A Canadian airstrike at Kisik Junction was alleged to have killed between 6 and 27 civilians, according to an internal CENTCOM report. The source was an English-speaking peshmerga fighter, who had passed on his concerns to Coalition Special Forces based in Iraq.
The Canadian attack had targeted “an ISIL sniper/ HMG [havy machine gun] position on the roof of a building within an ISIL-occupied compound, which correlates with the alleged report.”
A Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) spokesman told Airwars in August 2015 that Canada’s own investigation of the incident – which involved reviewing video and strike records – had concluded there was no case to answer: “The review uncovered no evidence of civilian casualties. Furthermore, it was re-confirmed that the target was a valid military objective from which ISIS was firing a heavy machine gun at Iraqi Kurdish troops. The area in question is still within ISIS held territory.”
Reuters reported on the airstrikes at the time (naming the town as Kiske) but made no mention of civilian deaths. The Kurdish regional Government also later claimed that 200 ISIL fighters had died in a successful peshmerga assault on the town which had begun on January 21st.
Canada had been singled out by Airwars in August 2015 as the most transparent member of the international Coalition. Even so, CAF took more than eight months to publicly admit to possible civilian casualties at Kisik Junction. The Globe and Mail has also reported that Defence Minister Jason Kenney was “never made aware” of the allegations.
The local time of the incident is unknown.
Sources (9) [ collapse]
US-led Coalition Assessment:
Civilian casualty statements
May 1, 2015
Peshmerga soldier alleged that between 6 and 27 civilians were killed on 21 Jan as a result of a coalition strike IVO Kisik JuNtion. A Canadian strike (CF18) struck an ISIL sniper/HMG position on the roof of a building within an ISIL-occupied compound, which collates with the alleged report. … under the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC) there are no obligations for the CAF to conduct an investigation. CAF assessed as N.
Original strike reports
COALITION-ASSESSED CASUALTY INCIDENT