Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CI073

Incident date

June 11, 2015

Location

الحويجة, Hawijah, Kirkuk, Iraq

Geolocation

35.323967, 43.772852 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (via Airwars) level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Exact location (via Airwars)

Airwars assessment

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.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    10 – 60
  • Civilians reported injured
    24–80
  • Airwars grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected belligerents
    US-led Coalition, Unknown, Iraq government forces

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (4) [ collapse]

  • Aftermath of the alleged incident (via deleted Facebook page)
  • Aftermath of the alleged incident (via deleted Facebook page)
  • Aftermath of the alleged incident (via deleted Facebook page)

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

  • The marketplace at Hawija, uploaded to Facebook on June 11, 2015 by Iraqi Spring ‎احداث الحويجة الان‎ [link dead]. Possible location of the camera: 35.323967, 43.772852 (see below for analysis)

    Imagery:
    Iraqi Revolution Facebook page

  • Satellite image taken April 26, 2016, showing the features in the image above, with possible structural damage visible in the bottom right corner (yellow box)

  • Composite stills from an Al Jazeera video showing the immediate aftermath of the incident, uploaded on June 11, 2015

    Imagery:
    Al Jazeera

  • Composite stills from an Al Jazeera video showing the immediate aftermath of the incident, uploaded on June 11, 2015

    Imagery:
    Al Jazeera

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
    No Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    near al-Hawijah, Iraq
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • 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

US-led Coalition

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.”

Unknown Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Unknown
  • Unknown position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Iraq government forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Iraq government forces
  • Iraq government forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    10 – 60
  • Civilians reported injured
    24–80
  • Airwars grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected belligerents
    US-led Coalition, Unknown, Iraq government forces

Sources (9) [ collapse]