Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CI560

Incident date

March 19, 2017

Location

حي التنك, Mosul, Tanak, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.3364235, 43.0626297 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

Amnesty International field researchers reported that 11 civilians died in a likely airstrike on al Tanak.

The following account was published: “Amnesty International interviewed witnesses about an explosion in al-Tenak neighbourhood on 20 March which they attributed to an air strike. The explosion caused two houses to collapse just off Street 20, killing 11 civilians. Witnesses told Amnesty International that the target was an IS flatbed truck with a mounted machine-gun, which had been parked outside the houses that were struck. It had driven off and moved to another area at least 40 minutes before the attack. One of the witnesses, a local resident called “Imad”, went to the scene of the explosion.

He told Amnesty International: “I know the people killed in those houses. They were simple people. They were working in construction. A painter decorator was killed in one house with his three children and his grandmother. In the other house a carpenter was killed along with his 30-year-old wife and their four children. All the children killed were between three and eight years old.”

This was not the only strike in the area targeting the IS vehicle, according to people displaced from the area. The vehicle had been moving around the neighbourhood for around 20 days during the period between 5 and 30 March 2017. Pro-government forces kept trying to hit it as it moved around, carrying out at least seven strikes on the neighbourhood and killing many more civilians – men, women and children. They told Amnesty International that pro-government forces did not succeed in hitting the truck.

Amnesty International was not able to verify whether the delivery system used in this series of attacks was a warplane or whether the same type of weapon was used in each attack. Whatever the weapons used in this case, it appears to be part of a pattern of attacks by pro-government forces using explosive weapons with wide area effects to try to strike highly mobile targets in densely populated areas of west Mosul. Such reckless tactics repeatedly claimed civilian lives and destroyed homes and civilian infrastructure. Based upon the information available, this attack appears to have been indiscriminate.”

A further unpublished Amnesty field report shared with Airwars states the following: “On 19 or 20 March, two houses were targeted in Hai Tenek / Nahwaran, 150 meters west of the Othman Bin Afan Mosque. It was around 4pm, and I was outside the house, just checking around the area. I didn’t hear the sound of the airplane, but both buildings were destroyed, so it must have been an airstrike [because of the extent of the damage]. 11 civilians were killed from the families staying in the two houses – one of the families was ‘Riyan‘. Mostly those killed were children. I saw the bodies in the rubble myself, and I tried to help dig them out.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    11
  • (7 children)
  • 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

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 March 18th-19th the Coalition noted: ” Near Mosul, five strikes engaged four ISIS tactical units; destroyed 14 fighting positions, four vehicles, two rocket-propelled grenade systems, a medium machine gun, and an artillery system; damaged 14 supply routes; and suppressed five mortar teams and three ISIS 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
  • (7 children)
  • 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