Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CI371

Incident date

December 13, 2016

Location

حي السكر, Mosul, Sukkar, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.3910949, 43.1676006 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

According to local sources, up to 17 people were killed as a result of airstrikes on their homes in the Sukkar (Sugar) district, Mosul. The bodies were pulled from the rubble on January 8th, 2017.

Airwars contacted the Canadian-based elder brother of the family, who provided 11 names, photos and ages of eleven victims. All of them were killed at 1.30pm in an airstrike on December 13th 2016.

Airwars later carried a detailed description of the event: Salam al Sultan, a Moslawi who now lives in Canada, told Airwars how eleven members of his family were killed in the early afternoon of December 13th by one such incident in east Mosul – after airstrikes tried to take out an ISIL sniper a few houses down. Their bodies could only be recovered from the rubble a month later.

Salam’s uncle, Ahmed Nather Mahmood, lived with his wife and two sons, Sehab and Amear and their families in al Sukur, a Mosul neighbourhood which has recently seen heavy fighting.

Sometime around 1 pm, a neighbour who had planned to flee the fighting arrived to see if the Mahmood family would leave with him. Fearful of the violence around them, Salam’s family had already packed to escape but told the neighbour to linger just a bit longer. He came to them and said let us leave. They said let us finish our lunch, and we will leave together, said Salam, speaking to Airwars by phone from Canada. The neighbour said no I’m leaving.

Minutes later, an airstrike obliterated the home. Salam, who had already lost one brother to an ISIS execution in 2015 and another to unknown assailants during violence in Mosul in 2008, now lost eleven more members of his family. They were going to leave… Hanan said even my luggage was ready; my bag was ready, he said, referring to a female cousin who survived the attack, but whose whereabouts are now unclear. They were just going to finish their lunch.

For a month the bodies of Salam’s uncle, aunt, his brothers and their dead children lay under the shattered remnants of their home. Only on January 14th were other family members and neighbours able to start retrieving their corpses. The stench was overpowering. Salam says his family was fearful of airstrikes but considered them more accurate prior to the operation to retake the city, and especially of late. The Iraqi government, he said, was behind schedule – and now moved quickly with massive firepower.

Only after the attack did those who survived to learn why the area may have been targeted: an ISIS sniper had apparently been spotted on a roof two houses down. If there is a sniper how come they don’t use a small machine gun from a plane, how come they have to use a big rocket to destroy three or four houses?

Hind Amir Ahmad, also a relative of the family, spoke with Amnesty International, who said the Coalition carried out the airstrike. She lost eleven relatives in the raids, including her parents, grandparents and four young siblings in the raids, said Amnesty International in a report. Hind had told Amnesty International that: “We were sleeping when the house literally collapsed on us. It was a miracle none of us was killed. We ran to my uncle’s house nearby. At about 2 pm that house too was bombed and collapsed on us… almost everyone in the house was killed – 11 people. My cousin, two aunts and I were the only ones who survived. Everyone else died. It took us six days to find only pieces of their bodies, which we buried in a mass grave in a field nearby… I don’t know why we were bombed. All I know is that I have lost everyone who was dearest to me.

The Coalition has requested additional details relating to this event.

The incident occured at 1:30 pm local time.

The victims were named as:

Family members (11)

  • Ali Ameer Ahmed Child male Via family member killed
  • Malak Ameer Ahmed Child female Via family member killed
  • Muhand Ameer Ahmed Child male Via family member killed
  • Athir Ameer Ahmed Adult male Via family member killed
  • Ekhlas Jiyad Mohamed Adult female Via family member killed
  • Ameer Ahmed Nather Adult male Via family member killed
  • Ali Shihab Ahmed Child male Via family member killed
  • Ahlam Shihab Ahmed Child female Via family member killed
  • Shihab Ahmed Nather Adult male Via family member killed
  • Badryiah Saeed Ali Adult female Via family member killed
  • Ahmed Nather Mahmood Adult male Via family member killed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    11 – 17
  • (4–5 children1–2 women4 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    US-led Coalition, Iraq government forces

Sources (5) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (11) [ collapse]

  • A picture of Ali Shehab Ahmed, killed in alleged airstrikes targeted his house in the Sukkar (Sugar) district, Mosul (Via family member)
  • A picture of Badryiah Saeed Ali, killed in alleged airstrikes targeted her house in the Sukkar (Sugar) district, Mosul (Via family member)
  • A picture of Malak Amir Ahmed, killed in alleged airstrikes targeted her house in the Sukkar (Sugar) district, Mosul (Via family member)
  • A picture of Athir Ameer Ahmed, killed in alleged airstrike targeted his house in the Sukkar (Sugar) district, Mosul (Via family member)
  • A picture of Ameer Ahmed Nather, killed in alleged airstrike targeted his house in the Sukkar (Sugar) district, Mosul (Via family member)
  • A picture of Ali Ameer Ahmed, killed in alleged airstrikes targeted his house in the Sukkar (Sugar) district, Mosul (Via family member)
  • A picture of Shihab Ahmed Nather, killed in alleged airstrike targeted his house in the Sukkar (Sugar) district, Mosul (Via family member)
  • A picture of Ahmed Nather Mahmood, killed in alleged airstrike targeted his house in the Sukkar (Sugar) district, Mosul (Via family member)
  • A picture of Ahlam Shihab Ahmed, killed in alleged airstrike her house in the Sukkar (Sugar) district, Mosul (Via family member)
  • An image shows a destroyed house of Ahmed Nather Mahmood, where 11 family members died. Photograph courtesy of the family.
  • An image reveals the destruction following an alleged airstrike on houses in homes in the Sukkar (Sugar) district, Mosul (via newsofiraq3)

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention the neighbourhood of Sukkar (السكر) in the east of Mosul. The generic coordinates for this neighbourhood are: 36.3910949, 43.1676006. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

  • The neighbourhood of Sukkar (السكر) in the east of Mosul

    Imagery:
    © 2019 Google

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected 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 information on the time and location
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    near Mosul, Iraq
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Aug 4, 2017
  • The report contained insufficient information of the time, location and details to assess its credibility.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For December 12th-13th, the Coalition reported “Near Mosul, five strikes engaged three ISIL tactical units; destroyed four ISIL vehicles, four mortar systems, four ISIL-held buildings, three rocket-propelled grenades, two VBIED facilities, two frontend loaders, a tunnel, a land bridge, and a supply cache; damaged 13 supply routes, a tunnel and bridge; and suppressed three ISIL tactical units.”

Iraq government forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Iraq government forces
  • Iraq government forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    11 – 17
  • (4–5 children1–2 women4 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    US-led Coalition, Iraq government forces

Sources (5) [ collapse]