Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CI197

Incident date

March 5, 2016

Location

شركة البناء الجاهز, Mosul, Industrial area in Arabi, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.413333, 43.106667 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (via Airwars) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Exact location (via Airwars)

Airwars assessment

At least 21 civilians including 13 children reportedly died after an alleged night time Coalition strike on an abandoned factory in Mosul, which was being used by Daesh. The Coalition later said it had targeted an ‘ISIL weapons production facility’ in the city. This may also have been linked to the terror group’s chemical weapons programme according to a later report by the New York Times.

The US admitted seven months later that it had killed 10 civilians in the attack – at the time the highest ever publicly acknowledged civilian toll from a strike: “Near Mosul, Iraq, on strike against an ISIL weapons production facility it is assessed that 10 civilians were killed.”

According to NRN News “the Coalition targeted an old industrial plant in eastern Mosul, killing 10 Daesh militants… Our correspondent also said that the bombing killed and wounded more than 20 civilians from displaced families from western Sunni areas, who were living in the buildings.”

In a New York Times report, the family killed in the strikes had moved into the storage facility, divided it up into separate rooms, brought in a water tank, built a kitchen and a bathroom, all to avoid living in the IDP camps. On the night of the strikes, the whole family, 21 of them, were gathered at the table for dinner. A relative of the family Abdul Aziz heard the explosions, maybe a dozen in all, and later went to the site of the bombing, describing it as “The place was flattened. It was just rocks and destruction. There was fire everywhere.” They returned at dawn, with blankets to carry the dead. “We searched for our relatives picking them up piece by piece and wrapping them.”  Everyone at the dinner had been killed: Zeidan and his wife, Nofa; Araj, Ghazala and their four children; Zeidan’s adult son Hussein, Hussein’s wife and their six children; Zeidan’s adult son Hassan, Hassan’s wife and their two children; and Sawsan, their own beloved daughter.

Sawsan’s father said that “If it weren’t for her clothes, I wouldn’t have even known it was her. She was just pieces of meat. I recognized her only because she was wearing the purple dress that I bought for her a few days before. It’s indescribable. I can’t put it into words. My wife — she didn’t even know whether to go to her daughter, or the rest of the family first. It is just too hard to describe. We’re still in denial and disbelief. To this day, we cannot believe what happened. That day changed everything for us.”

According to the New York Times, the Pentagon had concluded that there was “no civilian presence within the target compound. Though the surveillance video had captured 10 children playing near the target structure, the military officials who reviewed this footage determined the children would not be harmed by a nighttime strike because they did not live there: They were classified as “transient,” merely passing through during daylight hours.” However, a United States Agency for International Development representative had disputed this finding, arguing that it was likely that the family lived in or near the compound because “parents would be unlikely to let their children stray far from home” but her concerns were dismissed.

In a Daesh propaganda video issued four months later, UK journalist John Cantile gave the death toll as 24, reporting from the site: “These were shops, houses and small markets. 24 people were killed, two entire families were wiped out and the houses of one of those families… is just a crater.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (3)

  • Ali Fathi Zeidan Al- Manaawi Adult male (via NRN News) killed
  • wife of Ali Fathi Zeidan Al- Manaawi Adult female (via NRN News) killed
  • Daughter of Ali Fathi Zeidan Child female (via NRN News) killed

Family members (8)

  • Hussein Ali Fathi Zeidan Adult male (via NRN News) killed
  • Wife of Hussein Ali Fathi Zeidan Adult female (via NRN News) killed
  • Child 1 of Hussein Ali Fathi Zeidan Child (via NRN News) killed
  • Child 2 of Hussein Ali Fathi Zeidan Child (via NRN News) killed
  • Child 3 of Hussein Ali Fathi Zeidan Child (via NRN News) killed
  • Child 4 of Hussein Ali Fathi Zeidan Child (via NRN News) killed
  • Child 5 of Hussein Ali Fathi Zeidan Child (via NRN News) killed
  • Child 6 of Hussein Ali Fathi Zeidan Child (via NRN News) killed

Family members (5)

  • Hassan Ali Fathi Zeidan Adult male (via NRN News) killed
  • Wife of Hassan Ali Fathi Zeidan Adult female (via NRN News) killed
  • Child 1 Hassan Ali Fathi Zeidan Child (via NRN News) killed
  • Child 2 Hassan Ali Fathi Zeidan Child (via NRN News) killed
  • Child 3 Hassan Ali Fathi Zeidan Child (via NRN News) killed

Family members (5)

  • Ghazala Ali Fathi Zeidan Adult female (via NRN News) killed
  • Husband of Ghazala Ali Fathi Zeidan Adult male (via NRN News) killed
  • Child 1 of Ghazala Ali Fathi Zeidan Child (via NRN News) killed
  • Child 2 Ghazala Ali Fathi Zeidan Child (via NRN News) killed
  • Child 3 Ghazala Ali Fathi Zeidan Child (via NRN News) killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    21 – 24
  • (13 children4 women4 men)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Known target
    ISIS

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (7) [ collapse]

  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    A picture shows an unnamed child, killed by an alleged Coalition strike on Mosul March 5th (via NRN News)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    An image of the child who was killed after the alleged coalition airstrike in Mosul on March 5th (Via NRN News‎)
  • An image reveals the destruction that followed an alleged Coalition airstrike on an abandoned factory in Mosul (via NRN News‎)
  • An image shows an injured child after the alleged coalition airstrike in Mosul on March 5th (Via NRN News‎)
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Another image shows a dead child who was killed after an alleged coalition airstrike in Mosul on March 5th (Via NRN News‎)
  • Abdul Aziz Ahmed Araj, right, and his brother Saddam amid the ruins of the warehouse where their brother and other family members were killed. (Image by Ivor Prickett for The New York Times)
  • The site of a Coalition strike in Yabisat, West Mosul on March 5, 2016. (Image by Ivor Prickett for The New York Times)

Geolocation notes

The MGRS provided by the Coalition placed this incident at 36.3457, 43.08219

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
    No reason given
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    10
  • Stated location
    near Mosul, Iraq
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    38SLF279240
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Nov 9, 2016
  • On a strike against an ISIL weapons production facility it is assessed that 10 civilians were killed.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For March 5th-6th 2016 the Coalition reported that “Near Mosul, two strikes struck an ISIL weapons production facility and destroyed an ISIL vehicle borne improvised explosive device (VBIED).“

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    21 – 24
  • (13 children4 women4 men)
  • Cause of injury / death
    Heavy weapons and explosive munitions
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Known target
    ISIS

Sources (9) [ collapse]