Reports claimed that a second major airstrike in a matter of days struck the town of al-Hawijah south of Kirkuk, killing many non-combatants at the marketplace and a nearby bridge. A related peshmerga offensive against Islamic State was reported in the area. Video images show the devastated market area, with many areas left burning.
Almost all sources either did not attribute the airstrike to any one party, or blamed Iraqi security forces.
Shafaq News claimed that 50 died when aircraft “targeted Daesh near Hawija market,” though like some sources it did not describe the status of those killed. Al Jazeera was clear that those targeted were non-combatants: “According to witnesses the majority of the victims were killed in the popular market, which was packed with people during the bombing.”
In a United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq report issued in January 2016, UNAMI noted: “On 11 June, an airstrike reportedly hit an ISIL target near a market in Hawija, Kirkuk. According to a source, 10 civilians were killed and wounded in the incident. Other reports mentioned more than 60 civilians killed and over 80 wounded. UNAMI/OHCHR was unable to verify the exact number of casualties nor who was responsible for the airstrike.”
The incident occured around dusk.
Sources (9) [ collapse]
Geolocation notes (4) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention the strike targeted a busy “market”, referred to as the “Great Hawija market,” by BaghdadTV in Hawijah (الحويجة), Kirkuk. Worldakhbar referred to two sites as the “popular market (سوقاً شعبياً) and bridge in the city centre and the regions of Alhsaaa and Aldnades (جسر التحدي وسط المدينة ومنطقتي الحصايا والدناديش).” Possible location of the strike (based on geolocation of images below) is: 35.323967, 43.772852
US-led Coalition Assessment:
Civilian casualty statements
Jul 26, 2018
After a review of available information it was assessed that no Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area that correspond to the report of civilian casualties.
Original strike reports
Three coalition strike were reported near Kirkuk for the period June 11th-12th 2015: “Near Kirkuk, three airstrikes struck three ISIL tactical units, destroying three ISIL fighting positions and an ISIL motorcycle.”