Up to 41 civilians were allegedly killed and 53 injured in an airstrike on Hawijah which was said to have struck the city’s main market and hospital.
The Daesh-linked Al A’amaq Agency initially reported the “Killing of four [civilians] and the wounding of 10 – most of them women and children – in an air strike targeting a market in the town.” Subsequent reports said the town’s main hospital was also targeted – and was “completely destroyed” according to one source. Mass casualties were claimed.
Some local sources claim the event was an act of ‘revenge’ following the earlier shooting down of an Iraqi military aircraft. A Daesh propaganda video titled ‘Iraqi Air Strikes on Hospital’ showed extensive destruction and casualties.
Only after the reported strike on the hospital did local media begin blaming the Coalition, insisting there were as many as 100 civilian dead and injured. One source – Dijlah TV – claimed the event was a jont Iraqi-Coalition raid which had mistakenly bombed the hospital.
In its July 2017 civilian casualty report, the Coalition denied involvement in the incident: “Mar. 18, 2016, near Hawijah, Iraq, via Airwars report: After a review of available information it was assessed that no Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographic area that correspond to the report of civilian casualties.”
The local time of the incident is unknown.
Sources (12) [ collapse]
Attached to this civilian harm incident is a provisional reconciliation of the Pentagon's declassified assessment of this civilian harm allegation, based on matching date and locational information.
The declassified documents were obtained by Azmat Khan and the New York Times through Freedom of Information requests and lawsuits filed since March 2017, and are included alongside the corresponding press release published by the Pentagon. Airwars is currently analysing the contents of each file, and will update our own assessments accordingly.
US-led Coalition Assessment:
Civilian casualty statements
Jul 7, 2017
After a review of available information it was assessed that no Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographic area that correspond to the report of civilian casualties.
Original strike reports
For March 18th-19th 2016, the Coalition reported that “Near Al Huwayja, one strike destroyed an ISIL anti-air artillery piece.”