Eleven civilians died in a mortar strike by an unspecified party on al Tanak neighbourhoopd, according to eyewitnesses.
Amnesty shared the following field report with Airwars:
“Family: 2 boys and 4 girls and his wife.
Mother in law – unharmed but taken to hospital where she died having suffered a heart attack
Mother – unharmed.
Father – shrapnel in right side of abdomen, most of right arm burned and shrapnel lodged in arm.
XXXX – 9 years old – shrapnel in right cheek.
XXXX – 6 years old – shrapnel in his shoulder and back
XXXX – 11 years old – left Humerus broken (upper arm)
XXXX – 8 years old –
XXXX – 4 years old –
XXXX – 2 years old – shrapnel in left side of stomach
On Sunday 26 February 2017, just after 12 noon, parts of the family, were in the courtyard waiting for lunch to be served. They heard a mortar land in a house that was separated from them by one house, on the same street. They later heard 11 people had died in that house leaving only one the young girl alive. No one at first rushed out to help/investigate as most residents believe one mortar is always followed by another shortly after.
Approximately 5 minutes later a mortar landed near their front door, inside the courtyard. Father: “when you hear the sound of it falling you know you have been spared, it has gone over you. But when you are about to be hit, you don’t hear anything, you could just suddenly die before you realise you have been hit.”
Father: “it was hot. Just a hot fog. I felt like I was under anesthetics. I had my 2 year old in my lap and covered her with my arms.”
Mother: I was in the doorway of the living room and saw the front door come towards me. XXXX [6-yeard old son] was thrown from the living room doorway to the kitchen.
Apart from the mosque, which according to the father did not carry out any significant activity other than the usual payers and Friday Khutba, no particular building/house in that street belonged to IS members. While the father accedes to the fact that individual IS fighters patrolled the area on motorbikes, he had not seen any in the hours before the attack. Around the corner from the mosque, an IS pickup with a doshka was stationed close to Sooq-al-Ma’aash.
The uncle of the wife: I heard the sound but didn’t immediately go out. We all know it’s never just one or two hits, so it’s not safe to go towards the area that has been struck. After a while, I went out and someone who lives in the neighborhood came running towards me saying it’s the house of my relatives. When I got there and saw the scene, I was certain 100% they were all dead. I thought we’d soon be dead too. When we started to pull them out, they were alive but badly hurt. We put them on wagons [vegetable selling wagons] and took them to the hospital. Daesh does not allow people to use cars. At the time, the army was in Yarmouk. People in Mosul have started buying spaces for graves before their family members die, and even they are running out.”
The local time of the incident is unknown.
Sources (5) [ collapse]
Attached to this civilian harm incident is the Pentagon's declassified assessment of this civilian harm allegation, obtained by Azmat Khan and the New York Times through Freedom of Information requests and lawsuits filed since March 2017, 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
Oct 26, 2018
After a review of available information it was assessed that no Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area that correspond to the report of civilian casualties
Original strike reports
For February 25th-26th the Coalition publicly stated: “Near Mosul, seven strikes engaged four ISIS tactical units; destroyed 15 fighting positions, 11 mortar systems, three vehicles, three weapons caches, two ISIS-held buildings, two VBIEDs, a sniper position, an ISIS headquarters, two heavy machine guns, an artillery system, a UAV staging area, and a supply cache; and suppressed 14 mortar teams, two ISIS tactical units, an artillery team and a rocket-propelled grenade team.”