Local sources reported that at least eight civilians died after two missiles consecutively hit a two-floor house in Isilah Zeraei neighbourhood in West Mosul. Sources reported a similar incident hours earlier in the same neighbourhood, with casualty numbers so far unknown.
Alsharqiya news noted that the two missiles were launched after an ISIL combatant sat on the roof – “killing at least eight civilians from one family, including a number of children”. The news agency said that the bodies of the victims were still under the rubble of the house.
Salih Elias reported on Facebook that the ISIL combatant managed to flee. He also said that “a father and his sons, including children” were among the victims.
An eyewitness – the neighbour of the family whose house was bombed – reported the same information and said that her own son (9 years) was injured in the shelling.
Amnesty International published the following report, which appears to match this event: “In mid-April presumed air strikes destroyed a house on al-Islah al-Ziraee Street, next to a local landmark known as the Mahmoud water well and not far from Yarmouk Roundabout. Amnesty International interviewed “Ali”, a witness who was living in a house 100m away in the same street.
He described the attack: “At around 5pm we heard a whizzing, whistling sound and then a huge explosion that knocked us sideways. This was followed by a second explosion after about two minutes. I waited until the following morning before going to the scene. The entire house had been destroyed. The bodies were still buried. I asked the neighbours what had happened and they said that IS had been inside the house before the strike. The brother of the family had not been at home at the time. He survived but he lost his entire family. Fifteen civilians were killed in that house.”
The witness did not know exactly how many IS fighters had been inside the house when it was destroyed. From other interviews, Amnesty International is aware that IS fighters would roam neighbourhoods and enter civilian houses at will. They would usually travel in pairs, presumably in order to reduce the chance that a single strike would kill many fighters. This strike killed 15 civilians and raises proportionality concerns. Although Amnesty International cannot confirm how many IS fighters were impacted, established patterns of IS behaviour would suggest that the number was small. This, coupled with the high cost to civilian life, raises the possibility that this attack was disproportionate.”
In their monthly civilian casualty reports, the US-led Coalition has indicated that the credibility of this civilian harm allegation is in the process of being assessed.
The local time of the incident is unknown.
Sources (9) [ collapse]
US-led Coalition Assessment:
Original strike reports
For April 14th-15th: “Near Mosul, five strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit, destroyed two rocket-propelled grenade systems, destroyed two fighting positions, damaged four supply routes and a fighting position, and suppressed an ISIS tactical unit.”