Maike Awater, Airwars’ Netherland based Advocacy Officer and Conflict Researcher presents at a panel discussion commemorating the second anniversary of the Al-Badhiya air strike’s in Syria. The most worst known air strike of the Anti-IS Coalition with over 150 civilian casualties took place on 20 March 2017 when it targeted a shelter for internally displaced people. Germany, part of the coalition, has acknowledged its role in the strike by providing images of the target site to the coalition command, as well as battle damage assessment flights after the attack. Participants will aim to analyse how an estimated 150 civilian fatalities or more could have been prevented. They will also address the legal obligations of states to investigate right to life violations under human rights law; the need for public transparency; and the question of how to better protect civilians in armed conflict.
Airwars Director Chris Woods is presenting at the UK All Party Parliamentary Group on Drones session ‘The human cost of airstrikes: are we counting civilian deaths?’ The Ministry of Defence has been the second-largest contributor to the anti-ISIS Coalition. However, in over 1900 strikes in Iraq and Syria from 2014-2018, it has reported only one civilian casualty. Participants aim to explore why the military’s estimate of civilian deaths is so much lower than outside tallies; and what can be learned from recent Pentagon developments for progressing civilian protection from the UK and other militaries.
Airwars’ Director Chris Woods is presenting at Oral Evidence Session, organised by UK Parliament’s Defence Select Committee, on the theme of UK actions in the war against so-called Islamic State, and the broader issue of civilian harm, based on the recently published report. Airwars continues to challenge the Ministry of Defence over its claims of no civilian harm from UK actions – despite more than 1,000 targets reportedly being struck. The report contains a number of recommendations to help improve UK monitoring and reporting of civilian harm in future conflicts.
Armed drones at Sigonella: Legal issues and tensions between right to life protection, transparency obligations and military strategy
Airwars will be participating in the conference organised by ECCHR to outline civilian harm caused by the US in Libya from airstrikes which supposedly take off from Sigonella, Italy. Both Airwars and New America will present findings from their joint Libya project, detailing incidents of civilian harm in the North African country and providing a larger perspective on the global drone war.
Airwars in a collaboration with Intimacies of Remote Warfare and PAX is organising a discussion on the application of remote warfare and the risks it involves. Participants aim to engage on the issue of civilian casualties; the legal basis for attacks and support for non-state actors; and whether there is enough political and public debate about this?
Airwars is participating in a gathering of humanitarian practitioners and experts to discuss and reflect upon work undertaken in relation to conflict-related deaths and the significant push behind transparency and accountability with regard to monitoring and reporting on civilian casualties and damage to essential infrastructure. The event also addresses perceived responsibility for the humanitarian consequences of conflict by States who increasingly rely on inter-state support and partnerships among themselves and with armed groups.
Together with a wide range of partners Airwars is participating in a discussion to help develop a deeper understanding about the relationship between digital risk and the protection of individuals and communities affected by situations of armed conflict – and to identify areas for cooperative action to enable humanitarian actors and their partners to respond more effectively and appropriately to protection needs.
Airwars is attending the London launch of a Chatham House research paper on the incidental harm side of the proportionality assessment, which belligerents are legally required to make.