Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CI098

Incident date

August 30, 2015

Location

أربيل, Near Irbil, Irbil, Iraq

Geolocation

36.191457, 44.009341 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

Three or four possible civilians were reported killed in an airstrike in northern Iraq, carried out by two Danish F-16s which each dropped a 500lb GBU-12 bomb. The possible error was discovered after a Danish review of cockpit video: “In some parts of the footage showing four people and a vehicle, there were acts being carried out which may be perceived as not being openly hostile.”

A joint inquiry with CENTCOM later concluded that those killed were “likely not civilian casualties” and had instead had probably been involved in planting roadside bombs.

The commander of Danish F-16s in the Middle East told Information: “It was ourselves who said, ‘I wonder if there is something here that is not as it should be?’ We wanted to get the Coalition to investigate that the intelligence basis for the operation was in order, and I am very pleased that our suspicions have been treated thoroughly and seriously, both by the Coalition and at home in Denmark.”

Denmark set a new benchmark for Coalition transparency when it publicly reported the incident just four days after the event. A statement at the time noted that “Danish forces routinely carries out an evaluation of all completed missions, with a detailed focus on specific attacks. In this context, Danish forces assessed that there is a risk that an attack may have caused civilian casualties. Danish forces have disseminated this assessment to the coalition’s air headquarters. The coalition has now launched an investigation. Danish force will review internal operating procedures in order to assess whether there is a need for change.“

No further details on the location have been given. However, citing military sources Danish state radio said that the attack took place “near Irbil.“

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 4
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (10) [ collapse]

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible / Unsubstantiated
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    Insufficient evidence of civilian harm
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    Near Irbil
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

According to Coalition daily logs there were three potential incidents at locations near Irbil. On August 29th-30th 2015 it was reported that “Near Kisik, one airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position and an ISIL heavy machine gun.“

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 4
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (10) [ collapse]