Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CI438

Incident date

January 25, 2017

Location

Wadi Hajjar, Nineveh, Iraq

Airwars assessment

Three civilians were reportedly injured by ISF (or possibly Coalition) mortars according to eyewitness interviews by Amnesty International.

A previously unpublished assessment which Amnesty shared with Airwars reads as follows: “On 25 January an ISF mortar [Airwars note: presumed – but possibly US, see below] landed on their house in Wadi Hajjar and caused it to collapse. XX believes it was an ISF mortar as he saw a drone in the skies above the house five minutes before the explosion. The house was completely destroyed. The target was likely to have been the neighbouring house, which had been taken over by ISIS. ISIS had also taken over their house 20 days previously. They had had no choice in the matter and had mainly hidden in the basement since then.

XX’s mother – “I have a five year old son whose legs were broken (when the house collapsed due to the mortar strike).” It also opened a wound on her 17 year old daughter’s head. XX’s 17 year old wife suffered a shrapnel wound to her back.”

US forces used heavy mortars in support of ISF during the battle for West Mosul. However it is unclear on which date these began. A senior Coalition official told Airwars that “Mortar fire is not recorded as a strike so we do not have data to provide on specifically where and when they have been used. I spoke to the unit on the ground though, and due the positioning of Coalition forces to support the liberation of East Mosul and the limited range of the mortars, it is very doubtful they were fired prior to the initiation of the liberation of West Mosul.”

While it appears most likely this reported event was a result of ISF actions, it remains possible that it was a Coalition event.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • Civilians reported injured
    3
  • 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 (1) [ collapse]

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For January 24th-25th 2017, the Coalition reported: “Near Mosul, five strikes engaged four ISIL tactical units; destroyed four mortar systems, two vehicles, two weapons caches, an ISIL headquarters, an anti-air artillery system, a fighting position, a supply cache, a tunnel entrance, a VBIED, a VBIED facility, an ISIL guard post, an ISIL-held building, and an IED factory; damaged a supply route; and suppressed an ISIL mortar team.”

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
    0
  • Civilians reported injured
    3
  • 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 (1) [ collapse]