Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CI029

Incident date

January 21, 2015

Location

الكسك, Kisik Junction, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.4618824, 42.6849747 Note: The accuracy of this location is to level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

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.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    6 – 27
  • Airwars grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Grab from a Reuters video detailing the Iraqi assault on Kisik Junction, January 21 2015

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
    a:1:{i:0;s:5:"other";}
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    Kisik JuNtion, Iraq
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • 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

US-led Coalition

COALITION-ASSESSED CASUALTY INCIDENT

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    6 – 27
  • Airwars grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (9) [ collapse]