Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

CI639

Incident date

April 14, 2017

Location

تل خيمة, Tel Kheimeh near Badoosh, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.438611, 42.845556 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

In a major alleged incident, two interviewees reported that up to 55 civilians died in an Iraqi or Coalition airstrike and ground-based machine gun fire as they attempted to flee ISIS control.

The following unpublished field report was shared by Amnesty International with Airwars: “Interviewee 1: ‘I’m from Tel Kheimeh, a small village, around one kilometre from (the larger) Badoosh (town) in Ninewa Governorate, outside Mosul city. There were about 200 villagers living in Tel Kheimeh. I left on 17 April, after something happened on 14 April. By 14 April the ISF had retaken Badoosh but not the surrounding villages, including Tel Kheimeh.

On 14 April 55 villagers from Tel Kheimeh decided to flee to Badoosh to avoid the forthcoming battle between approach ISF and the ISIS fighters in the village. They walked from Tel Kheimeh across the mountainous terrain towards Badoosh. At around 10pm we heard the sound of a big airstrike (presumed) from Tel Kheimeh, coming from the direction they had gone in. As they were approaching Badoosh a warplane had bombed them. The bombing was following by machine gun fire from the ISF in Badoosh.

Along with the rest of the villagers, I walked to the scene the following morning. All 55 villagers had been killed. Those closest to the explosion had suffered shrapnel wounds. The others had been killed by machine gun fire. One of my (male) cousins was among the victims. Fourteen of them were from the same family. Not one single person from those that left escaped alive. It was mountainous and there were no trees or farm crops to hide behind. They (the ISF) must have thought that the villagers were ISIS but there were only five or ten ISIS fighters in Tel Kheimeh. They killed all these villagers thinking everyone coming from Tel Kheimeh must be ISIS.’

Second interviewee (different date, different camp) ‘I know Tel Kheimeh village, it’s also near Badoosh. I heard about “something bad” happening there. A plane hit them (the villagers from Tel Kheimeh) in the village. They were collected together in a place (not necessarily by force) and a plane hit them. They said that many people died. I don’t know the details.’

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    55
  • 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

Sources (1) [ collapse]

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible / Unsubstantiated
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    Insufficient evidence of civilian harm
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    near Tel Kheimeh near Badoos, Iraq
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Apr 26, 2018
  • After a review of available information and strike video it was assessed that there is insufficient evidence to find civilians were harmed in this strike

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For April 13th-14th the Coalition publicly reported: “Near Mosul, five strikes engaged five ISIS tactical units; destroyed four fighting positions, a VBIED, a command-and-control node, a tunnel; and damaged five fighting positions, and four ISIS supply routes.”

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
    55
  • 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

Sources (1) [ collapse]