In a previously unreported incident, Amnesty field researchers spoke with survivors of a March 5th incident which left five non-combatants dead and five more injured – all from one family.
The following unpublished report was shared with Airwars: “I survived an attack on 5 March. Our house was encircled by IS and ISF fighters, and we were under house arrest – we couldn’t leave the house at all. Our house is in Hai al-Abar neighbourhood, in the area bordering Yarmouk neighbourhood, near Mahatat al-Qafar.
I was in the sink, washing my hands, and suddenly I lost consciousness. I didn’t hear anything in the air, and I don’t remember anything before I fainted. When I woke up, I was in the hospital. We lost five members of my family in this attack:
XXXX, 62 years old – my father in law
XXXX, 26 years old – my husband
XXXX, 21 years old – my brother in law
XXXX, 18 years old – my brother in law
XXXX, 17 years old, my relative.
The rest of the family all had light injuries from the shrapnel. There were 10 of us total who were in the house. We found out later, from neighbours and relatives, that the house was completely collapsed from a mortar attack. My leg was shattered from something falling on it, and I have shrapnel in my face and my right hand. They took me to a hospital controlled by IS in my neighbourhood, and I stayed there for a few weeks, but then they sent me home because they said they didn’t have space for me. I went and stayed with my family in my uncle’s house, in the same neighbourhood, also near Mahatat al-Qafar. I was there with my father, mother, sister, my husband’s uncle, and his children. We were all staying in one room, because that was the safest place to be in the house.
After a few weeks, in the beginning of April, the ISF came to our neighbourhood, in the middle of the night. They were two houses away from our house, and we went out to them.
There were no stretchers, so my family had to put me on a vegetable cart. They sent us to the Mansour neighbourhood, where they had a military ambulance. From al-Mansour, they took me to Ghayara, and we had to cross over the river in a boat – that was the only way. It was the most difficult time, because I can’t swim, and I would have died if I had fallen in. The river was at least 50 meters wide.
They put me in a boat with three other people. They were in the centre of the boat, and they put me on the bow of the boat, on a piece of wood that they were holding in place with their hands. We made it, thank god. I was sure the boat would tip over. In the end we made it across the river, and then they took me here, to this hospital.”
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 4th-March 5th it said: “Near Mosul, three strikes engaged three ISIS tactical units and a rocket-propelled grenade team; destroyed nine fighting positions, a heavy machine gun, an ISIS-held building, and a mortar system; damaged 26 supply routes; and suppressed 15 mortar teams.”