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.
Sources (4) [ collapse]
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:
Civilian casualty statements
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
For April 19th-20th 2015 the Coalition reported that “Near Ar Rutbah, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit.“