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

CI031

Incident date

January 22, 2015

Location

الموصل‎, Mosul, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

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

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

An internal CENTCOM report cited a Tweet by an Iraqi “self proclaimed freelance journalist” (identified as Mr Zyad al-Senjary) who had posted a photograph of “a partially-destroyed house and claimed 2 children were killed and several Iraqis injured in a UAV [drone] strike.”

An initial CENTCOM inquiry identified 32 total Coalition engagements in Nineveh for January 21st-22nd: “Initial assessment is that only 2 strikes possible for this allegation (one was engaged by UAV; both had UAV coverage.” These were listed as airstrike numbers 1980 and 1990.

Despite this apparent link to Mr al-Senjary’s allegations, the Coalition swiftly deemed his report “Not credible. No further inquiry required.”

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 children)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (1) [ collapse]

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible / Unsubstantiated
    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
    Ninawa ProviNe, Iraq.
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • May 1, 2015
  • Not credible. No matching strikes.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

COALITION-ASSESSED CASUALTY INCIDENT

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • (2 children)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI029

Incident date

January 21, 2015

Location

الكسك, Kisik Junction, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.4618824, 42.6849747 Note: The accuracy of this location is to level. Continue to map

Airwars assessment

A Canadian airstrike at Kisik Junction was alleged to have killed between 6 and 27 civilians, according to an internal CENTCOM report. The source was an English-speaking peshmerga fighter, who had passed on his concerns to Coalition Special Forces based in Iraq.

The Canadian attack had targeted “an ISIL sniper/ HMG [havy machine gun] position on the roof of a building within an ISIL-occupied compound, which correlates with the alleged report.”

A Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) spokesman told Airwars in August 2015 that Canada’s own investigation of the incident – which involved reviewing video and strike records – had concluded there was no case to answer: “The review uncovered no evidence of civilian casualties. Furthermore, it was re-confirmed that the target was a valid military objective from which ISIS was firing a heavy machine gun at Iraqi Kurdish troops. The area in question is still within ISIS held territory.”

Reuters reported on the airstrikes at the time (naming the town as Kiske) but made no mention of civilian deaths. The Kurdish regional Government also later claimed that 200 ISIL fighters had died in a successful peshmerga assault on the town which had begun on January 21st.

Canada had been singled out by Airwars in August 2015 as the most transparent member of the international Coalition. Even so, CAF took more than eight months to publicly admit to possible civilian casualties at Kisik Junction. The Globe and Mail has also reported that Defence Minister Jason Kenney was “never made aware” of the allegations.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    6 – 27
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • Grab from a Reuters video detailing the Iraqi assault on Kisik Junction, January 21 2015

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible / Unsubstantiated
    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
    Kisik JuNtion, Iraq
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • May 1, 2015
  • Peshmerga soldier alleged that between 6 and 27 civilians were killed on 21 Jan as a result of a coalition strike IVO Kisik JuNtion. A Canadian strike (CF18) struck an ISIL sniper/HMG position on the roof of a building within an ISIL-occupied compound, which collates with the alleged report. … under the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC) there are no obligations for the CAF to conduct an investigation. CAF assessed as N.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

COALITION-ASSESSED CASUALTY INCIDENT

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    6 – 27
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (9) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI028

Incident date

January 11, 2015

Location

القيارة, Qayyarah, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

35.7977836, 43.2935143 Note: The accuracy of this location is to City level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

City

Airwars assessment

A single source claimed that a coalition strike on the town of Qayyarah near Mosul killed and injured “dozens.”

 

The incident occured between 12:00 pm and 6:00 pm local time.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    24
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention five houses were targeted in the city Qayyarah before 18:00 local time, no specific neighbourhoods were mentioned. The location for the midpoint of Qayyarah ( القيارة) is: 35.7977836, 43.2935143

  • The city of Qayyarah ( القيارة)

    Imagery:
    © 2018 Google

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible / Unsubstantiated
    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
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    38SLE458628
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Sep 27, 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

The coalition reported heavy strikes in the vicnity of Mosul for January 10th-11th 2015: “Near Mosul, four airstrikes struck an ISIL armored vehicle, an ISIL tactical unit, and a large ISIL unit and destroyed an ISIL armored vehicle, five ISIL vehicles, and 21 ISIL boats.“

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    24
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Weak
    Single source claim, though sometimes featuring significant information.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (1) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI027

Incident date

January 2, 2015

Location

الفرحانية, Villages of Al-Farhaniya and al-Subaihat, Salah al-Din, Iraq

Geolocation

33.907385, 44.181475 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Town level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Town

Airwars assessment

An airstrike by an unspecified belligerent reportedly killed 12 civilians including women and children, and wounded an additional 23. The deaths occurred during an Iraqi government offensive against Islamic State.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    12
  • Civilians reported injured
    23
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    US-led Coalition, Iraq government forces

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Reports of the incident mention the villages of Alfarhanah (الفرحانية) and Subaihat (الصبيحات) in the Ishaqi district, South of Tikrit, Salah Al Din province. The location for the Syied Khareeb ( سيد غرايب ) area North West of the Dejeil district, South of Tikrit: 33.907385, 44.181475. Satellite imagery available to Airwars shows visible structural damage to a building at the coordinates 33.908549, 44.180139, between 2014 and 2016. The year long window means this may be a separate incident, however, it should not be discounted.

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible / Unsubstantiated
    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 al-Farhaniya and al-Subaihat, Tikrit, Iraq
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    38SMC243521
    Military Grid Reference System

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

No coalition airstrikes were officially reported in the vicinity of Tikrit between January 1st-2nd or 2nd-3rd 2015, and no non-combatant deaths have been conceded.

Iraq government forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Iraq government forces
  • Iraq government forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    12
  • Civilians reported injured
    23
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Contested
    Competing claims of responsibility e.g. multiple belligerents, or casualties also attributed to ground forces.
  • Suspected attackers
    US-led Coalition, Iraq government forces

Sources (3) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI025

Incident date

December 26, 2014

Location

الموصل‎, Mosul, Al Wehda, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.3267086, 43.1835651 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

Local residents reported that an “international airstrike” involving three missiles had struck houses killing and injuring civilians. NINA claimed that five women from one family were among the dead.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    7
  • (5 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    4
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention multiple residential neighbourhoods in East Mosul, including Al Wahida neighbourhood (حي الوحدة), for which the coordinates of its midpoint are: 36.3267086, 43.1835651

  • Al Wahida neighbourhood (حي الوحدة) in East Mosul

    Imagery:
    © 2018 Google

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible / Unsubstantiated
    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 al-Wehda, Mosul, Iraq
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    38SLF293239
    Military Grid Reference System

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

The coalition confirmed two airstrikes in the vicinity of Mosul, though has not conceded any non-combatant casualties. For December 25th-26th 2015 CJTF-OIR reports: “Near Mosul, an airstrike destroyed an ISIL armored personnel vehicle.” And for December 26th-27th it states: “Near Mosul, an airstrike destroyed an ISIL tactical vehicle.“

Summary

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    7
  • (5 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    4
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    US-led Coalition

Sources (4) [ collapse]

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. 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

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

Sources (7) [ collapse]

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Non credible / Unsubstantiated
    Insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
  • 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

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

Sources (7) [ 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. 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

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

Sources (7) [ collapse]

US-led Coalition Assessment:

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

  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    0 – 13
  • (2–8 children)
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    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. 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

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

Sources (1) [ collapse]

US-led Coalition Assessment:

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

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

Sources (1) [ collapse]