Thamer Abdulla Adult male Twin brother of Rakan Thamer Abdulla killed
  • Rakan Thamer Abdulla Adult male Twin brother of Ali Thamer Abdulla killed
  • Haj Thamer Abdulla Adult male Father killed
  • 23 additional family members reported killed

Family members (1)

  • The family of the wife of Karim Jassim Al Salim Unknown number of victims

Family members (1)

  • Yarub Khader Kadawi Adult male One of 12 family members reported killed killed

Family members (1)

  • Basem al-Muhzam’s family 11 persons reported killed killed

Family members (1)

  • The Sinjari family Age unknown 30 persons reported killed killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    105 – 141
  • (22 children5 women4 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    6
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (83) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (12) [ collapse]

  • Firas and Taiba died on March 20th in New Mosul (via Mosul is Here Facebook group)
  • These twin brothers were allegedly killed when a Coalition airstrike hit their home on March 17th/18th in Al Jadida, Mosul (via Captain Farqad and Egypt Gym, Facebook)
  • Another picture of the twin brothers
  • More picture of the brothers
  • Body bags being buried after the incident
  • An unnamed girl supposedly killed in the strike (via Adna Khalil)
  • Yarub Khader Kadawi (via Maram Al Alhanin)
  • Two more unnamed victims allegedly killed in the strike (via Mohammed Kareem)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    A man allegedly found under rubble four days after the attack (via Women of Mosul)
  • Aftermath of the strike (via LA Times)
  • Body bags being carried away after the strike (via LA Times)
  • UN statement on the incident

Geolocation notes

Prior to the Coalition releasing the MGRS for this incident, Airwars had geolocated it to the nearest neighbourhood/area at 36.3323266, 43.1050515

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Credible / Substantiated
    The investigation assessed that although all feasible precautions were taken and the decision to strike complied with the law of armed conflict, unintended civilian casualties regrettably occurred.
  • Given reason for civilian harm
    Killed by secondary explosion(s), Killed in adjacent structure
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    105–141
  • Stated location
    near Mosul, Iraq
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    38SLF300225
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • May 25, 2017
  • Jun 2, 2017
  • During a strike on ISIS snipers firing on partnered forces, 101 civilians were unintentionally killed when the munition struck the building igniting ISIS- planted explosives that destroyed the structure and killed an additional four civilians in an adjacent structure.

  • CLASSIFICATION: UNCLASSIFIED May 25, 2017 Release # 20170525-02 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CJTF-OIR Completes Airstrike Investigation SOUTHWEST ASIA - A Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve investigation of a March 17 Coalition airstrike in the Al Jadidah district of Mosul, Iraq, found that a secondary explosion triggered a rapid failure of the structure, in which two ISIS snipers, 101 civilians sheltered in the bottom floors of the structure, and four civilians in a neighboring structure were killed. An additional 36 civilians who were reported to be connected to the structure remain unaccounted for. The investigation determined that ISIS emplaced a large amount of explosive material in a structure containing a significant number of civilians and then attacked Iraqi forces from the structure. Around 8 a.m. on March 17, 2017, Coalition aircraft conducted an airstrike against two ISIS snipers engaging Iraqi Counterterrorism Service soldiers at the request of the local Commander. Neither Coalition nor Iraqi forces knew that civilians were sheltered within the structure. The Coalition selected a single GBU-38 precision-guided munition as the most appropriate and proportionate means of engagement to neutralize the threat and to minimize collateral damage. The GBU-38's detonation, localized to the top floor of the structure, ignited a large amount of explosive material which, unknown to the Coalition, ISIS fighters had previously placed in the house. Post-blast analysis detected residues common to explosives used by ISIS, but not consistent with the explosive content of a GBU-38 munition. Furthermore, weapons and structural experts concluded, based on extensive modeling, the structural damage to the building was in a different location, and was in excess of what could have been caused by a single GBU-38 munition. "Our condolences go out to all those that were affected," said Maj. Gen. Joe Martin, Commanding General CJFLCC-OIR. "The Coalition takes every feasible measure to protect civilians from harm. The best way to protect civilians is to defeat ISIS."

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For March 17th-18th the Coalition reported: “Near Mosul, four strikes engaged three ISIS tactical units; destroyed 56 ISIS vehicles, 25 fighting positions, five rocket-propelled grenade systems, two medium machine guns, two mortar systems, and an ISIS VBIED; and suppressed 20 ISIS mortar teams and four ISIS tactical units.”

Media
from belligerent (3) [ collapse]

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    105 – 141
  • (22 children5 women4 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    6
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (83) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI070

Incident date

June 3, 2015

Location

الحويجة, Hawijah, industrial district, Kirkuk, Iraq

Geolocation

35.323474, 43.78453 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

A Coalition airstrike on an Islamic State depot levelled a significant number of buildings, and at least 70 civilians and a large number of militants were reportedly killed. A large supply of TNT explosive detonated after the IED-making facility was struck. Bas News described the attack as one of the worst mass casualty incidents in Iraq since the 2003 invasion.

Following the publication of a major investigation by Dutch media NOS and NRC in October 2019, which claimed that the Netherlands had been responsible for the incident, the Dutch Ministry of Defence finally took public responsibility for the airstrike on November 4th, 2019.

The head of Kirkuk’s Arab Council, Mohammed Khalil al-Jubouri, at the time placed the number of dead and injured civilians at 150. The Iraqi Revolution site claimed that 70 civilians had died, with more than 100 injured. Rudaw also reported 70 killed, describing 26 children and 22 women among the dead.

Local sheikh Abdallah al-Jubouri told Al-Araby news agency at the time that “several international coalition airstrikes hit the district. The losses were made worse by there being no ambulances or other means to rescue victims.” He added that “This is the single worse airstrike that has targeted civilians in al-Hawija; eight months ago we were getting hit by Iraqi army warplanes but that has stopped. The international coalition has committed a civilian massacre today and Islamic State and its weapons are the reason.“

Eyewitness Hassan Mahmoud al-Jubbouri told Reuters that the area looked as if it had been hit by a nuclear bomb, and described pulling the bodies of a family of six from the rubble. Only one victim has so far been named – Kherallah Ahmed Al Saleh Al Thawabi – described as the owner of a car maintenance shop in the district.

Bizarrely, in the immediate wake of the strike, a Coalition official told Reuters: “Since we started airstrikes in August last year in Iraq, I have difficulty thinking of any civilian casualties in Iraq, and for thousands of sorties that is good. One is clearly too many.“

Among as many as 100 militants also reported killed was Islamic State’s local police chief, named as Jassim Shukur. “The [Coalition] warplanes also bombarded two other sub-districts around Hawija and many other ISIS militants who were with the police chief were killed by the bombardment,” Iraqi official Sarhad Qadir told Rudaw.

In a later January 2016 report, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) noted that US officials had confirmed carrying out the Hawijah attack though went on to state: “Pictures and videos have emerged in media and online showing an area purporting to be the blast site that has been almost completely flattened. UNAMI/OHCHR was not able to verify the authenticity of the photos or the videos, nor the number of civilian casualties.”

In October 2019, Dutch media NOS and NRC published a major investigation in which they alleged that Dutch F-16s had carried out the attack. This also revealed that chief Coalition spokesman Colonel Ryan had confirmed to reporters in December 2018 that at least 70 civilians had in fact died – though this had not been officially reported out by the CJTF civilian casualty cell. This statement was later withdrawn by the Coalition on December 5th 2019, asserting that they were no longer able to determine the exact amount of civilian casualties in the incident.

However, past and present officials did confirm to NRC that 70 civilian deaths had been privately counted for Hawijah by the Coalition for at least 18 months – suggesting that the Dutch government may have pressured the Coalition to withdraw its initial estimate.

On November 4th 2019, the Dutch Ministry of Defence took public responsibility for the airstrike. This stirred a public and parliamentary debate in the Netherlands on transparency and accountability regarding civilian casualties as a result of Dutch airstrikes. As a result, Dutch Minister of Defence Ank Bijleveld promised significant transparency improvements and said she was looking into possibilities for voluntary compensation for victims.

On November 28th 2019, Dutch newspaper NRC wrote that according to locals, the estimate of 70 civilian deaths was an absolute minimum number. Civilians stated that “almost everyone in Hawijah lost neighbours or family members [in the incident]”.

NRC stated that the Dutch Socialist Party, after seeking contact with the Iraqi Communist Party (ICP), had local Mohammad ‘Abu Louis’ Shadid Hamad Dawoud collect the names of victims. With volunteers, Abu Louis went from house to house in the affected areas to find eyewitnesses of the event in 2015. According to Abu Louis, there were “62 people killed, including 36 children and 13 women, 822 wounded, 70 destroyed houses, 375 cars total loss”. 405 of the injured were registered in the hospital. The other 417 did not have any permanent injuries.

Abu Louis’ own nephew Homan (15 years old) was killed after debris hit him in the stomach.

On December 3rd, 2019, the Dutch parliament passed a motion which called on the government “to make every effort, where possible in cooperation with NGOs, UN and local authorities, to conduct further investigations on civilian victims as a result of Dutch actions in Hawija”.

In February 2020, the Dutch Ministry of Defence released previously classified documents about the airstrike, including Defensie’s own investigation after several FOIA requests by both Airwars and Dutch media. The documents revealed that the Dutch red cardholder, the military official with a potential veto over airstrikes, was aware before the strike that the risk to civilians could be created than that the Collateral Damage Estimate (CDE) indicated.

Related documents to the case by the Public’s Prosecutors office (OM) were also released, revealing that the OM’s investigation into Hawijah only started nine months after the event and that it was not until 15 months later that the pilots were heard for the first time.

In March 2020, Airwars reported, based on information provided by a senior (non-Dutch) military official, that at least one other Coalition country had refused to conduct the Hawijah strike, implying that the potential risk to civilians was expected to be too high.

A month later, the US government released its investigation into the airstrike after a judicial procedure following an unanswered FOIA request by NRC and NOS. The documents revealed that US officials were aware that the 2015 Dutch airstrike on Hawijah posed a threat to civilians. Four CIA informants had warned the Coalition about civilians living near the ISIS IED factory, as reported by NOS. Furthermore, the Coalition amended its targeting development process. In the future, the Coalition would have to do further in-depth investigation into possible secondary explosions in densely populated areas.

On April 29th, 2020, human rights lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld filed a claim in name of 47 Iraqi’s with the Dutch Ministry of Defence. Some of her clients were severely injured in the airstrike and/or suffered material losses, others lost their relatives. Among her clients are the relatives of Ahmad Shujaá Moeshin, who was working as a security guard in a car showroom on an industrial estate, a 100 metres from the ISIS IED factory, during the night of June 2nd to June 3rd. A few days after the airstrike, Moeshin died of his injuries.

On May 14th, 2020, a fourth Dutch parliamentary debate on the case took place. The Dutch Red Card Holder had not received information about the CIA warnings and the American doubts on the risks for civilians before giving a green light to the airstrike. During the debate, Minister of Defence Ank Bijleveld stated that there should be better arrangements on information sharing between the Coalition and the Netherlands.

The incident occured after midnight.

  • Kherallah Ahmed Al Saleh Al Thawabi Adult male Owner of the car maintenance shop in the area killed
  • Sa’diya Ramadan Jadou 19 years old female wife of Ali Assem Ahmad, died after being hit in the neck by glass of a window that exploded in the incident killed
  • Abdulmalek Qader 5 years old male son of Alaa Qader, blinded by one eye injured
  • Wife of Alaa Qader Adult female first name unknown, injury in back injured
  • Homan 15 years old male nephew of Mohammad ‘Abu Louis’ Shadid Hamad Dawoud, hit in the stomach by debris killed
  • Ahmad Shujaá Moeshin 24 years old male worked as a night security guard killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    70
  • (26 children22 women2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    80–100
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    80–100

Sources (64) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (13) [ collapse]

  • Kherallah Ahmed Al Saleh Al Thawabi (via deleted Facebook page)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    An infant allegedly killed in the attack (via Rudaw)
  • The aftermath of the Dutch strike on Hawijah in 2015 which killed an estimated 70 civilians (via Iraqi Revolution).
  • Industrial area of Hawijah, before (above) and after (below) the attack (via NOS).
  • Photo of destruction of Hawijah's industrial area. It is unclear when this photo was taken (via NOS).
  • Footage of Hawijah after the airstrike on June 3th, 2015, published as propaganda by the Islamic State shortly after the incident (via VRT).
  • A photo that Alaa Qader took of his house, 1 to 1,5 kilometers away from the site of the incident, after a Dutch airstrike on an ISIS weapon facility in Hawijah, Kirkuk, on June 2nd-3rd 2015 (via NOS).
  • A photo that Alaa Qader took of his house, 1 to 1,5 kilometers away from the site of the incident, after a Dutch airstrike on an ISIS weapon facility in Hawijah, Kirkuk, on June 2nd-3rd 2015 (via NOS).
  • A photo that Alaa Qader took of his house, 1 to 1,5 kilometers away from the site of the incident, after a Dutch airstrike on an ISIS weapon facility in Hawijah, Kirkuk, on June 2nd-3rd 2015 (via NOS).
  • France24 report on the airstrike of May 11th, 2020 (via France24).
  • Excerpt of the US investigation into Hawijah, released in April 2020 (via NOS).
  • Excerpt of the US investigation into Hawijah, released in April 2020 (via NOS).
  • Recommendation to update the target development process in a US document released in April 2020 (via NOS).

Geolocation notes (6) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention the city of Al Hawija (الحويجة), Kirkuk province, specifically the “city centre” area and the “industrial district area Bahoijh” (الحي الصناعي بالحويجة). The majority of reports monitored by Airwars state that the incident occurred at night, most likely closely after midnight on Wednesday, June 3rd. There were conflicting reports – on Thursday, June 4th 2015, bas news stated that the incident occurred on “Wednesday evening” (June 3rd, 2015). On June 5th, 2015, alquds quoted a member of the Security Committee in the Kirkuk provincial council, Mohammed Jubouri, as saying a ”French aircraft bombed late on Thursday, a bomb manufacturing plant belonging to the ‘State’ in the district of Hawija.” Reuters reported “in a statement on Wednesday, the Coalition said an airstrike targeted a ‘vehicle-borne improvised explosive device facility’ in Hawija between 8 am on June 2 and 8 am the following day”

  • Industrial district in the city of Al Hawija (الحويجة)

    Imagery:
    © 2018 Google

  • Landsat 8 image of Hawija showing blast area and large-scale destruction Landsat 8 image of Hawija showing blast area and large-scale destruction

    Date taken:
    June 5, 2015

    Resolution:
    30 m

    Imagery:
    © 2018 USGS

  • Stills from an Al Jazeera report (Daesh video). Published on Jun. 11th, 2015 (one week after the incident).

    Date taken:
    June 11, 2015

    Imagery:
    © 2018 Al Jazeera

  • Stills from an Al Jazeera report (Daesh video). Published on Jun. 11th, 2015 (one week after the incident).

    Date taken:
    June 11, 2015

    Imagery:
    © 2018 Al Jazeera

  • Stills from an Al Jazeera report (Daesh video). Published on Jun. 11th, 2015 (one week after the incident).

    Date taken:
    June 11, 2018

    Imagery:
    © 2018 Al Jazeera

  • Stills from an Al Jazeera report (Daesh video). Published on Jun. 11th, 2015 (one week after the incident).

    Date taken:
    November 6, 2015

    Imagery:
    © 2018 Al Jazeera

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Credible / Substantiated
    The investigation assessed that although all feasible precautions were taken and the decision to strike complied with the law of armed conflict, unintended civilian casualties regrettably occurred.
  • Given reason for civilian harm
    Killed by secondary explosion(s)
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    70
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    Hawijah, Iraq
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    38SLE894093
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

Coalition
  • Dec 11, 2018
  • Via email from CJTFOIR spokesman to NRC: Q. Can someone confirm or deny the CIVCAS from this particular incident from 2015? A. Yes. See the attached Strike Releases. Q. Can you confirm that the Coalition carried out air strikes in the night of 2-3 June 2015 on an alleged IED-production facility in Hawija, Kirkuk, Iraq? A. Yes. See above. 5 June 2015, in a press briefing, LtGen Hesterman said "after a very disciplined targeting process, we dropped a fairly small weapon on a known IED building in an industrial area. The secondary explosion, which was caused from a massive amount of Daesh high explosives, was very large, and it destroyed much of that industrial area.... "Let's be clear. What did the damage was the huge amount of high explosives that Daesh intended to turn into murderous weapons to kill Iraqi forces and innocent civilians. If there're unintended injuries, that responsibility rests squarely on Daesh." https://dod.defense.gov/News/Transcripts/Transcript-View/Article/607056/ Q. Can you confirm that the above mentioned airstrike has led to civilian casualties? A. Yes. Q. What is the number of civilian casualties in the incident, as assessed or estimated by the Coalition? A. The strike to the VBIED factory caused secondary explosions that unfortunately killed 70 civilians despite the precautions the Coalition took to mitigate civilian casualties. Q. What is the outcome of the formal inquiry the Coalition has launched into this incident? A. The investigation found that the strike was in accordance with the Law of Armed Conflict and the applicable Rules of Engagement.

Coalition
  • Dec 5, 2019
  • June 2, 2015, in Hawijah, Iraq, via media report. Coalition aircraft conducted an airstrike against a Daesh facility. Regrettably an unknown number of civilians were unintentionally killed as a result of the strike. Case # 49 Location: 38SLE894093 CJTF-OIR cannot confirm the number of casualties through our assessment process.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    70
  • (26 children22 women2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    80–100
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS
  • Belligerents reported killed
    80–100

Sources (64) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI760

Incident date

June 13, 2017

Location

الشفاء, Mosul, Al Shafaa, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.351282, 43.117944 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (via Airwars) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Exact location (via Airwars)

Airwars assessment

A total of 35 people people from an extended family were killed, including 14 children, 9 women and two imams, when a home and street were bombed in the Shifa neighbourhood of Mosul. Sources said that the family were sheltering in the basement of the house.

Initial claims had placed the toll at 50, while the US-led Coalition estimated that 11 civilians were killed in the attack. Australia later explicitly accepted responsibility for part of the event – conceding between 6 and 18 deaths. Fifteen months later in May 2020, the United States accepted responsibility for a further 11 deaths in the event.

Relatives informed Airwars and others that in fact 35 named people died, from eight closely related families. There was only one survivor.

The Australian Defence Force (ADF’s) investigation was based on estimates of population density, not any on-the-ground research, and no contact was made with the affected family. However within hours of the official announcement of civilian harm, a surviving member of the family told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) that the number of civilians killed was 35, including his brother, sister and other family members.

“My brother has lost all of his family. The number of the family members who died are 35,” said Sheikh Ayman el Saffar. Sheikh Ayman said his brother’s property was also used as a religious community centre.

“The house was hit, they lost money and a religious community centre. He had this religious community centre at that time he used it as his private house. There were no activities at the community centre at the time.”

According to the international alliance, there were strikes by two separate Coalition allies in the near vicinity on the day – each of which killed civilians. Australia accepted responsibility on January 31st 2019 for between 6 and 18 deaths in one of the strikes during the incident, while on the same day the Coalition’s civilian casualty assessment team declared a minimum of 11 deaths. This was later revealed to have been a separate US action. The Coalition provided Airwars with the location of this incident, accurate to within a 100 metre box.

Ateka Facebook page said on the day of the incident that Sheikh Mohammed Ghanim Al-Saffar – who was an Imam and preacher at the Sheikh Fathi Mosque in Mosul – died after aircraft targeted a sniper standing on the roof and bombed his house. The page said that his body was still under the rubble, together with his family.

Other outlets, including Yaqein and MNN, reported that 50 people in total were under the rubble of the house and presumed dead.

However Sawefa Ateka later reported that some were rescued: “The martyrdom of Madh Muhammad al-Saffar and the rescue of the family of Sheikh Ahmad al-Saffar and the other families who were exposed to their house in Al Shifa neighbourhood for aerial bombing Thank you to the rescue teams and the security forces there.”

Another entry listed the following victims: “The family of Mullah Youssef mourns the family of Al-Saffar by the martyr Sheikh Mohammed Ghanim Al-Saffar in front of the preacher of the Sheikh Fathi Mosque and his family and Sheikh Ahmed Ghanim Al-Saffar Imam and preacher of the Sheikh Muhsin Mosque and his family; and their brother Ammar Ghanem Al-Saffar and his family; and their cousin and their relative Raed Abdul Salam Al-Saffar and many people, after the fall of a missile from the plane on their house, which led to the fall of the house on them I am God and I return to him.”

Sheikh Mohammed Ghanim Al-Saffar was described by Qoraish as “one of ISIS’s most formidable enemies”.

@sonawa1 tweeted that civilians were “trapped under the rubble of the house of Abdul Ghani Halawaji”. It is likely that Abdul Ghani Halawaji is a misspell – with Halawaji possibly referring to the village the family originally came from – rather than the Mosul neighbourhoood from which they now take their name.

Australia’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, spoke about the event following the ADF’s concession: “It is not clear what precisely went on. But I know our Defence force people will always be doing everything they can to ensure casualties are avoided.” The PM also described the event as “a terrible incident”, with the deaths of civilians “difficult and tragic.”

Airwars conducted an extensive interview with Engineer Amjad al Saffar, a family elder, in February 2019, in which the names of all victims were handed over.

In May 2020 in its annual civilian harm report to Congress, the Pentagon confirmed that US forces had been responsible for at least 11 deaths in this event. Asked to comment from Mosul on the Pentagon’s recent admission that its aircraft too had played a role in the mass casualty event, Engineer Amjad told Airwars: “As a well known and respected Mosul family, we feel both very sad and disappointed to learn of the US’s confession – three years after our catastrophe.- of their own role in an airstrike which killed so many. Along with Australia we hold the US fully responsible for our heavy loss of 35 family members, and demand both an apology and financial compensation.”

The incident occured at 10:00 am local time.

The victims were named as:

Family members (5)

  • Ammar Ghanim Ali Mohamed Al Saffar 61 years old male Brother of Sheikh Mohammed killed
  • Ahlam Ali Jasim Al Tai 56 years old female Wife of Ammar killed
  • Shahad Ammar Ghanim Ali Mohamed Al Saffar 13 years old female killed
  • Sara Ammar Ghanim Ali Mohamed Al Saffar 10 years old female killed
  • Ghanim Ammar Ghanim Ali Mohamed Alsaffar 16 years old male killed

Family members (8)

  • Mohamed Ghanim Ali Mohamed Al Saffar 48 years old male killed
  • Muna Esma t Abdulrahman Al Bakua 43 years old female killed
  • Madeh Mohamed Ghanim Ali Al Saffar 21 years old male killed
  • Mawdda Mohamed Ghanin Ali Mohamed Al Saffar 19 years old female killed
  • Safiah Mohmed Ghanim Ali Mohmed Al Saffar 16 years old female killed
  • Malak Mohamed Ghanim Ali Mohmed Al Saffar 13 years old female killed
  • Maram Mohmed Ghanim Ali Mohamed Al Saffar 10 years old female killed
  • Rehana Mohamed Ghanim Ali Mohmed Al Saffar 5 years old female killed

Family members (6)

  • Ahmed Ghanim Ali Mohmed Al Saffar 47 years old male killed
  • Amna Sabah Hussen Ali Mohmed Al Saffar 33 years old female killed
  • Teba Ahmed Ghanim Ali Mohmed Al Saffar 16 years old female killed
  • Rehma Ahmed Ghanim Ali Mohmed Al Saffar 14 years old female killed
  • Ameer Ahmed Ghanim Ali Mohmed Al Saffar 9 years old male killed
  • Reem Ahmed Ghanim Ali Mohmed Al Saffar 4 years old female killed

Family members (6)

  • Raed Abdelsalam Ali Mohmed Al Saffar 55 years old male killed
  • Asma Ghanim Ali Mohmed Al Saffar 52 years old female killed
  • Wisam Raed Abdelsalam Ali Mohamed Al Saffar 25 years old male killed
  • Mustafa Raed Abdelsalam Ali Mohmed Al Saffar 22 years old male killed
  • Bilal Raed Abdelsam Ali Mohaned Al Saffar 19 years old male killed
  • Fatima Raed Abdelsalam Ali Mohmed Al Saffar 15 years old female killed

Family members (2)

  • Nadia Ghanim Ali Mohamed Al Saffar 57 years old female killed
  • Mumen Oqba Mohmed 25 years old male killed

Family members (2)

  • Ayser Abdelhameed Ali Mohamed Al Saffar 45 years old male killed
  • Awrad Ayser Abdelhameed Ali Mohmed Al Saffar 13 years old female killed

Family members (4)

  • Arzak Andelhameed Ali Mohamed Al Saffar 54 years old female killed
  • Zahra Khalid Selman Mohamed Taha 21 years old female killed
  • Sura Khalid Selman Mohamed Taha 19 years old female killed
  • Ali Khalid Selman Mohamed Taha 18 years old male killed

Family members (2)

  • Salheh Hani Hassan Ali Mohamed Al Saffar 32 years old male killed
  • Maram Saleh Hani Hassan Ali Al Saffar 1.5 years old female killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    35
  • (14 children9 women12 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected attacker
    Unknown
  • Suspected target
    ISIS

Sources (26) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (17) [ collapse]

  • Sheikhs Mohamed and Ahmed Ghanim Al Saffar were popular local preachers – and a thorn in the side of their ISIS occupiers (Picture courtesy of the Al Saffar family. All rights reserved.)
  • Sheikh Mohammed Ghanem Al-Saffar and Sheikh Ahmed Ghanim Al-Saffar (via Mosul Ateka)
  • Nineveh Media Centre posted an image of the bombing location, in an effort to direct rescue services with the following message: 'Urgent Appeal 50 people in the house Al-Sheikh Ahmad Al-Saffar Al-Shifa neighbourhood was shelled today and the families in the house appeal to all the factions to rescue them. The nearest force to them is the Federal Police Force.'
  • Ammar Ghanim Ali Mohamed Al Saffar (Image courtesy of the Al Saffar family. All rights reserved)
  • Raed Abdelsalam Ali Mohmed Al Saffar (Image courtesy of the Al Saffar family.)
  • Ghanim Ammar Ghanim Ali Mohamed Al Saffar (Image courtesy of Al Saffar family)
  • Madeh Mohamed Ghanim Ali Al Saffar (Image courtesy of Al Saffar family)
  • Bilal Raed Abdelsam Ali Mohaned Al Saffar (Image courtesy of Al Saffar family)
  • Ameer Ahmed Ghanim Ali Mohmed Al Saffar, aged nine, had spent a third of his life under ISIS occupation when he died. He was one of 14 children killed on June 13th 2017 (Picture courtesy of the Al Saffar family. All rights reserved.)
  • Wisam and Mustafa Raed Abdelsalam Ali Mohamed Al Saffar (Image courtesy of the family)
  • Mumen Oqba Mohmed (Image courtesy of Al Saffar family)
  • Photo montage of some of the 35 victims of June 13th 2017 strikes by Australian and US aircraft, courtesy of the Al Saffar family.
  • Ruins of a family home in which 35 civilians died at Mosul on June 13th 2017 - in what is now known to have been US and Australian airstrikes (Image courtesy of the Al Saffar family. All rights reserved.)
  • Ruins of a family home in which 35 civilians died in Coalition strikes on June 13th 2017 (Image courtesy of the Al Saffar family. All rights reserved.)
  • Ruins of a family home in which 35 civilians died in Coalition strikes on June 13th 2017 (Image courtesy of the Al Saffar family. All rights reserved.)
  • The hole from which survivor Kareema escaped between strikes on a Mosul family home (Image courtesy of the Al Saffar family.)
  • Table from May 2020 Pentagon report to Congress, conceding additional US civilian harm events in Iraq and Syria during 2017.

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention the Shifa neighbourhood (حي الشفاء) in West Mosul. Airwars geolocated the two locations named in a screenshot published by Nineveh Media Centre. The coordinates for the house of Sheikh Ahmad Saffar (بيت الشيخ احمد الصفار) are: 36.351678, 43.118042. The coordinates for Ibn Al-Atheer Station (محطة ابن الاثير) are: 36.351064, 43.117920.

  • The house of Sheikh Ahmad Saffar and Ibn Al-Atheer Station, which were named in a screenshot published by Nineveh Media Centre.

    Date taken:
    December 29, 2004

    Imagery:
    © 2019 DigitalGlobe

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Credible / Substantiated
    The investigation assessed that although all feasible precautions were taken and the decision to strike complied with the law of armed conflict, unintended civilian casualties regrettably occurred.
  • Given reason for civilian harm
    Inside target building
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    11–29
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • MGRS coordinate
    38SLF313241
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jan 31, 2019
  • June 13, 2017, near al-Shifa neighbourhood, Mosul, Iraq via Airwars report. Coalition air assets struck multiple ISIS targets in defense of ground forces. Regrettably, since the targets were in the midst of residential structures, it is likely that 11 civilians were unintentionally killed as a result of two Coalition engagements on the same street.

Australia
  • Jan 31, 2019
  • Defence can confirm that an Australian airstrike or nearby Coalition airstrikes in the Al Shafaar neighbourhood of Mosul on 13 June 2017 may have caused civilian casualties. An Australian investigation found that it is not possible to determine the number of civilian casualties that occurred as a result of the airstrikes. The Coalition assesses that between six and 18 civilians may have been killed. It is also not possible to determine if the civilian casualties occurred as a result of the Australian airstrike, the nearby Coalition airstrikes, or from other actors. Chief of Joint Operations, Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld, says the Australian strike was requested by Iraqi Security Forces and was in full compliance with the law of armed conflict and applicable rules of engagement. “The ADF takes all feasible precautions to minimise the risk of civilian casualties,” Air Marshal Hupfeld said. “On this occasion, it was assessed that the enemy intended to attack Iraqi forces from the targeted location, threatening imminent loss of life or serious injury.” The strikes occurred during Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) operations to re-take West Mosul. Daesh were attacking ISF positions and fleeing civilians with a combination of small arms, heavy machine guns, mortars and rocket propelled grenades. The ISF identified three enemy personnel in a building and four enemy personnel in the adjacent courtyard, armed with heavy weapons. “Based upon the proximity of the enemy to the Iraqi forces, the nature of the target and the circumstances of the fighting in Mosul at the time, I can confirm that this action complied with Australia’s rules of engagement and the Laws of Armed Conflict,” Air Marshal Hupfeld said. Post-strike assessments confirmed the 500lb precision guided munition struck the intended target and achieved the effect desired by the Iraqi ground commander. The civilian casualties were claimed to have been located in a building in the vicinity of the Australian and coalition strikes. Air Marshal Hupfeld says that while there was no specific intelligence to indicate civilians were present at the targeted site, it was impossible to be sure under the urgent circumstances facing the Iraqi forces at the time. “There is a degree of uncertainty surrounding this incident. We know that the Australian strike does not precisely correspond with the information provided in the claim, however it was close by. We do not definitively know how these people were killed.” “But we do know from our review of the events that our aircrew made no error in this mission. They delivered their ordnance precisely onto the designated target in accordance with their rules of engagement. All authorities for the strike were valid and lawful.” “We also know that Daesh deliberately and deceptively caused civilian casualties by concealing non-combatants under fighting positions and exposing their fighters to induce Coalition airstrikes,” Air Marshal Hupfeld said. “Any loss of civilian life is highly regrettable and we treat all allegations seriously. Ultimately we have determined that it is possible civilians were unintentionally killed by the Coalition during these strikes.” Australia was first advised of the potential claim in January 2018. The Coalition assessed the claim to be credible in December 2018 and announced the finding today. Australia has previously announced involvement in three separate potential civilian casualty allegations resulting from strikes conducted during Operation Okra. These all occurred during the Mosul offensive on 30 March 2017, 3 May 2017, and 7 June 2017. Australian strike aircraft concluded operations in January 2018.

United States
  • May 6, 2020
  • Since last year’s Section 1057 report, CJTF-OIR assessed that an additional 21 reports of civilian casualties during 2017 were credible, with approximately 71 civilians killed and approximately 13 civilians injured as result of U.S. military operations. With these additional assessments, CJTF-OIR assessed that a total number of 191 reports of civilian casualties during 2017 were credible, with approximately 864 civilians killed and approximately 219 civilians injured. 13-Jun-17 Mosul, Iraq Air 0 civilians injured 11 civilians killed

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For June 12th-13th the Coalition publicly stated: “Near Mosul, five strikes engaged five ISIS tactical units and destroyed 14 fighting positions, six mortar systems, two sniper positions, a weapons cache and a tactical vehicle.”

Unknown Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    35
  • (14 children9 women12 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    1
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected attacker
    Unknown
  • Suspected target
    ISIS

Sources (26) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI537

Incident date

March 13, 2017

Location

الموصل الجديدة, Mosul, Mosul al-Jadid / New Mosul, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.32944, 43.095 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Within 1m (via Coalition) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Within 1m (via Coalition)

Airwars assessment

Relatives, local residents and press sources said up to 29 people from two families were killed after Coalition airstrikes struck their houses in the New Mosul neighborhood of West Mosul. The Coalition later conceded causing 27 deaths in the event.

According to Al Jazeera Iraq, 29 civilians, mostly children and women, were killed and many others were injured due to airstrikes and artillery shelling on the Monday evening. Other sources placed the event at 4pm to 5pm the following day.

Ahmad Al Jomaily reported on Facebook that “Ahmad Al-Abdullah al-Jumaili, his wife and his son Bashar al-Jumaili were killed” and other family members were missing.

Salih Alluhaiby also reported several victims, however without mentioning the names: “It moved to the mercy of God the compassionate, my sister and her daughter and her family and the family’s nephew after the bombing of Coalition aircraft in the New Mosul.”

Om Esraa posted a graphic video on Facebook and said: “Hours ago I communicated with parties in search of something to get us to the family of a disaster under the rubble in the New Mosul [neighbourhood], whose house was bombed the day before yesterday at ten in the morning (…)”.

The Los Angeles Times later reported the following: “Ihab Adnan was finishing removing 27 of his relatives who had been killed in his grandfather’s house in an airstrike on March 14 — a date outside the time frame the U.S.-led coalition is investigating. “Daesh was not letting us go out,” said Ihab Adnan, 35, a laborer, using a common term for Islamic State as he picked his way through the remains of his uncle’s house next door. Adnan pointed to a photo in the ruins of his 13-year-old cousin, Ali Ramadan, whose body was now zipped in a body bag. He said a series of airstrikes began at just after 5 p.m., and “everything was exploding.”

He could hear his relatives screaming next door. Adnan was screaming, too. He emerged to discover several families had been buried in their collapsed houses: 18 in his uncle’s house, 72 in a nearby home, 130 in another. He could hear some of the injured crying. “We were running and taking people out” of the ruins, Adnan said.”

Buzzfeed field investigators also placed the event on March 14th, providing the following incident report to Airwars:

“GPS Coordinates: 36.329583, 43.095028
Date and approximate time: March 14 at around 4pm
Casualties: 26 civilians killed, including nine family members of Yusuf Yahya Abed. This was one house that had been split into two. This was a kinetic strike, launched as part of an ISF assault into the neighborhood.
Comments: This is down the street from Site A. Residents couldn’t say for sure was the target could have been.”

In its September 2017 monthly casualty report, the Coalition accepted responsibility: “March 14, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via media report: During a strike on ISIS fighters engaging partner forces from a fighting position, it was assessed that 27 civilians in an adjacent structure were unintentionally killed.”

Officials also supplied coordinates to Airwars, which exactly matched those of the al Jadida event.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (3)

  • Ahmad Al-Abdullah al-Jumaili Adult male Father killed
  • Wife of Ahmad Al-Abdullah al-Jumaili Adult female Mother killed
  • Bashar al-Jumaili Age unknown male Son killed
  • Ali Ramadan 13 years old male killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    27 – 29
  • (2 children2 women2–3 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • The aftermath of alleged Coalition airstrikes on New Mosul neighbourhood, which caused the death of two families (via Al Jazeera)

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

  • The Military Grid Reference System coordinate (38SLF2901422174), accurate to 1 m, published by the US-led Coalition with their Credible assessment of the civilian harm incident.

    Imagery:
    © 2018 Google

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Credible / Substantiated
    The investigation assessed that although all feasible precautions were taken and the decision to strike complied with the law of armed conflict, unintended civilian casualties regrettably occurred.
  • Given reason for civilian harm
    Killed by strike blast
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    27
  • Stated location
    near Mosul, Iraq
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    1 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    38SLF2901422174
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Sep 1, 2019
  • March 14, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via media report: During a strike on ISIS fighters engaging partner forces from a fighting position, it was assessed that 27 civilians in an adjacent structure were unintentionally killed.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For March 12th-13th the Coalition publicly stated: “Near Mosul, six strikes engaged six ISIS tactical units, an ISIS staging area and an ISIS sniper team; destroyed 16 fighting positions, five VBIEDs, four mortar systems, two rocket-propelled grenade systems, two supply caches, two VBIED factories, and a vehicle; damaged 22 supply routes; and suppressed 14 ISIS mortar teams, two ISIS tactical units, and an ISIS sniper team.”

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    27 – 29
  • (2 children2 women2–3 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI716

Incident date

May 16, 2017

Location

الزنجيلي, Mosul, Zanjili, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.35162, 43.11436 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Within 100m (via Coalition) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Within 100m (via Coalition)

Airwars assessment

Local media and residents reported that 20 civilians were killed and seven houses were destroyed after airstrikes targeted armed ISIL combatants in Zanjili neighborhood, in West Mosul. The strikes were launched opposite the mosque of al-Shaheed Muhammad Nuri. Sawlf Ateka said that the Coalition had targeted a car bomb, which was located at the Hamid Al-Akla garage in Zanjili neighbourhood.

However, Ninawa Media Center reported that ISIL had launched a drone from the roof of the house, after which an airstrike targeted it.

The US-led alliance later accepted responsibility for 20 deaths in the event. In September 2018 their monthly civilian casualty report noted: “During a strike on
ISIS fighting positions, a VBIED facility and a command and control center, twenty civilians were unintentionally killed.”

Local Facebook group ‘Sawlf Ateka’ reported that airstrikes had caused the death of the “Ramzi family and Hassan and Ammar Al-Qassasib and their families and Mohammed Al-Tamimi and his wife and Yunis Abu Ali Al-Fitar and wife of Muhannad Al-Aqla and her children.”

The Ninawa Media Center provided further details, and said that this information was obtained through a friend who had visited the area and asked the residents of the houses. He decribed the incident as follows:

“Seven members of the Ramzi family, the owner of this poor house, died, six from the apartment next to them [the Ramzi family] of a family who rented the house … and Mohammad Ghazi, brother of Jajan, and his wife [were] at home, in exchange for … There are many wounded and dead of whom we do not know their fate… The house is located at the roundabout nearby the house of Sheikh A. I heard [that it is located] in front of the mosque of Imam Mohamed Nuri….”

The Coalition provided Airwars with the location of this incident, accurate to within a 100 metre box.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (2)

  • Hassan Al-Qassasib Adult male killed
  • Ammar Al-Qassasib Adult male killed
  • Mohammed Al-Tamimi Adult male killed
  • Yunis Abu Ali Al-Fitar Adult male killed
  • Mohammad Ghazi Adult male Brother of Jajan killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    20
  • (2 children2 women5 men)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Prior to the Coalition releasing the MGRS for this incident, Airwars had geolocated it to the nearest neighbourhood/area at 36.3502851, 43.1098795

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Credible / Substantiated
    The investigation assessed that although all feasible precautions were taken and the decision to strike complied with the law of armed conflict, unintended civilian casualties regrettably occurred.
  • Given reason for civilian harm
    No reason given
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    20
  • Stated location
    near al-Zangili neighborhood, Mosul, Iraq
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    38SLF308246
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Sep 27, 2018
  • May 16, 2017, near al-Zangili neighborhood, Mosul, Iraq, via Airwars report. During a strike on ISIS fighting positions, a VBIED facility and a command and control center, twenty civilians were unintentionally killed.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For May 15th-16th the Coalition publicly reported: “Near Mosul, five strikes engaged four ISIS tactical units; destroyed nine fighting positions, two mortar systems, to medium machine guns, two VBIEDs, two ISIS-held buildings, two VBIED facilities, and a supply cache; damaged 13 ISIS supply routes and nine fighting positions; and suppressed three ISIS tactical units and two mortar teams.”

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    20
  • (2 children2 women5 men)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI060

Incident date

April 20, 2015

Location

الموصل‎, Mosul, Aden, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.35132, 43.21243 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Within 100m (via Coalition) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Within 100m (via Coalition)

Airwars assessment

A reported Coalition airstrike on an electricity generating facility reportedly killed up tp 35 civilians and injured 22 more when nearby apartments were caught in the blast, according to reports.

The US led Coalition later conceded 18 deaths in this event.

At the time of the incident, NINA cited a medical source at the hospital as saying: “The incident resulted in the death of 35 civilians, including 11 women, and wounding 22 others, including five women.”

Local resident Mohanad Musli described “tens of flattened bodies with families still under the rubble”. Another eyewitness, Bassam al Khaldi, said that multiple strikes had also targeted rescuers: “I’m from this area and when people gathered to rescue the wounded there was shelling for a second time on people, and this caused big losses. And after quarter of an hour they struck a third time, but by the mercy of God this time the missile did not explode.”

A Mosul-based eyewitness to the event later provided graphic images of civilian casualties to Airwars, including a picture of four dead children.

Between April 2016 and June 2017, New York Times reporters Azmat Khan and Anand Gopal visited the sites of nearly 150 airstrikes across northern Iraq. Regarding this specific incident, they note that, “On the evening of April 20, 2015, aircraft bombed an electricity substation in the Aden district of East Mosul, causing a tremendous explosion that engulfed the street. Dozens of residents had come to the site of the airstrike to rescue civilians, which resulted in the deaths of at least 18 civilians, and injuries to at least a dozen civilians, many who lived down the street. Muthana Ahmed Tuaama, a university student, told us his brother rushed into the blaze to rescue the wounded, when a second blast shook the facility. “I found my brother at the end of the street,” he said. “I carried him.” Body parts littered the alleyway. “You see those puddles of water,” he said. “It was just like that, but full of blood.”

In July 2017 the Coalition initially denied responsibility on grounds of available evidence of civilian harm: “April 20, 2015, near Adan, Iraq, via Airwars report: 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.”

Later, on June 28th 2018, the Coalition changed its position and admitted it had unintentionally killed 18 civilians in the strike. The assessment stated: “During a strike on Daesh IED factory, 18 civilians were unintentionally killed.“

The Coalition later provided Airwars the location of the strike, accurate to within a 100 metre box, placing it in the industrial area of Adan neighbourhood in east Mosul.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Brother of Muthana Ahmed Tuaama Adult male killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    18 – 35
  • (4 children11 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    22–50
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS

Sources (11) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (10) [ collapse]

  • Aftermath of the alleged strike
  • Photos of the alleged incident provided by an eyewitness, resident in Mosul that Airwars made contact with by phone on 20/04/2015. They were taken by his brother who lives in the neighbourhood that was bombed
  • Photos of the alleged incident provided by an eyewitness, resident in Mosul that Airwars made contact with by phone on 20/04/2015. They were taken by his brother who lives in the neighbourhood that was bombed
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Photos of the alleged incident provided by an eyewitness, resident in Mosul that Airwars made contact with by phone on 20/04/2015. They were taken by his brother who lives in the neighbourhood that was bombed
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Photos of the alleged incident provided by an eyewitness, resident in Mosul that Airwars made contact with by phone on 20/04/2015. They were taken by his brother who lives in the neighbourhood that was bombed
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Photos of the alleged incident provided by an eyewitness, resident in Mosul that Airwars made contact with by phone on 20/04/2015. They were taken by his brother who lives in the neighbourhood that was bombed
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Photos of the alleged incident provided by an eyewitness, resident in Mosul that Airwars made contact with by phone on 20/04/2015. They were taken by his brother who lives in the neighbourhood that was bombed
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Photos of the alleged incident provided by an eyewitness, resident in Mosul that Airwars made contact with by phone on 20/04/2015. They were taken by his brother who lives in the neighbourhood that was bombed
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Photos of the alleged incident provided by an eyewitness, resident in Mosul that Airwars made contact with by phone on 20/04/2015. They were taken by his brother who lives in the neighbourhood that was bombed
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Photos of the alleged incident provided by an eyewitness, resident in Mosul that Airwars made contact with by phone on 20/04/2015. They were taken by his brother who lives in the neighbourhood that was bombed

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

  • Imagery:
    © 2018 Google

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Credible / Substantiated
    The investigation assessed that although all feasible precautions were taken and the decision to strike complied with the law of armed conflict, unintended civilian casualties regrettably occurred.
  • Given reason for civilian harm
    No reason given
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    18
  • Stated location
    near Aden neighborhood, Mosul, Iraq
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    38SLF396244
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jun 28, 2018
  • April 20, 2015, near Aden neighborhood, Mosul, Iraq, via media report. During a strike on Daesh IED factory, 18 civilians were unintentionally killed.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

On April 19th-20th the coalition reported four strikes in the vicinity: “Near Mosul, four airstrikes struck an ISIL staging area, destroying four ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL armored vehicle and an ISIL excavator.”

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    18 – 35
  • (4 children11 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    22–50
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS

Sources (11) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI610

Incident date

April 5, 2017

Location

الشفاء, Mosul, Shafa, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.35356, 43.12323 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Within 100m (via Coalition) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Within 100m (via Coalition)

Airwars assessment

Local sources reported that 16 civilians were killed and many were injured in Coalition and Iraqi government airstrikes on Al-Shafaa neighbourhood in West Mosul.

In September 2019 the Coalition accepted responsibility for this incident. Its monthly civilian casualty report noted: “Coalition aircraft conducted an airstrike against a Daesh mortar position. Regrettably, 16 civilians were unintentionally killed as a result of the strike.”  The Pentagon later declared this to have been a US event.

Sawalef Maslaweya (Facebook) reported unspecified shelling “on the Church of the Virgin Mary and the Nineveh Health Department in the Shifa’a neighborhood, and a house opposite to the Nineveh Health [Department], and 16 members of one family were killed at home.” Mosul Breaking News said “others were injured”. Iraqyoon Agency and Iraqi Spring Media Center also put the death toll at 16 and said they were killed in an airstrike.

Yaqein Agency initially reported one dead and three wounded, but in a later article it spoke of “more than 25 killed and more injured” due to Iraqi government and Coalition airstrikes, though this report also seemed to include a strike in Rifai neighbourhood (see following incident).

In May 2020, in its annual civilian harm report to Congress, the Pentagon declared this to have been a US action – which it also said involved both air and ground forces.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    16 – 25
  • Civilians reported injured
    3–25
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • Local sources reported airstrikes in Al-Shafaa neighbourhood, West Mosul, which allegedly killed more than 25 civilians, including a family of 16 (via Sawalef Maslaweya, Facebook)
  • Table from May 2020 Pentagon report to Congress, conceding additional US civilian harm events in Iraq and Syria during 2017.

Geolocation notes

Prior to the Coalition releasing the MGRS for this incident, Airwars had geolocated it to the nearest neighbourhood/area at 36.3534304, 43.1174326

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Credible / Substantiated
    The investigation assessed that although all feasible precautions were taken and the decision to strike complied with the law of armed conflict, unintended civilian casualties regrettably occurred.
  • Given reason for civilian harm
    No reason given
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    16
  • Stated location
    in Al Shafa, Iraq
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    38SLF316248
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Sep 26, 2019
  • April 5, 2017, in Al Shafa, Iraq, via Airwars report. Coalition aircraft conducted an airstrike against a Daesh mortar position. Regrettably, 16 civilians were unintentionally killed as a result of the strike.

United States
  • May 6, 2020
  • Since last year’s Section 1057 report, CJTF-OIR assessed that an additional 21 reports of civilian casualties during 2017 were credible, with approximately 71 civilians killed and approximately 13 civilians injured as result of U.S. military operations. With these additional assessments, CJTF-OIR assessed that a total number of 191 reports of civilian casualties during 2017 were credible, with approximately 864 civilians killed and approximately 219 civilians injured. 5-Apr-17 Shafa, Iraq Air/Ground 0 civilians injured 16 civilians killed

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For April 4th-5th the Coalition publicly reported: “Near Mosul, seven strikes engaged six ISIS tactical units; destroyed two mortar systems, two command and control nodes, a supply cache, and a fighting position; damaged nine supply routes and a bridge; and suppressed 10 ISIS mortar teams and two ISIS tactical units.”

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    16 – 25
  • Civilians reported injured
    3–25
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI397

Incident date

January 6, 2017

Location

حي الزراعي, Mosul: Agricultural District, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.3559188, 43.1460571 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

Local sources initially said that a family of three children and their grandmother were killed after their house was hit by a missile during Coalition raids on the Agricultural residential neighbourhood in central Mosul area, which at the time was under ISIS control. The New York Times later put the overall death toll at 16. In September 2020, the Coalition admitted that a strike had been conducted on January 6th 2017 against “a Daesh facility”, killing sixteen civilians and injuring three.

Mosul Ateka’s Facebook page reported at the time that a boy named Rafi Ahmed Mahmoud Al Rashidi was killed together with his two sisters and their grandmother, while they were asleep in their beds at dawn on 6th January 2017. A relative said in an associated comment that they were killed in a “bombing by a plane”.

Raedlay posted a video, which was later deleted, showing the effects of what was reported as a US airstrike. In a later post, it put the death toll at seven.

Initially, in its May 2017 casualty report, the Coalition denied responsibility, noting: “Jan. 6, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via social media report: After a review of available information and strike video it was assessed that no Coalition strikes were conducted in this geographic area that correspond to the report of civilian casualties.”

Between April 2016 and June 2017, New York Times reporters Azmat Khan and Anand Gopal visited the sites of nearly 150 airstrikes across northern Iraq, as part of their investigation for the New York Times Magazine. This was one of the events they investigated.

As Khan and Ghopal told Airwars: “Early on 1/6/17, airstrikes struck three family homes next to each other near the Saddam Mosque in Mosul. ISIS snipers had been been using the Mosque, but the homes were full of civilians, and 16 civilian men, women and children died.

“In the first home, where the family of Zuhair Hekmat was living, 9 civilians were killed.”

“In the second home, where Col. Riadh Adnan and his family were living, 3 civilians were killed, and two family members survived.”

“And in the third home, where Rafi Al Iraqi was living, 4 civilians were killed. Rafi Al Iraqi survived, as did his 10-year-old son, Muhammad Rafi Mahmud, Adnan Riyad Adnan, and Abdullrahman Riyad Adnan, although they had serious injuries.”

In response to new information, the Coalition reopened their assessment of the event. In the second of their September 2020 civilian casualty reports, the US-led Coalition stated: “Coalition aircraft conducted an airstrike against a Daesh facility. Regrettably, 16 civilians were unintentionally killed and three civilians were unintentionally wounded as a result of the strike.”

The incident occured around dawn.

The victims were named as:

Family members (9)

  • Zuhair Hekmat family member 1 Age unknown killed
  • Zuhair Hekmat family member 2 Age unknown killed
  • Zuhair Hekmat family member 3 Age unknown killed
  • Zuhair Hekmat family member 4 Age unknown killed
  • Zuhair Hekmat family member 5 Age unknown killed
  • Zuhair Hekmat family member 6 Age unknown killed
  • Zuhair Hekmat family member 7 Age unknown killed
  • Zuhair Hekmat family member 8 Age unknown killed
  • Zuhair Hekmat family member 9 Age unknown killed

Family members (5)

  • Col. Riadh Adnan family member 1 Age unknown killed
  • Col. Riadh Adnan family member 2 Age unknown killed
  • Col. Riadh Adnan family member 3 Age unknown killed
  • Col. Riadh Adnan family member 4 Age unknown injured
  • Col. Riadh Adnan family member 5 Age unknown injured

Family members (6)

  • Rafi Ahmed Mahmoud Al Rashidi Child male killed
  • Rafi Al Iraqi family member 2 Age unknown killed
  • Rafi Al Iraqi family member 3 Age unknown killed
  • Rafi Al Iraqi family member 4 Age unknown killed
  • Rafi Al Iraqi Adult male injured
  • Muhammad Rafi Mahmud 10 years old male Son of Rafi al Iraqi injured

Family members (2)

  • Adnan Riyad Adnan Age unknown male injured
  • Abdullrahman Riyad Adnan Age unknown male injured

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    16
  • (3 children1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    6
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected attacker
    Unknown
  • Suspected target
    ISIS

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Rafi Ahmed Mahmoud Al Rashidi (via Mosul Ateka)

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Credible / Substantiated
    The investigation assessed that although all feasible precautions were taken and the decision to strike complied with the law of armed conflict, unintended civilian casualties regrettably occurred.
  • Given reason for civilian harm
    No reason given
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    16
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    3
  • Stated location
    in Mosul, Iraq
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    38SLF332250
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Sep 9, 2020
  • May 3, 2017
  • Jan. 6, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via social media report: After a review of available information and strike video it was assessed that no Coalition strikes were conducted in this geographic area that correspond to the report of civilian casualties.

  • Jan. 6, 2017, in Mosul, Iraq, via New York Times report. Coalition aircraft conducted an airstrike against a Daesh facility. Regrettably, 16 civilians were unintentionally killed and three civilians were unintentionally wounded as a result of the strike. 301 38SLF332250

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For January 5th-6th, it noted: “Near Mosul, three strikes engaged two ISIL tactical units; destroyed three ISIL-held buildings, three supply caches, two mortar systems, a fighting position, and a VBIED; damaged 24 supply routes; and suppressed two mortar teams.”

Unknown Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    16
  • (3 children1 woman)
  • Civilians reported injured
    6
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected attacker
    Unknown
  • Suspected target
    ISIS

Sources (7) [ collapse]