Three civilians were killed and three injured in a mortar strike by an unknown party during the battle for control of al Hermat, according to an Amnesty International field investigation.
Amnesty shared the following eyewitness report with Airwars: “On 8 May, a mortar shell fell on my neighbour’s house, in Hermat 5, right next to our house. Our house is one street away from al-Haq Mosque and close to the only health centre in Hermat. The Sadeeq al-Amin primary school is also close. The mortar hit around 1pm. The battle had gone on from 8am. Three of my neighbours were killed, and they just buried the dead in their yard. It hit the roof, and we heard the ‘whiiiiish’ and then the explosion. There was shrapnel and stones falling on our heads, and the doors and windows of our house was ripped off. There was so much damage – parts of our house turned to rubble. At least three women were injured – we could hear them crying, ‘Please, come and rescue us.’ And we heard later that at least three were killed. There were huge attacks behind us, next to us, and all around us, so it’s hard to remember all the details of just one attack.”
In June the Coalition confirmed a civilian casualty in what may be this event: “May 8, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via self-report: During a strike on an ISIS command and control node, it was assessed that one civilian was unintentionally killed after entering the target area after the munition was released.”
Airwars is seeking further information on this report.
The local time of the incident is unknown.
Sources (2) [ collapse]
Attached to this civilian harm incident is the Pentagon's declassified assessment of this civilian harm allegation, obtained by Azmat Khan and the New York Times through Freedom of Information requests and lawsuits filed since March 2017, alongside the corresponding press release published by the Pentagon. Airwars is currently analysing the contents of each file, and will update our own assessments accordingly.
US-led Coalition Assessment:
Civilian casualty statements
Feb 22, 2018
After a review of available information and strike video it was assessed that there was insufficient evidence to find civilians were harmed in this strike.
Original strike reports
For May 7th-8th: “Near Mosul, six strikes engaged five ISIS tactical units and a sniper team; destroyed six fighting positions, four rocket-propelled grenade systems, four VBIEDs, three medium machine guns, two tactical vehicles, two supply caches, two heavy machine guns, two anti-air artillery systems, two vehicles, a mortar system, a recoilless rifle, a ISIS staging area; damaged 10 ISIS supply routes, seven fighting positions; and suppressed two mortar teams.“