Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CI610

Incident date

April 5, 2017

Location

الشفاء, Mosul, Shafa, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.35356, 43.12323 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Within 100m (via Coalition) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Within 100m (via Coalition)

Airwars assessment

Local sources reported that 16 civilians were killed and many were injured in Coalition and Iraqi government airstrikes on Al-Shafaa neighbourhood in West Mosul.

In September 2019 the Coalition accepted responsibility for this incident. Its monthly civilian casualty report noted: “Coalition aircraft conducted an airstrike against a Daesh mortar position. Regrettably, 16 civilians were unintentionally killed as a result of the strike.”  The Pentagon later declared this to have been a US event.

Sawalef Maslaweya (Facebook) reported unspecified shelling “on the Church of the Virgin Mary and the Nineveh Health Department in the Shifa’a neighborhood, and a house opposite to the Nineveh Health [Department], and 16 members of one family were killed at home.” Mosul Breaking News said “others were injured”. Iraqyoon Agency and Iraqi Spring Media Center also put the death toll at 16 and said they were killed in an airstrike.

Yaqein Agency initially reported one dead and three wounded, but in a later article it spoke of “more than 25 killed and more injured” due to Iraqi government and Coalition airstrikes, though this report also seemed to include a strike in Rifai neighbourhood (see following incident).

In May 2020, in its annual civilian harm report to Congress, the Pentagon declared this to have been a US action – which it also said involved both air and ground forces.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    16 – 25
  • Civilians reported injured
    3–25
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • Local sources reported airstrikes in Al-Shafaa neighbourhood, West Mosul, which allegedly killed more than 25 civilians, including a family of 16 (via Sawalef Maslaweya, Facebook)
  • Table from May 2020 Pentagon report to Congress, conceding additional US civilian harm events in Iraq and Syria during 2017.

Geolocation notes

Prior to the Coalition releasing the MGRS for this incident, Airwars had geolocated it to the nearest neighbourhood/area at 36.3534304, 43.1174326

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Credible / Substantiated
    The investigation assessed that although all feasible precautions were taken and the decision to strike complied with the law of armed conflict, unintended civilian casualties regrettably occurred.
  • Given reason for civilian harm
    No reason given
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    16
  • Stated location
    in Al Shafa, Iraq
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    38SLF316248
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Sep 26, 2019
  • April 5, 2017, in Al Shafa, Iraq, via Airwars report. Coalition aircraft conducted an airstrike against a Daesh mortar position. Regrettably, 16 civilians were unintentionally killed as a result of the strike.

United States
  • May 6, 2020
  • Since last year’s Section 1057 report, CJTF-OIR assessed that an additional 21 reports of civilian casualties during 2017 were credible, with approximately 71 civilians killed and approximately 13 civilians injured as result of U.S. military operations. With these additional assessments, CJTF-OIR assessed that a total number of 191 reports of civilian casualties during 2017 were credible, with approximately 864 civilians killed and approximately 219 civilians injured. 5-Apr-17 Shafa, Iraq Air/Ground 0 civilians injured 16 civilians killed

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For April 4th-5th the Coalition publicly reported: “Near Mosul, seven strikes engaged six ISIS tactical units; destroyed two mortar systems, two command and control nodes, a supply cache, and a fighting position; damaged nine supply routes and a bridge; and suppressed 10 ISIS mortar teams and two ISIS tactical units.”

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Counter-Terrorism Action (Ground)
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    16 – 25
  • Civilians reported injured
    3–25
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    ISIS

Sources (9) [ collapse]