Source: French Etat Major des Armées/Defence Ministry

Airwars issues occasional in-depth reports relating to our investigations into claims of civilian casualties from international airstrikes in Iraq and Syria.

Downloadable in PDF format, our Creative Commons licence allows for the copying and distribution of text sections so long as they are clearly attributed to Airwars, and are used for non-commercial purposes. All photographs remain the copyright of their original Authors.

– May 2018: Death in the City – High levels of civilian harm in modern urban warfare resulting from significant explosive weapons use  In response to requests for written submissions to an inquiry by the UK’s All Party Parliamentary Group on Explosive Threats, this Airwars paper examined recent civilian harm reporting from Mosul, Raqqa, Aleppo and Ghouta – arguing that intensity of bombardment and population desnity were the primary drivers of negative outcomes for non combatants, rather than any use of ‘dumb’ versus ‘smart’ munitions.


– May 2018: ‘Refusal by The Netherlands Defence Ministry to identify specific civilian harm events impedes natural justice, and runs counter to actions by other Coalition allies’  Our third briefing paper for Dutch MPs was issued after the Netherlands conceded civilian harm in Iraq in up to three incidents between 2014 and 2016 – but refused to say where or when. The paper noted that without more detail, affected Iraqis would never know that Dutch aircraft were responsible for their loved ones being harmed – and could therefore never recieve an apology or compensation.This, we argued, ran counter to natural justice, and to the more transparent actions of Coalition allies.


– November 2017:Renewed Netherlands mission against ISIS risks the lowest levels of public transparency and accountability among allies in a very different war  Airwars was invited to address a committee of Dutch MPs at The Hague on November 29th, to discuss issues relating to the expected resumption of Netherlands airstrikes against ISIS from January 1st 2018. Our short report made clear that the war has become far more destructive in recent months; that civilian harm had worsened; and that Dutch public transparency needed to improve to match that of other allies.


cover-limited-accountability– December 2016: Limited Accountability: A transparency audit of the Coalition air war against so-called Islamic State. A detailed assessment of transparency and accountability issues among the 13-member alliance. The audit – commissioned by UK defence think tank the Remote Control Project – worked with four sample militaries (the US, UK, Canada and Denmark) to build a detailed understanding of how militaries track and assess civilian casualty assessments. It also gauges transparency by partner, measuring whether each ally can be held publicly accountable for its actions.


– May 2016: Improving Belgian transparency and public accountability in the war against Daesh As Brussels debated whether to extend airstrikes to Syria, we submitted a short report to parliament urging improved public transparency.


– March 2016: A Reckless Disregard for Civilian Lives Our analysis of Russian airstrikes in Syria between Sept 30th and Dec 31st 2015.


– February 2016: Netherlands airstrikes in Syria: Towards improved transparency and public accountability: Our report submitted to the Dutch parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee.


– August 2015: Cause for Concern – Hundreds of civilian non-combatants credibly reported killed in first year of Coalition airstrikes against Islamic State

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