US-led Coalition in Iraq & Syria

Civilians in the ruins of Mosul city. (Maranie R. Staab)

Belligerent
US-led Coalition
Country
Iraq
Libya
start date
end date
Airwars Grading
Belligerent Assessment

Incident Code

CI024

Incident date

December 25, 2014

Location

الفلوجة‎, Fallujah, Anbar, Iraq

Geolocation

33.3532137, 43.7875674 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

In an event previously not tracked by Airwars, two civilians were reported as having been possibly killed by a Dutch airstrike on December 26th, after motorbikes strayed into the kill zone during an attack on Fallujah.

According to an internal CENTCOM document, it was self-reported the following day that “while conducting dynamic coalition airstrikes on ISIL fighters and technical vehicles [redacted] NLD F· l6AM [ie a Dutch F-16] may have unintentionally struck two unidentified persons on motorcycles who entered the target area during the strikes.”

These claims of civilian casualties were deemed credible enough to trigger a rare formal CENTCOM investigation into the event. This later concluded that there was not enough evidence to indicate civilian fatalities, A spokesman told Airwars in July 2015 that “after reviewing all available evidence, the allegations of civilian casualties from Coalition airstrikes in these instances were unfounded. The two allegations investigated in Iraq involved Coalition airstrikes on Dec. 25, 2014 [US time], near Fallujah, and April 4, 2015, near Al Sadilyae.”

The determination that no civilians had died appeared based mainly on an assessment of the ammunition used: “No CIVCAS found due to the Dutch using ball ammo rather than HE [high explosive] rounds.”

CENTCOM has decided not to publicly release its investigation into the Dutch strike at Fallujah, with an August 2015 request by Airwars for an expedited release of the documents dismissed on grounds that there was no “compelling need” for the public to be urgently informed about this or similar investigations.

Airwars researchers have found no public reports of civilian fatalities for Fallujah on December 25th-26th, although there was coverage of ongoing clashes between the Iraq military and Daesh.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • Airwars grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (6) [ collapse]

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    a:1:{i:0;s:5:"other";}
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    Fallujah, Iraq
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • May 1, 2015
  • CAOC reported that on D855Z 26 DEC 14, while conducting dynamic coalition airstrikes on ISIL fighters and technical vehicles, (NLD F-l6AM) may have unintentionally struck two unidentified persons on motorcycles who entered the target area during the strikes. Dutch LNO was notified. CAOC is confirming whether NLD will conduct their own national investigation. // Credible. JTF directed an investigation to be conducted // DTG US INVESTIGATION: Findings and recommendations completed by IO. No CIVCAS found due to the Dutch using ball ammo versus HE rounds.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • Airwars grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI023

Incident date

December 21, 2014

Location

الفلوجة‎, Fallujah, Anbar, Iraq

Geolocation

33.3532137, 43.7875674 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

A woman and child may have been injured in a major Australian airstrike at Fallujah on December 21st 2014, according to an internal CENTCOM assessment. The pre-planned attack was focused on a’suspected weapons factory’ in the city. However, 10 minutes after the last bomb had been dropped by an Australian aircraft, “a probable female and probable child were observed on FMV [full motion video] to walk through the target area.”

As the overhead observation continued, the child was taken by motorbike to Fallujah hospital, while the woman “walked to the median strip on the road and lay down, and was not observed any further.”

Despite the apparent seriousness of the report, both CENTCOM and the Australian military concluded that “there is insufficient information to warrant further inquiry.” According to a declassified internal report, “The lack of urgency and fact that the child walked apparently normally suggested his injuries were not life-threatening.”

While its aircraft were not implicated by CENTCOM’s internal assessment, Canada also reported being a part of the mission which attacked the Fallujah facility (see below.)

Multiple civilian fatalities were in fact reported at Fallujah that night, with BBC Arabic describing medical sources at the city’s main hospital as “receiving 13 bodies and seven wounded, including women and children who fell during the incessant shelling.” The casualties were attributed both to the Iraqi military and to “air strikes launched by the international coalition on the city of Fallujah on Sunday night (21st) and until dawn Monday,targeting places where IS fighters are believed to be.” Al Ghad instead reported eight fatalities from Coalition strikes in the wider region that day.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 13
  • (2–8 children)
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (7) [ collapse]

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible
    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

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • May 1, 2015
  • Two unknown individuals may have been wounded as a result of a deliberate strike conducted by the Austrlians on a suspected weapons factory in Fallujah. The female walked to the median strip on the road and lay down, and was not observed any further. // Assessed to be insufficient information to determine CIVCAS.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

COALITION-ASSESSED INCIDENT

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 13
  • (2–8 children)
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI022

Incident date

December 16, 2014

Location

الموصل‎, Mosul, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.34585235, 43.09857692 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

In an event previously unreported by Airwars, an internal Battle Damage Assessment (BDA) reported “4 unknown persons potentially injured while moving into the engagement area,” during a Coalition airstrike on Objective Nebula, a targeted vehicle.

France later confirmed that it had carried out a targeted strike in Mosul on that date, though it is not presently clear whether this was the incident in question.

A subsequent review of full motion video from the event showed that “the 4 individuals in question eventually fled the scene of the strike.” It was also noted that there were no subsequent media reports of casualties.

However, given the potential risk to civilians during the event, CENTCOM also reported that “TF [Task Force] is still conducting an investigation into decisions made relating to the strike.”

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • (4 children)
  • Airwars grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (1) [ collapse]

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    a:1:{i:0;s:5:"other";}
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    Mosul, Iraq
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • May 1, 2015
  • BDA on strike on named objective (Nebula). FMV received; storyboard received. Initial BDA was 4 unknown persons potentially injured while moving into engagement area. TF assessed the allegation not to be credible based on a review of all source intel. Review of FMV showed that the 4 individuals in question eventually fled the scene of the strike. XXX indicated that the only persons killed or injured were those in the targeted vehicle. No reflections of ClVCAS received through XXX and media reports. However, TF is still conducting an investigation into decisions made related to the strike.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    0
  • (4 children)
  • Airwars grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI021

Incident date

December 13, 2014

Location

الرمادي, Ramadi, Anbar, Iraq

Geolocation

33.437441, 43.286666 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

In an event previously unreported by Airwars, Coalition reported an unspecified open source as publishing a picture of a dead child “without any identification of original location”.

According to provisional analysis “There was one airstrike in Ramadi on 13 December (strike #1266) which was unlikely to have caused the death.” No further action was recorded by CENTCOM.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 child)
  • Airwars grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (1) [ collapse]

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    a:1:{i:0;s:5:"other";}
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    Fallujah, Iraq
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • May 1, 2015
  • Pictures show dead child without any identification of original location. There was one airstrike in Ramadi on 13 Dec (Strike #1266) which was unlikely to have caused the death.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • (1 child)
  • Airwars grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI020

Incident date

December 9, 2014

Location

الفلوجة‎, Fallujah, Anbar, Iraq

Geolocation

33.3532137, 43.7875674 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

Up to 9 civilians were reported killed and 32 injured in what NINA described as a “coalition airstrike” on people queuing for fuel in the city.

On the following day Al Jazeera, Rudaw, NINA and Mobtaba all described attacks on the districts of “Al Jolan north of the city, Nizal in the centre of the city and The Shuhada’a and Al Tamim neighbourhoods in the South” as being the work of Iraq Army heavy artillery.

An internal CENTCOM investigation reported that the Coalition was not responsible for the incident: “There were no airstrikes in Fallujah on 09 December. There were two airstrikes in Ramadi on 08 and 09 December… neither against vehicle and area depicted in video.”

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    8 – 9
  • (2–3 children)
  • Civilians reported injured
    32
  • Airwars grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (6) [ collapse]

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    a:1:{i:0;s:5:"other";}
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    Fallujah, Iraq, al Jolan neighbourhood
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • May 1, 2015
  • Youtube video showing mangled truck and dead and injured. Video mentions bombing and only refereNe to airstrike is in the title page. FIR provided. There were no airstrikes in Fallujah on 09 December.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    8 – 9
  • (2–3 children)
  • Civilians reported injured
    32
  • Airwars grading
    Discounted
    Those killed were combatants, or other parties most likely responsible.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (6) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI019

Incident date

November 22, 2014

Location

يت, Hit, hospital and Zohour, Anbar, Iraq

Geolocation

33.628878, 42.838829 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

Multiple airstrikes reportedly targeted Hit, allegedly leading to significant civilian casualties. News agency Herak reported one eyewitness as saying that five airstrikes had struck the city: “The first targeted outside a hospital building, and the other targeted a house near the mosque. A further air strike targeted a house in the Qadisiyah district, leading to the deaths of three children killed, and another bombing targeted in the vicinity of a school.” NINA described the attack as a “random raid” by the coalition. However, the coalition denies carrying out any strikes in the vicinity on this date.

Four houses in the al-Zohour district were among those reported damaged or destroyed. Residents were urged by loudspeaker to donate blood at the local hospital.

Russia Today made no mention of civilian casualties, though reported that 85 “Daesh militants” were killed in coalition airstrikes on Hit that day.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    5 – 8
  • (3 children)
  • Civilians reported injured
    9–35
  • Airwars grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected belligerents
    US-led Coalition, Unknown

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (2) [ collapse]

  • The aftermath of the alleged incident (via Herak)
  • The aftermath of the alleged incident (via Herak)

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention that the alleged Coalition airstrike targeted civilian houses in the East side of the city of Hit. Cars were also reported to have been burnt down and damage was reported “outside a hospital building” (coordinates for the general hospital: 33.637113, 42.838696) and in Qadisiyah district, al-Zohour neighborhood (33.628878, 42.838829) and Al Itfa’a area. Since Hit is a small city, the areas mentioned are located next to each other

  • The general hospital of Hit and the al-Zohour area

    Imagery:
    © 2018 Google

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    No Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    near Hit, Iraq
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jul 26, 2018
  • After a review of available information it was assessed that no Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area that correspond to the report of civilian casualties.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

Responding to a query from Airwars, a CENTCOM spokesman stated that “based on available records“, no US or allied strike occurred in the vicinity of Hit on November 22nd 2014, although it was noted that a strike in the vicinity of Hit the following day had destroyed “an ISIL vehicle.”

Unknown Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Unknown
  • Unknown position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    5 – 8
  • (3 children)
  • Civilians reported injured
    9–35
  • Airwars grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected belligerents
    US-led Coalition, Unknown

Sources (7) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI018

Incident date

November 19, 2014

Location

الموصل‎, Mosul, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.34585235, 43.09857692 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

The FBI informed CENTCOM internally on November 21st 2014 that a source had alleged the deaths of “41 Yezidi captive females killed in a strike on a named OBJ IVO [objective in the vicinity of] Mosul.”

The closest strike, number 999, was identified by CENTCOM as having taken place some 3.2km from the site of the alleged incident with an AGM-114 missile (suggesting that the aircraft involved was a drone.) However, it also noted that “the engagement conducted a cold shift on the weapon due to collateral concerns entering the area of the strike.” As a result it was concluded “No further inquiry needed.“

While Airwars researchers have not been able to identify any published claims of mass casualties among Yazidi women in Mosul for this period, there were reports at the time of women escaping as a result of Coalition airstrikes. One local news source cited the Director-General for Yazidi Affairs at the Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs in Kurdistan as saying that “about 250 Yazidi from Mosul and Sinjar escaped during the aerial bombardment of these gatherings.”

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    41
  • (41 women)
  • Airwars grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (2) [ collapse]

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    a:1:{i:0;s:5:"other";}
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    Mosul, Iraq
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • May 1, 2015
  • FBI report from a source indicated that 41 Yezidi cative females were killed in a strike on a named OBJ IVO Mosul. 21 Nov 2014: Received assessment through CENTCOM CHOPS. The closest strike was on the D/T identified, #999, was 3.2 km away, conducted with AGM 114, the engagement conducted a cold shift on the weapon due to collateral coNerns entering the area of the strike

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

COALITION-ASSESSED INCIDENT

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    41
  • (41 women)
  • Airwars grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI017

Incident date

November 17, 2014

Location

القيارة, Qayyarah, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

35.8949604, 43.2228756 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Subdistrict level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Subdistrict

Airwars assessment

Multiple civilians were reported killed as a result of air raids launched by the coalition south of Mosul. The National Iraqi News Agency cited forensic sources as saying that 16 people, including six women and children, were killed.

Other media reported that up to “22 Daesh militants” were also killed in coalition airstrikes in the vicinity, including 13 at Al Qayyarah.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    16
  • (3 children3 women)
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the subdistricts of Al Qayyarah and Al Shura, south of Mosul. Coordinates for the middle point between these areas are: 35.8949604, 43.2228756. Due to limited information and satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • Reason for non-credible assessment
    No Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    None
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    near Qayyarah, Iraq
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jul 26, 2018
  • After a review of available information it was assessed that no Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area that correspond to the report of civilian casualties.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

Seven coalition airstrikes, including by Canada, are confirmed for November 17th-19th. According to CENTCOM: “Seven airstrikes near Mosul struck five ISIL tactical units, damaged an IED factory and destroyed an ISIL mortar position, three ISIL vehicles, an ISIL occupied building, an ISIL artillery piece and ISIL artillery mover.”

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    16
  • (3 children3 women)
  • Airwars grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (4) [ collapse]