US-led Coalition in Iraq & Syria

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

Belligerent
US-led Coalition
Country
Iraq
Syria
start date
end date
Airwars Grading
Confirmed
Fair
Belligerent Assessment

Incident Code

CS065

Incident date

April 30, 2015

Location

بئر محلي, Jubb Mahli (Ber Mahli), Aleppo, Syria

Geolocation

36.561113, 38.41203 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

In one of the worst reported incidents in nine months of bombings by the US-led Ccoalition, 64 civilians were said to have died in an attack on the village of Ber Mahli near Sareen – the majority of them women (19) and children (32). It remains disputed as to whether the village was partly or wholly under the control of Islamic State forces at the time.

Later admitting that it had carried out a strike on the village, the Coalition said it had instead bombed “several ISIL fighting positions [and] striking more than 50 ISIL fighters.” A CJTF-OIR spokesman appeared to blame any error on Kurdish forces in the area, telling Airwars by email that: “Prior to the airstrikes, Kurdish forces, who held the town before leaving after being attacked by ISIL, reported there were no civilians present in that location and that there had not been any civilians present for two weeks prior to the Coalition airstrikes.”

An internal CENTCOM investigation almost immediately decided “allegation initially not determined credible”, it was revealed in September 2015. The declassified document also appeared to pin responsibility for any error on the YPG, noting that the Kurdish fighters “had held the village up until the ISIL attack and [reported] that there were no civilians in the village.”

According to Al Jazeera, eyewitnesses said that when the village was first bombed, residents ran out of their houses. However Ber Mahli was then repeatedly struck, including a group of cars leaving the village. SN4HR also claimed that “some of the houses were targeted again after people and medical teams gathered to help the victims and wounded.”

Speaking from his hospital bed, one injured survivor spoke of the attack: “We were four families gathered in one room. It was around 11 or 12 at night. They kept on striking the houses. The first time they struck, my cousin was killed with his small children. Why did this happen? Is it because Obama wants to please the King of Saudi Arabia? Why is the coalition bombing us? Why don’t they fight [President] Bashar?

Another unnamed and injured survivor, a young girl, also spoke for the cameras:”The planes came above us and bombed us and destroyed houses. My father was killed and two of my sisters.”

Buzzfeed also interviewed a 67-year-old witness to the attack, who went by the name of Abu Khaled, who corroborated the names of many of those killed. “They killed whole families. The Americans will never apologize, and they will keep killing civilians,” hecomplained to the news site from southern Turkey.

All 64 known fatalities have now been named by SN4HR and by Manbij News, indicating that entire families were wiped out.

Fadel Abdulghani, head of monitoring group the Syrian Network for Human Rights, demanded that those in the coalition responsible for the deaths be held accountable: “Despite all the efforts made to avoid this, this incident indicates a blatant disrespect for the lives of innocent civilians. The people responsible for this crime should be held accountable which would be a clear message to their associates and commanders.”

In an assessment of the event published in October 2016, it was noted that “a review by Amnesty International of a series of aerial images of the Bir Mahli area, including a satellite image taken approximately one week after the attack, indicates four strike locations and nine to 10 houses being completely flattened…. Amnesty International is concerned that Coalition forces appear to have either mistakenly carried out a large-scale attack on an entirely civilian area having failed to take adequate steps to positively identify a military objective prior to attacking or to have carried out a grossly disproportionate attack against suspected IS targets. In addition, CENTCOM appears to have dismissed evidence indicating scores of civilian casualties.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (64)

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    64
  • (32 children19 women13 men)
  • 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 (28) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (22) [ collapse]

  • Eyewitness account from a survivor who recounts that the planes struck between 10:00 am and 10:30 am. A family of 9 was killed in the first house, a family of 14 in the second house and 35 members of one family in the third house. [Via: SN4HR]
  • A second survivor recalls how entire families were wiped out in the alleged coalition strikes on the village of Beir Mahli. [Via: SN4HR]
  • Footage of the burial of victims at Beir Mahli, published 14th May 2015. [via: SN4HR]
  • Image showing the coordinates of the village. [via: SN4HR detailed report published on May 6th 2015]
  • Images showing the homes that were targeted in the alleged coalition strikes [via: SN4HR detailed report published on May 6th 2015]
  • The victims' houses that were targeted in the alleged coalition strikes on Beir Mahli [via: SN4HR detailed report published on May 6th 2015]
  • A series of stills from a video published by ISIS-affiliated media showing very graphic imagery of the dead a large proportion of them children. The video itself has been removed from youtube. [Via: SN4HR report published on May 6th 2015]
  • A series of stills from a video published by ISIS-affiliated media showing very graphic imagery of the dead a large proportion of them children. The video itself has been removed from youtube. [Via: SN4HR report published on May 6th 2015]
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    A series of stills from a video published by ISIS-affiliated media showing very graphic imagery of the dead a large proportion of them children. The video itself has been removed from youtube. [Via: SN4HR report published on May 6th 2015]
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    A series of stills from a video published by ISIS-affiliated media showing very graphic imagery of the dead a large proportion of them children. The video itself has been removed from youtube. [Via: SN4HR report published on May 6th 2015]
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    A series of stills from a video published by ISIS-affiliated media showing very graphic imagery of the dead a large proportion of them children. The video itself has been removed from youtube. [Via: SN4HR report published on May 6th 2015]
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    A series of stills from a video published by ISIS-affiliated media showing very graphic imagery of the dead a large proportion of them children. The video itself has been removed from youtube. [Via: SN4HR report published on May 6th 2015]
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    A series of stills from a video published by ISIS-affiliated media showing very graphic imagery of the dead a large proportion of them children. The video itself has been removed from youtube. [Via: SN4HR report published on May 6th 2015]
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    A series of stills from a video published by ISIS-affiliated media showing very graphic imagery of the dead a large proportion of them children. The video itself has been removed from youtube. [Via: SN4HR report published on May 6th 2015]
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    A series of stills from a video published by ISIS-affiliated media showing very graphic imagery of the dead a large proportion of them children. The video itself has been removed from youtube. [Via: SN4HR report published on May 6th 2015]
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    A series of stills from a video published by ISIS-affiliated media showing very graphic imagery of the dead a large proportion of them children. The video itself has been removed from youtube. [Via: SN4HR report published on May 6th 2015]
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    A series of stills from a video published by ISIS-affiliated media showing very graphic imagery of the dead a large proportion of them children. The video itself has been removed from youtube. [Via: SN4HR report published on May 6th 2015]
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    A series of stills from a video published by ISIS-affiliated media showing very graphic imagery of the dead a large proportion of them children. The video itself has been removed from youtube. [Via: SN4HR report published on May 6th 2015]
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    A series of stills from a video published by ISIS-affiliated media showing very graphic imagery of the dead a large proportion of them children. The video itself has been removed from youtube. [Via: SN4HR report published on May 6th 2015]
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    A series of stills from a video published by ISIS-affiliated media showing very graphic imagery of the dead a large proportion of them children. The video itself has been removed from youtube. [Via: SN4HR report published on May 6th 2015]

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
    Ber Mahli, Syria
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • May 1, 2015
  • Prior to the airstrikes, Kurdish forces, who held the town before leaving after being attacked by ISIL, reported there were no civilians present in that location and that there had not been any civilians present for two weeks prior to the Coalition airstrikes

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    64
  • (32 children19 women13 men)
  • 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 (28) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI065

Incident date

April 29, 2015

Location

حي الجغيفي, Fallujah, Jughaifi, Anbar, Iraq

Geolocation

33.366667, 43.792778 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

According to local reports, coalition airstrikes killed nine civilian non-combatants and injured three more in Al Sharika Street, Aljughaifi neighborhood. The dead were named by the Iraqi Revolution website as “belonging to the family of Khamis Sufook al-Jumaili, killing him and his wife and her sister, their sons and daughters, as well as his brother the householder.”

The Iraqi Spring project named the dead.

 

The incident was first reported on April 30, 2015 at 1:06 pm by Iraqi Spring Media Center.

The victims were named as:

Family members (9)

  • Khamis Sifog Theyab Ashibeeb Adult male Named by Iraqi Spring, father killed
  • Nahida Hilal Theyab Adult female Named by Iraqi Spring, mother killed
  • Najeiya Talal Hadid Adult female Named by Iraqi Spring, mother of Khamis Sifog Theyab Ashibeeb
  • Salima Sifog Adult female Named by Iraqi Spring, sister of Khamis Sifog Theyab Ashibeeb
  • Aws Khamis Sifog Child male Named by Iraqi Spring, son of Khamis Sifog Theyab Ashibeeb killed
  • Bushra Khamis Sifog Child female Named by Iraqi Spring, daughter of Khamis Sifog Theyab Ashibeeb
  • Khitam Khamis Sifog Adult female Named by Iraqi Spring, daughter of Khamis Sifog Theyab Ashibeeb killed
  • Jinan Khamis Adult female Named by Iraqi Spring, daughter of Khamis Sifog Theyab Ashibeeb killed
  • Sijad Mohamad Ali Child male Named by Iraqi Spring, son of Jinan Khamis killed

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    9
  • (5 children3 women1 man)
  • 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]

Media
from sources (5) [ collapse]

  • Image of destruction posted by Iraqi Spring
  • Image of destruction posted by Iraqi Spring
  • Image of destruction posted by Iraqi Spring
  • Image of destruction posted by Iraqi Spring
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Images of the alleged victims

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention Al Sharika road in the Al Jughaifi neighbourhood (حي الجغيفي) in the city of Fallujah, Anbar Province, Iraq. The coordinates for the midpoint of Al Jughaifi neighbourhood (حي الجغيفي) are: 33.366667, 43.792778.

  • Al Jughaifi neighbourhood (حي الجغيفي) in the city of Fallujah

    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 Fallujah, 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

A single strike in the area was reported for April 28th-29th 2015: “Near Fallujah, an airstrike destroyed an ISIL trench complex.”

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    9
  • (5 children3 women1 man)
  • 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]

Incident Code

CI064

Incident date

April 22, 2015

Location

الموصل‎, Mosul, Bareed, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.38589, 43.17373 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Within 100m (via Coalition) level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Within 100m (via Coalition)

Airwars assessment

At least four civilians died in a Coalition airstrike on the Bareed quarter of Mosul. A home was completely destroyed in the event, killing four members of one family.

One report also named a fifth family member, a young disabled girl named Sadra (cousin to Abdullah) as being killed. However as the Fiscal Times noted, Sidra had actually died in February after a battle with cancer.

The event was finally confirmed by the Coalition some 29 months later.

According to a local news site, Islamic State had been using abandoned Christian properties in the al-Zahrawi neighbourhood to store ammunition when one was targeted: “Unfortunately, the missiles that targeted the home led to the explosion of ammunition which collapsed the house next door, home to innocent civilians.”

An investigation by the Fiscal Times later reported: “At 10 pm, the Hadid family members were busy in their normal daily business. The Hadid’s house was relatively large. Gassan was in the garden. His wife was in the kitchen. Mohammed was off to fill his car’s tank. Maan was by the house’s front gate. Fadhila was in her room playing with her son Abdullah. Muthanna was home to watch a soccer match.”

This air raid – and others on the city which also killed civilians – led to the Governor of Nineveh province, Atheel Al Nujaifi, calling on the coalition to exercise more caution when bombing towns and cities: “While we support the international air alliance in its targeting of Daesh, and its camps and gatherings, we call upon the coalition always to exhibit prudence, and to be cautious of striking civilian targets.”

Although al Nujaifi noted that “unfortunately such errors do sometimes occur” he pointed out that lawyers were supposed to be advising coalition operations so that pilots could “distinguish between civilian objects and military objectives, which could be targeted… We stress that we always seek to spare the citizens and the civilian damage and reassure the people of Nineveh province and the city of Mosul that the targeting used in the battle to liberate Mosul follows international criteria. No revenge or settling of accounts will be permitted in the context of military action.

American journalist Mike Roggio visited the site in summer 2017 (36°23’09.5″N, 43°10’26.8″E) and interviewed eyewitnesses, who said that “The mother, father, pregnant wife and five-year-old son of Mohamed Ghassan Salem, 33, who runs or ran an electronics store, died…. Three witnesses tell the same story. There was a home used by ISIS militants adjacent adjacent the family home. The first missile or missiles hit the Salem home, and the ISIS home was hit right after. Both were destroyed. Salem was at work nearby and ran home when he heard the explosion to find his family dead.

In its September 2017 civilian casualty report, the Coalition accepted responsibility for this event noting: “This previously closed allegation was re-opened after the family provided additional information to the Coalition. During a strike on a former residential use building that was being used by ISIS as an explosives storage facility, it was assessed that four civilians were unintentionally killed.”

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (4)

  • Sumiah Ibrahim Mohamed Ali Hadeed 53 years old female killed
  • Muthana Ghassan Salem Hadeed 23 years old male killed
  • Fadheela Wesam Salem Hadeed 25 years old female Wife of Muthana Ghassan Salem Hadeed killed
  • Abdullah Ghassan Salem Al Hadid 4 years old male Son of Muthana Ghassan Salem Hadeed and Fadheela Wesam Salem Hadeed killed

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    4
  • (1 child2 women1 man)
  • Airwars grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (12) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (6) [ collapse]

  • .....
  • Aftermath of the alleged incident
  • More images of the aftermath
  • Image of Abdullah Mohammed Ghassan Hadeed
  • Image of Muthana Ghassan Salem Hadeed
  • Another image of Abdullah Mohammed Ghassan Hadeed

Geolocation notes

Prior to the Coalition releasing the MGRS for this incident, Airwars had geolocated it to the nearest city at 36.34585235, 43.09857692

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Credible
    The investigation assessed that although all feasible precautions were taken and the decision to strike complied with the law of armed conflict, unintended civilian casualties regrettably occurred.
  • Given reason for civilian harm
    No reason given
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    4
  • Stated location
    near Mosul, Iraq
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    38SLF362283
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Sep 29, 2017
  • April 22, 2015, near Mosul, Iraq, via media report: This previously closed allegation was re-opened after the family provided additional information to the Coalition. During a strike on a former residential use building that was being used by ISIS as an explosives storage facility, it was assessed that four civilians were unintentionally killed.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

No strikes were publicly reported on Mosul for April 21st-22nd.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    4
  • (1 child2 women1 man)
  • Airwars grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (12) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI063

Incident date

April 21, 2015

Location

الموصل‎, Mosul, East, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.3672543, 43.1793594 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Neighbourhood/area level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Neighbourhood/area

Airwars assessment

A claimed coalition airstrike on the centre of Mosul killed up to 23 militants and five or more non-combatants according to reports, after four homes were destroyed.

NINA cited a medical source as saying that 23 civilians died when aircraft struck the Mdaana neighbourhood – though this appears to be a mis-cite of other casualties (see below).

NRT-TV was more conservative, reporting that “The forensic medicine department in Mosul received the bodies of the martyrs of nine civilians, including four women and a child following [coalition] aerial bombardment on the areas of Al Sukkar, Al Sadiq and Al Muthanna east of Mosul. At the same time Mosul’s hospitals received 12 wounded, including an elderly woman and six children.”

Iraqi News placed the death toll at 5 non-combatants, adding that 23 “Daesh militants” had also died: “A medical source told the Iraqi News Agency, that the forensic medical department received 23 bodies of killed members of IS killed in a coalition raid targeting the power station in Adan neighborhood east of Mosul, explaining that the station was used by IS as a headquarters.

 

The incident was first reported on April 21, 2015 at 10:50 am by Iraqi News Agency.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    5 – 9
  • (1 child4 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    12
  • 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 (2) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention the neighbourhoods of Sukkar ( حي السكر ), Saddiq ( حي الصديق ) and Muthana ( حي المثنى ) in East Mosul. One report alleged the airstrike targeted the “power station in Aden neighborhood ( حي عدن ),” also located in East Mosul. The coordinates for the midpoint of East Mosul are: 36.3672543, 43.1793594

  • East Mosul, showing Sukkar ( حي السكر ), Saddiq ( حي الصديق ), Muthana ( حي المثنى ) and Aden ( عدن )

    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 Mosul, 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

Actions were reported in the vicinity for April 20th-21st: “Near Mosul, four airstrikes struck an ISIL staging area, an ISIL IED factory and multiple ISIL fighting positions.“

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    5 – 9
  • (1 child4 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    12
  • 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 (2) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI060

Incident date

April 20, 2015

Location

الموصل‎, Mosul, Aden, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.35132, 43.21243 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Within 100m (via Coalition) level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Within 100m (via Coalition)

Airwars assessment

A reported coalition airstrike on an electricity generating facility reportedly killed up tp 35 civilians and injured 22 more when nearby apartments were caught in the blast, according to reports.

NINA cited a medical source at the hospital as saying: “The incident resulted in the death of 35 civilians, including 11 women, and wounding 22 others, including five women.”

Local resident Mohanad Musli described “tens of flattened bodies with families still under the rubble”. Another eyewitness, Bassam al Khaldi, said that multiple strikes had also targeted rescuers: “I’m from this area and when people gathered to rescue the wounded there was shelling for a second time on people, and this caused big losses. And after quarter of an hour they struck a third time, but by the mercy of God this time the missile did not explode.”

A Mosul-based eyewitness to the event later provided graphic images of civilian casualties to Airwars.org, including a picture of four dead children.

However in July 2017 the Coalition denied responsibility on grounds of available evidence of civilian harm: “April 20, 2015, near Adan, Iraq, via Airwars report: 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.”

Later on, on June 28th, 2018 the Coalition changed its position and admitted it had unintentionally killed 18 civilians in the strike. The assessment stated: “During a strike on Daesh IED factory, 18 civilians were unintentionally killed.“

The Coalition later provided Airwars the location of the strike, accurate to within a 100 metre box, placing it in the industrial area of Adan neighbourhood in east Mosul.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    18 – 35
  • (4 children11 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    22–50
  • Airwars grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (10) [ collapse]

  • Aftermath of the alleged strike
  • Photos of the alleged incident provided by an eyewitness, resident in Mosul that Airwars made contact with by phone on 20/04/2015. They were taken by his brother who lives in the neighbourhood that was bombed
  • Photos of the alleged incident provided by an eyewitness, resident in Mosul that Airwars made contact with by phone on 20/04/2015. They were taken by his brother who lives in the neighbourhood that was bombed
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Photos of the alleged incident provided by an eyewitness, resident in Mosul that Airwars made contact with by phone on 20/04/2015. They were taken by his brother who lives in the neighbourhood that was bombed
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Photos of the alleged incident provided by an eyewitness, resident in Mosul that Airwars made contact with by phone on 20/04/2015. They were taken by his brother who lives in the neighbourhood that was bombed
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Photos of the alleged incident provided by an eyewitness, resident in Mosul that Airwars made contact with by phone on 20/04/2015. They were taken by his brother who lives in the neighbourhood that was bombed
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Photos of the alleged incident provided by an eyewitness, resident in Mosul that Airwars made contact with by phone on 20/04/2015. They were taken by his brother who lives in the neighbourhood that was bombed
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Photos of the alleged incident provided by an eyewitness, resident in Mosul that Airwars made contact with by phone on 20/04/2015. They were taken by his brother who lives in the neighbourhood that was bombed
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Photos of the alleged incident provided by an eyewitness, resident in Mosul that Airwars made contact with by phone on 20/04/2015. They were taken by his brother who lives in the neighbourhood that was bombed
  • This media contains graphic content. Click to unblur.

    Photos of the alleged incident provided by an eyewitness, resident in Mosul that Airwars made contact with by phone on 20/04/2015. They were taken by his brother who lives in the neighbourhood that was bombed

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

  • Imagery:
    © 2018 Google

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Credible
    The investigation assessed that although all feasible precautions were taken and the decision to strike complied with the law of armed conflict, unintended civilian casualties regrettably occurred.
  • Given reason for civilian harm
    No reason given
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    18
  • Stated location
    near Aden neighborhood, Mosul, Iraq
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    38SLF396244
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jun 28, 2018
  • April 20, 2015, near Aden neighborhood, Mosul, Iraq, via media report. During a strike on Daesh IED factory, 18 civilians were unintentionally killed.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

On April 19th-20th the coalition reported four strikes in the vicinity: “Near Mosul, four airstrikes struck an ISIL staging area, destroying four ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL armored vehicle and an ISIL excavator.”

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    18 – 35
  • (4 children11 women)
  • Civilians reported injured
    22–50
  • Airwars grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (10) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI059

Incident date

April 19, 2015

Location

الرطبة, Ar Rutbah, Anbar, Iraq

Geolocation

33.03681, 40.284 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Within 100m (via Coalition) level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Within 100m (via Coalition)

Airwars assessment

In a likely US or British drone strike, a truck was inadvertently hit during an airstrike at Ar Rutbah, according to a declassified CENTCOM report. “2 seconds prior to weapon impact, a large truck inadvertently arrived at the checkpoint. The back section of the truck was possibly damaged during the strike.” The driver was observed fleeing.

The weapon used was an AGM-114 Hellfire, most typically used by Reaper drones and by Apache attack helicopters. Britain has confirmed carrying out a drone strike on the date in question “in western Iraq.”

The outcome of any investigation at the time the document was collated (most likely early May 2015) was not known.

Airwars researchers have not identified any public claims of civilians killed or injured for this date. though news reports did note the very heavy bombing in Iraq that day – with 26 airstrikes by “fighter and bomber aircraft, and unmanned aerial vehicles against Daesh.”

On July 7th, 2017, the Coalition admitted responsibility, reporting: “April. 19, 2015, near Ar Rutbah, Iraq, via Airwars report: During a strike on an ISIS checkpoint, it was assessed that two civilians were unintentionally injured when a vehicle arrived at the checkpoint after the munition was released.”

In July 2019, the Coalition provided Airwars with the location of the event to within a 100 metre box.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Prior to the Coalition releasing the MGRS for this incident, Airwars had geolocated it to the nearest city at 33.036997, 40.284076

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Credible
    The investigation assessed that although all feasible precautions were taken and the decision to strike complied with the law of armed conflict, unintended civilian casualties regrettably occurred.
  • Given reason for civilian harm
    Entered target area just prior to or after munition released
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    2
  • Stated location
    near Ar Rutbah, Iraq
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    37SFS199561
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jul 7, 2017
  • April. 19, 2015, near Ar Rutbah, Iraq, via Airwars report: During a strike on an ISIS checkpoint, it was assessed that two civilians were unintentionally injured when a vehicle arrived at the checkpoint after the munition was released.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

For April 19th-20th 2015 the Coalition reported that “Near Ar Rutbah, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit.“

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    Unknown
  • Civilians reported injured
    2
  • Airwars grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (4) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI058

Incident date

April 12, 2015

Location

الحويجة, Hawijah, Kirkuk, Iraq

Geolocation

35.32345, 43.77659 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Within 100m (via Coalition) level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Within 100m (via Coalition)

Airwars assessment

Internal monitoring by the Coalition initially identified two possible civilian casualties from an airstrike at Hawijah. The attack, on a High Value target code-named ANDERS MESA, was carried out by an A-10 Warthog.

According to a CENTCOM report declassified in September 2015, “2 civilians unseen in the collateral calls may have been killed or injured as a result of the strike.” A note added that a Task Force was “working with subordinate units to conduct an assessment of the strike.”

On January 15th 2016, CENTCOM publicly conceded that two non combatants had likely died in this US airstrike: “On April 12, 2015, near Al Huwayjah, Iraq, during a strike on an ISIL tactical unit, it was assessed that two unidentified civilians were killed.”

Airwars researchers have not identified any published allegations of civilian casualties from the time, though news reports did report approximately 30 Daesh fighters killed in a strike in the vicinity.

In July 2019, the Coalition provided Airwars with the location of the event to within a 100 metre box.

The local time of the incident is unknown.

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • Airwars grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Geolocation notes

Prior to the Coalition releasing the MGRS for this incident, Airwars had geolocated it to the nearest town at 35.3240179, 43.77335

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Credible
    The investigation assessed that although all feasible precautions were taken and the decision to strike complied with the law of armed conflict, unintended civilian casualties regrettably occurred.
  • Given reason for civilian harm
    No reason given
    Airwars’ assessment of belligerent’s civilian casualty statement
  • Initial Airwars grading
    Confirmed
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    2
  • Stated location
    near Al Huwayjah, Iraq
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    38SLE888096
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Jan 15, 2016
  • On April 12, 2015, near Al Huwayjah, Iraq, during a strike on an ISIL tactical unit, it was assessed that two unidentified civilians were killed.

Original strike reports

US-led Coalition

Confirmed on January 15th 2016. For April 12th-13th 2015, the Coalition had originally reported that “Near Al Huwayjah, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit.”

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    2
  • Airwars grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition

Sources (2) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI056

Incident date

April 4, 2015

Location

فايده, Fadhiliya, Nineveh, Iraq

Geolocation

36.5125336, 43.2689667 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Village level. marker Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Village

Airwars assessment

Five Kurdish non-combatants, all from the same family, died in a reported Coalition strike on the village of Fadhiliyah, near Mosul. A major field investigation by the Guardian later identified the dead.

Three family members survived the attack though were injured. Rahim, an eyewitness and relative, told the Guardian: “We wrapped the dead in blankets and buried them the same day.”

CENTCOM later confirmed that the coalition had struck targets at Fadhiliya on April 4, with a spokesman adding that it was “looking into this further”. Local MP Mala Salim Juma Mohammad said he had been able to confirm that the family had no connection to militants, adding of the strike that “It was a mistake. The coalition needs to compensate the family adequately.”

A declassified CENTCOM report published in August 2015 revealed that a US A-10 Warthog had struck the village, in response to a ‘troops in contact’ request by a unit labelled the Irbil Strike Cell. As the report notes, “Strike imagery shows a structure in the strike radius” and a formal investigation was launched into the attack.

This later concluded that no civilians had died in the event, with CENTCOM presently refusing to expedite publication of the report.

 

The local time of the incident is unknown.

The victims were named as:

Family members (5)

  • Hazem Abdulla Shahin 69 years old male Named by The Guardian, father killed
  • Nadya Nouri Dawoud 60 years old female Named by The Guardian, mother killed
  • Laith Hazem Abdulla 43 years old male Named by The Guardian, son killed
  • Hana Ali Abdulla 43 years old female pregnant Named by The Guardian, bride of Laith Hazem Abdulla killed
  • Danya Laith Hazem 8 years old male Named by The Guardian, daughter of Laith Hazem Abdulla and Hana Ali Abdulla killed

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    5
  • (1 child2 women2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    3
  • 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 (8) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (1) [ collapse]

  • April 4th Danya Laith Hazem (Guardian)

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
    Al Fadiliya, Iraq
    Nearest population center

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • May 1, 2015
  • Irbil Strike Cell received a report of Troops in Contact in Mosul

Summary

  • Civilians reported killed
    5
  • (1 child2 women2 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    3
  • 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 (8) [ collapse]