Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CI111

Incident date

September 24, 2015

Location

سنجار, Sinjar, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.31871, 41.8616 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Within 100m (via Coalition) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Within 100m (via Coalition)

Airwars assessment

In a previously unknown incident, the US confirmed in January 2016 that its aircraft had killed two civilians in a strike at Sinjar four months earlier.

According to CENTCOM, “On Sept. 24, 2015, near Sinjar, Iraq, during strikes against an ISIL vehicle, it was assessed two civilians were killed. An assessed enemy combatant on a motorcycle was targeted for engagement. Weapons were released while the target was stopped at an intersection; however, another vehicle approached after weapons were in flight. Both the motorcycle and the vehicle were destroyed.”

In April 2017 the Coalition revised its position: “Sept. 24, 2015, near Sinjar, Iraq: Number 3 on the Jan. 29, 2016, U.S. Central Command press release it was reported that two civilians were killed during a strike on an ISIS vehicle. That was incorrect, it was assessed that one civilian was unintentionally killed.”

In July 2019, the Coalition provided Airwars with coordinates for the event, accurate to within a 100 metre box.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Prior to the Coalition releasing the MGRS for this incident, Airwars had geolocated it to the nearest town at 36.3206914, 41.8641115

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Credible / Substantiated
    The investigation assessed that although all feasible precautions were taken and the decision to strike complied with the law of armed conflict, unintended civilian casualties regrettably occurred.
  • Given reason for civilian harm
    Entered target area just prior to or after munition released
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    1
  • Stated location
    near Sinjar, Iraq
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SGA569231
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Apr 30, 2017
  • Jan 29, 2016
  • On Sept. 24, 2015, near Sinjar, Iraq, during strikes against an ISIL vehicle, it was assessed two civilians were killed. An assessed enemy combatant on a motorcycle was targeted for engagement. Weapons were released while the target was stopped at an intersection; however, another vehicle approached after weapons were in flight. Both the motorcycle and the vehicle were destroyed.

  • Sept. 24, 2015, near Sinjar, Iraq: Number 3 on the Jan. 29, 2016, U.S. Central Command press release it was reported that two civilians were killed during a strike on an ISIS vehicle. That was incorrect, it was assessed that one civilian was unintentionally killed.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For September 24th-25th 2015, the Coalition noted at the time only that “Near Sinjar, one airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroyed an ISIL heavy machine gun, and an ISIL fighting position.”

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (2) [ collapse]