Local press sources reported that eleven civilians – all from the same family – died after a Coalition airstrike hit their house in North-West Mosul. Amnesty later revealed the dead were from two separate named families.
According to Yaqein Agency, “International Coalition aircraft launched raids on a residential area on the right side, in the North-West of Mosul, killing 11 civilians from a single family,” said a well-informed press source. “The shelling also destroyed the house where the family was located and damaged a number of neighboring houses,” sources had told the news agency.
Al Jazeera also said that the Coalition, at the start of the attack, had “carried out a series of raids on neighborhoods north-west of Mosul, in support of the attacking forces” and reported the same death toll.
In an apparent match, Amnesty later noted ther following for Al Msherfa: “Amnesty International interviewed two witnesses to an attack in al-Msherfa on 4 May. At around 4pm they heard an explosion they described as “a dull thumping sound” amid shelling and other explosions. They were unable to go directly to the scene of the explosion, as IS was attempting to fight off the advance by pro-government forces. Only once the fighting died down at around 7pm were they able to go to the scene. The house that had been hit was around 30m from the witnesses’ house, between Street 30 and the al-Rahman mosque.
One of the witnesses described the scene as follows: “I went with my dad. The house had been flattened. There had been two families in the house: a total of 14 people. We pulled three survivors out of the rubble and two dead people. The father of one of the families was Dalal. He was a 50 to 55-year-old electrician and was married to Adala.
“Their 13-year-old son, Ishaq, was killed and so was his 15-year-old son, Hashem. Adala survived and so did Dalal and Rihab, their 16-year-old daughter. We pulled Dalal and Adala out of the rubble. When the Iraqi forces came they managed to pull Rihab out. I think they are in an Erbil hospital.
“I didn’t know the other family in the house so well but the father was called Mohamed. He was between 30 and 35 years of age and worked as a builder. He was killed, along with his wife and six of their seven children. The only one that survived was 10-year-old Waleed. One of the bodies that we pulled out was Shahed, Mohamed’s 14-year-old daughter.”
According to witnesses there were usually IS fighters in the area near the house that was destroyed. The witnesses had not been outside after the fighting intensified but there were usually four or five groups of two or more IS fighters in the neighbourhood. They were never in one place; they moved around the neighbourhood carrying guns and mortars. Witnesses do not believe that the attack killed any IS fighters; nine [Tareq note: this should read 10] of the 14 civilians in the house were killed. Whatever weapons system was used, this incident demonstrates the deadly toll of the use of explosive weapons with wide area effects in densely populated west Mosul.96 Although Amnesty International was unable to establish the exact target for this attack, the information available suggests that no legitimate target was struck. This attack appears to have been indiscriminate or a direct attack on a civilian object.”
A UN report on the protection of civilians in context of Nineveh operations and the retaking of Mosul stated: “On 4 May, an airstrike hit a house in ISIL-controlled Hawi al-Kanisa neighbourhood, west Mosul, killing 12 civilians from one family, including four women and six children. According to reports, the head of this family is an ISIL member who was not at home at the time of the incident.”
The local time of the incident is unknown.
The victims were named as:
Family members (3)
- Dalal Adult male Father, 50 to 55 years old electrician killed
- Ishaq 13 years old male Son killed
- Hashem 15 years old male Son killed
Family members (2)
- Mohamed Adult male Father, between 30 and 25 years old, builder killed
- Shahed 14 years old female Daughter killed