An eyewitness, Ghania Hassan – resident of the al-Jadida (New Mosul) neighborhood – told Foreign Policy that more than 56 civilians were killed after a Coalition missile hit a house where they were gathered, reportedly forced to by ISIL combattants. The eyewitness account as written down by Sam Kimball, Foreign Policy:
“If they stopped the airstrikes, that would be better,” said Ghania Hassan, a resident of the al-Jadida neighborhood. “The coalition has destroyed us.” Hassan has good reason to hate the coalition airstrikes. On March 2, Islamic State militants barged into her home at 5 a.m. and took her and others to another home, where she was packed in with what she believes were well over 100 others in the basement. This may have been an attempt to use the civilians as human shields.
In the basement, Hassan and the group listened to Islamic State fighters firing machine guns nearby. She said that the owner of the house, a man named Abu Imad Ayad, knew his home might be struck by airplanes because of the Islamic State fighters firing all around it, and that he and his son climbed to the roof and tried to signal to the air force not to fire on them.
But at 11 a.m., a missile screeched in and the house crumbled on top of her. She said God is the only reason she survived. “They went up to the roof and were saying, ‘Don’t shoot.’ Then the house fell, and both died,” she said in a matter-of-fact tone.
Hassan said neighbors pulled her out — and would eventually excavate 56 bodies from the rubble. She maintains that it wasn’t just one missile, but several, that fell on the homes of al-Jadida. “House upon house fell,” she said.
The local time of the incident is unknown.
Sources (1) [ 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:
Original strike reports
For March 1st-March 2nd the Coalition reported: “Near Mosul, four strikes engaged four ISIS tactical units; destroyed 19 fighting positions, four supply caches, four mortar systems, four VBIEDs, three tunnels, two recoilless rifles, two VBIED factories, an ISIS-held building, a command and control node; and a barge; damaged 10 supply routes and two tunnels; and suppressed 14 mortar teams and three ISIS tactical units.”