In an event previously not tracked by Airwars, two civilians were reported as having been possibly killed by a Dutch airstrike on December 26th, after motorbikes strayed into the kill zone during an attack on Fallujah.
According to an internal CENTCOM document, it was self-reported the following day that “while conducting dynamic coalition airstrikes on ISIL fighters and technical vehicles [redacted] NLD F· l6AM [ie a Dutch F-16] may have unintentionally struck two unidentified persons on motorcycles who entered the target area during the strikes.”
These claims of civilian casualties were deemed credible enough to trigger a rare formal CENTCOM investigation into the event. This later concluded that there was not enough evidence to indicate civilian fatalities, A spokesman told Airwars in July 2015 that “after reviewing all available evidence, the allegations of civilian casualties from Coalition airstrikes in these instances were unfounded. The two allegations investigated in Iraq involved Coalition airstrikes on Dec. 25, 2014 [US time], near Fallujah, and April 4, 2015, near Al Sadilyae.”
The determination that no civilians had died appeared based mainly on an assessment of the ammunition used: “No CIVCAS found due to the Dutch using ball ammo rather than HE [high explosive] rounds.”
CENTCOM has decided not to publicly release its investigation into the Dutch strike at Fallujah, with an August 2015 request by Airwars for an expedited release of the documents dismissed on grounds that there was no “compelling need” for the public to be urgently informed about this or similar investigations.
Airwars researchers have found no public reports of civilian fatalities for Fallujah on December 25th-26th, although there was coverage of ongoing clashes between the Iraq military and Daesh.
The local time of the incident is unknown.
Sources (7) [ collapse]
US-led Coalition Assessment:
Civilian casualty statements
May 1, 2015
CAOC reported that on D855Z 26 DEC 14, while conducting dynamic coalition airstrikes on ISIL fighters and technical vehicles, (NLD F-l6AM) may have unintentionally struck two unidentified persons on motorcycles who entered the target area during the strikes. Dutch LNO was notified. CAOC is confirming whether NLD will conduct their own national investigation. // Credible. JTF directed an investigation to be conducted // DTG US INVESTIGATION: Findings and recommendations completed by IO. No CIVCAS found due to the Dutch using ball ammo versus HE rounds.