Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CI059

Incident date

April 19, 2015

Location

الرطبة, Ar Rutbah, Anbar, Iraq

Geolocation

33.03681, 40.284 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Within 100m (via Coalition) level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Within 100m (via Coalition)

Airwars assessment

In a likely US or British drone strike, a truck was inadvertently hit during an airstrike at Ar Rutbah, according to a declassified CENTCOM report. “2 seconds prior to weapon impact, a large truck inadvertently arrived at the checkpoint. The back section of the truck was possibly damaged during the strike.” The driver was observed fleeing.

The weapon used was an AGM-114 Hellfire, most typically used by Reaper drones and by Apache attack helicopters. Britain has confirmed carrying out a drone strike on the date in question “in western Iraq.”

The outcome of any investigation at the time the document was collated (most likely early May 2015) was not known.

Airwars researchers have not identified any public claims of civilians killed or injured for this date. though news reports did note the very heavy bombing in Iraq that day – with 26 airstrikes by “fighter and bomber aircraft, and unmanned aerial vehicles against Daesh.”

On July 7th, 2017, the Coalition admitted responsibility, reporting: “April. 19, 2015, near Ar Rutbah, Iraq, via Airwars report: During a strike on an ISIS checkpoint, it was assessed that two civilians were unintentionally injured when a vehicle arrived at the checkpoint after the munition was released.”

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

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Prior to the Coalition releasing the MGRS for this incident, Airwars had geolocated it to the nearest city at 33.036997, 40.284076

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Credible
    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
    Entered target area just prior to or after munition released
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    2
  • Stated location
    near Ar Rutbah, Iraq
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SFS199561
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jul 7, 2017
  • April. 19, 2015, near Ar Rutbah, Iraq, via Airwars report: During a strike on an ISIS checkpoint, it was assessed that two civilians were unintentionally injured when a vehicle arrived at the checkpoint after the munition was released.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For April 19th-20th 2015 the Coalition reported that “Near Ar Rutbah, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit.“

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (4) [ collapse]