Local sources said that more than 300 civilians were killed during two days of fighting in Zanjili and Shifa neighborhoods, in West Mosul. The loss of life was reportedly caused by ISIL shooting on fleeing civilians, as well as by airstrikes carried out by Iraqi Forces and the international Coalition.
Sawlf Ateka Facebook page quoted the Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights, which had reported that 250 civilians had died.
Eyewitnesses and a doctor from the Nineveh Department of Health told Al Araby News that “at least 300 civilians were killed in the past two days during the shelling on the city, and because of executions and ISIL snipers.” The doctor furthermore said that “the streets of Zanjili, Shifa and the Old City are scattered with bodies of civilians of different ages, and the medical teams have not been able to pull them [from the streets] so far, because of continued fighting and shelling and because the army leadership prevented the entry of medical teams and civil defense to recover the bodies of the victims.”
The news site also cited local media who were accompanying the Iraqi security forces in the battle of Mosul. They had reported that US aircraft had launched missiles containing toxic white phosphorous in the bombing of Shifa. A military spokesman of the Joint Operations Command, however, denied the use of White Phosphorous.
Sources had also told Yaqein that “dozens of bodies were scattered around as they [civilians] had tried to flee the Zanjili neighborhood of Mosul, while bags with their belongings were spread on the street on the way out of the neighborhood.” Yaqein spoke of more than 100 bodies.
In a later report, Alaraby spoke to a doctor, who reported over 30 bodies had arrived at the hospital he works at, and dozens of others in various field hospitals. He said some of the bodies had been hit by gunfire from a close distance. Others had died from shrapnel as a result of “Iraqi” bombing and artillery shelling, according to the newspaper.
Survivors had told the doctor that dozens of bodies were still under the rubble of destroyed houses. “One of the survivors who managed to escape spoke of the presence of seven members of her family under the rubble of her demolished house in Zanjili district.”
Journalists around the World and Enlib posted drone images on Facebook showing the aftermath of the destruction in the neighbourhood.
Naqa Al Yasimin said on Facebook that Mullah Walid Khaled was among the dead. He used to be the owner of a famous shop, called Tarshi Smak. Moreover, a local citizen, Yasin Mahmood, posted a handwritten list on Facebook with the names of 106 civilians that were reported wounded in Zanjili.
The local time of the incident is unknown.
- Mullah Walid Khaled Adult male Owner of a famous shop called Tarshi Smak killed
Sources (10) [ 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
Aug 4, 2017
After a review of available information and strike video it was assessed that there is insufficient evidence to find that civilians were harmed in this strike.
Original strike reports
For June 2nd-June 3rd the Coalition reported: “Near Mosul, five strikes engaged four ISIS tactical units and a sniper; destroyed 21 fighting positions, three medium machine guns, three mortar systems, two rocket-propelled grenade systems, and two VBIEDs; damaged five fighting positions; and suppressed an ISIS tactical unit and mortar team.”