Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CI089

Incident date

July 31, 2015

Location

الرطبة, Ar Rutbah, Anbar, Iraq

Geolocation

33.036997, 40.284076 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

In a major incident, up to 46 civilians died in an alleged Coalition airstrike (according to the Iraqi Revolution site) on the town of Ar Rutbah. The UN Mission to Iraq expressed “serious concern” about the event.

The attack, which occurred shortly after dawn, reportedly killed a significant number of children, with graphic photographs widely posted on Arabic social media. According to Al Gharbiya, most of the dead came from five families. One family was named as that of Mohammed Hassan Akaul al-Jumaili.

However the source of the attack was disputed, with NINA and Shafaaq News reporting that “unidentified aircraft” had attacked. Iraqi Spring and Al Araby instead blamed the strike on Iraqi aircraft: “According to one source, Iraqi warplanes bombed houses inhabited by displaced people, killing about 45 of them including women and children, and injuring about 70 others.”

Vice News cited a spokesperson as saying that the Coalition was “not aware of Iraqi Government airstrikes in that area [Rutba] on July 31.” It also noted that “The US-led coalition did not report launching airstrikes in the vicinity of Rutba on July 31, but the report of civilian casualties was also not immediately refuted — something the coalition has done in the past when VICE News inquired about similar allegations.”

Suhaib al-Rawi, the governor of Anbar province, ordered an investigation into the attack, demanding that those found responsible eventually be put on trial for their actions.

In a January 2016 report, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq noted: “On 31 July, up to 40 civilians may have been killed and over 30 wounded when three houses allegedly sheltering IDPs was hit by an airstrike in Rutba, west of Ramadi, Anbar. Official sources confirmed the incident and the number of casualties, which included 18 women and 11 children (under 14 years old). The houses were targeted by military jets after receiving information that ISIL elements were allegedly inside the houses. The governor of Anbar called for an immediate investigation of the incident. On 3 August, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) in Iraq and Head of UNAMI issued a press release expressing serious concern at the reported airstrike, and called on the Government of Iraq to investigate the incident.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

  • Mohammed Hassan Akaul al-Jumaili Adult male killed

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    27 – 46
  • (3–11 children5–18 women1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    70
  • Airwars grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (14) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (8) [ collapse]

  • Rescuers search for survivors in the wake of a major alleged Coalition incident, July 31 2015 (via Iraqi Revolution)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Scene of devastation at Ar Rutbah, July 31 2015 (via Al Araby)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Picture of one of the alleged victims (via Iraqi revolution)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Picture of one of the alleged victims (via Iraqi revolution)
  • Aftermath of the attack (via Alaraby)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Picture of one of the alleged victims (via Iraqi revolution)
  • Aftermath of the attack (via Iraqi Revolution)
  • Aftermath of the attack (via Iraqi Revolution)

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

No Coalition strikes have publicly been reported at Ar Rutbah for the July 30th-August 1st period.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    27 – 46
  • (3–11 children5–18 women1 man)
  • Civilians reported injured
    70
  • Airwars grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (14) [ collapse]