It was reported by several sources in Hit that Coalition or Iraqi jets struck a number of civilian houses, killing up to 22 persons. Eight children and 3 women were reportedly among the dead.
One of those quoted on the event was Nabil Souri, an Iraqi citizen working at Hit hospital, who learned that many in his family had been killed including his parents and six others: “I was in the hospital the moment the alliance bombing hit the townhouses in Hit. We were informed that there were dead and wounded, including critically wounded, who were on their way to the hospital to be treated.”
The official spokesman for local Sunni tribes, Sheikh Abdul Razzaq al-Shammari, told Rudaw that the coalition was responsible: “Twenty people were killed and 40 wounded, mostly women and children, and a large number of the wounded died on Monday, following the aerial bombardment of the international coalition aircraft on the city of Hit.”
However, al-Gharbiya News reported that while many civilians had indeed died in the bombing, this had been the result of an erroneous Iraq Air Force strike. Al Jazeera also interviewed a city official by phone, who said that “The town yesterday endured bombings carried out by coalition planes and Iraqi military planes. They targeted Al Jabad, Al Qadissia, Al Ummal and al Mukhabarat streets. More than 24 civilians were killed, most of them women and children.”
The UN cited the attack in its quarterly report, noting that: “On 6 October, an air strike allegedly hit civilian buildings in Heet [sic], killing at least 18 civilians (including three women and eight children), with an undetermined number of wounded. Other sources, however, reported that the target of the air strike was ISIL, and that the three civilian houses had been hit with resulting civilian casualties in subsequent shelling of the area.” The UN attributed the attack generally to Iraq and its allies – including possibly the coalition.
Graphic images allegedly showing children killed in the Hit incident emerged on October 6th. These were later used for anti-Assad propaganda purposes in Syria, for example for October 26th 2014.
Responding to allegations of civilian casualties at Hit, CENTCOM internally reviewed all records of strikes on the town between October 1st and October 5th 2014. According to a report declassified in August 2015, “No strikes IVO [in vicnity of] Hit struck any civilian structures.” Based on information presently available, it appears likely the strike was the work of Iraqi aircraft.
The local time of the incident is unknown.
Sources (13) [ collapse]
US-led Coalition Assessment:
Civilian casualty statements
May 1, 2015
CCA JOC reviewed all strike reports IVO Hit between 1 Oct 14 to 6 Oct 14. No strikes ICO Hit struck any civilian structures. All strikes IVO Hit during the potential DTG were conducted against either PID ISIL fighters or equipment, to iNlude vehicles. All strikes IVO Hit during the potential DTG were observed by CC JOC personnel on ISR feeds.