Civilian Casualties

Civilian Casualties

Incident Code

TI065

Incident date

August 17, 2021

Location

قرية سكينة, Medical center in the village of Sakina, Nineveh, Iraq

Airwars assessment

At least eight people were killed, including four members of the medical staff at a hospital and four fighters of the Sinjar Resistance Units who were receiving treatment at  a hospital, and four others were injured in alleged Turkish strikes on Al-Askiniyah Hospital in the village of Sakina in Sinjar district on August 17, 2021.

Ajansa Nûçeyan a Firatê published that “according to the statement of the Autonomous Administration Council in Sinjar, the attack resulted in the death of at least 8 people and the injury of 4 others. Among the martyrs were 4 fighters of the Sinjar Resistance Units who were receiving treatment in the hospital, in addition to the martyrdom of 4 members of the medical staff in the hospital who were serving the Yazidi community.” An image posted on Facebook shows that a baby was among those injured.

The names of those killed in the bombing are: Hamid Saadoun (Qiran Siba), a fighter of the Sinjar Resistance Units; Khader Sharaf (Bir Khader), a fighter of the Sinjar Resistance Units; Rami Al-Salem (Ronny), a fighter of the Sinjar Resistance Units, from the Arab component of the people of the Ba’aj region; Maytum Khader Khalaf (Sarhad Zammar), a fighter of the Sinjar Resistance Units; Ali Rasho Khader, from the medical staff; Saadu Elias Rasho, from the medical staff; Hajji Khader, from the medical staff; Mukhlisat Sidar, from the medical staff.

A report from the PKK identified Mukhlisat Sidar as being a doctor in the medical facility and added that he “had come to Sinjar in  2014 as a medical volunteer from North Kurdistan (southeast Turkey) to help provide medical  treatment for the local population during the IS attacks.”

An activist from Singer told Independent Arabia that “today’s operation came to complete the attack launched by Turkish planes yesterday in Sinjar, which killed three people from the Sinjar Protection Units and wounded two others.” The activist added that the two wounded, one of whom is a leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, were taken to this hospital for treatment.

A statement from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) pointed out that the initial strike was against “an Ezidi diplomatic delegation on its way to a meeting with Iraqi government officials on August 16”.  The reported added that “five members of a diplomatic delegation representing our  Democratic Autonomous Council of Sinjar (MXDŞ) were targeted by a Turkish air strike while  driving through the center of Sinjar city. Two members of the delegation, Seîd Hesen and Îsa  Xwedêda, were killed in the attack while Medya Qasim Simo, Şamir Abbas Berces and Mîrza  Alî were wounded.”

An Iraqi security source told Al-Ain News that “Turkish warplanes bombed this afternoon the military hospital of the Sinjar Protection Forces, which is located in the village of Al-Sakina, south of the district, in Nineveh Governorate. The Turkish aircraft deliberately targeted the building and made any attempts to evacuate those sleeping in it.”

According to the PKK report, the hospital that was bombed had been treating many civilian patients, including COVID patients, at the time of the attack and that “the hospital in the village of Sikêniyê – a former school building – had been established in  2016 after the liberation of the village by the Kurdish guerrilla and YBŞ/YJŞ forces. Ever since,  it had been run solely with the resources provided by the local population and the MXDŞ. It  had been used both by the civilian population of Sinjar and members of the YBŞ/YJŞ”.

“The hospital was subjected to three raids with drones that destroyed the entire building,” said Jalal Khalaf Basso, deputy mayor of Sinjar, to Agence France-Presse. A report from the PKK recalled that “after the first air strike had hit the hospital and  had wounded several people, civilians and Iraqi soldiers from a nearby military base who were  rushing to the scene to help were targeted by three more air strikes.”. All of the sources that reported on the incident attributed the strikes to Turkey.

The incident occured in the afternoon.

  • Hamid Saadoun (Qiran Siba) Age unknown male a fighter of the Shingal Resistance Units killed
  • Khader Sharaf (Bir Khader) Age unknown male a fighter of the Shingal Resistance Units killed
  • Rami Al-Salem (Ronny) Age unknown male a fighter of the Shingal Resistance Units, from the Arab component of the people of the Ba’aj region. killed
  • Maytum Khader Khalaf (Sarhad Zammar) Age unknown male a fighter of the Shingal Resistance Units killed
  • Ali Rasho Khader Age unknown from the medical staff killed
  • Saadu Elias Rasho Age unknown from the medical staff killed
  • Hajji Khader, Age unknown from the medical staff killed
  • Mukhlisat Sidar Age unknown from the medical staff killed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4
  • 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
    Turkish Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Iraqi militias (PMUs)

Sources (21) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (11) [ collapse]

  • Victims of the bombing of a medical center in the village of Sakina (Image posted by ANF)
  • Image of Hamed Saadoun (with his wife), who was killed in alleged Turkish bombing of Al-Askiniyah Hospital on August 17, 2021. (Image posted by Shingal Sinjar my city on Facebook)
  • Four of the people that were killed at a medical facility on August 17, 2021. (Image posted by Shingal Sinjar my city)
  • Image of Khidr Sharaf, Ali Rasho Khidr, and Hajji Khidr, killed in strikes on a medical facility on August 17, 2021. (Image posted by Shingal Sinjar my city)
  • A baby injured in the strikes on the medical facility in the village of Sakina on August 17, 2021. (Image posted by Shingal Sinjar my city)
  • Image of Hamed Saadoun, who was killed in alleged Turkish bombing of Al-Askiniyah Hospital on August 17, 2021. (Image posted by Shingal Sinjar my city on Facebook)
  • Image of a car destroyed in the initial strikes by Turkish forces that killed three Sinjar Protection Forces personnel and injured two others. (Image posted by Shafaq News)
  • Image of a car destroyed in the initial strikes by Turkish forces that killed three Sinjar Protection Forces personnel and injured two others. (Image posted by Irq women via Facebook)
  • Hassan Saeed, commander of the 80th Brigade, was killed the day before in a strike along with two others and another two personnel were injured. The injured were receiving treatment at the hospital when the Turkish launched another strike and killed four military personnel. (Image posted by Murad Sheikh Kalou)
  • Image of a car destroyed in the initial strikes by Turkish forces that killed three Sinjar Protection Forces personnel and injured two others. (Image posted by Kurdistan Workers' Party)
  • Before and after photos of the Mt. Shengal clinic that was allegedly bombed by Turkish forces on August 17, 2021.

Turkish Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    Turkish Armed Forces
  • Turkish Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike, Drone Strike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    4
  • 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
    Turkish Armed Forces
  • Suspected target
    Iraqi militias (PMUs)

Sources (21) [ collapse]

Incident Code

CI880

Incident date

March 13, 2020

Location

مطار كربلاء الدولي, Karbala International Airport, Karbala, Iraq

Geolocation

32.348172, 44.214648 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Within 100m (via Coalition) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Within 100m (via Coalition)

Airwars assessment

Three civilians were reportedly killed and two others injured in alleged American airstrikes in on Karbala International Airport which was under construction in Karbala governorate on March 13th, 2020, according to local sources. The incident is also believed to have killed three belligerents and the injury of nine, two of whom are in critical condition. In September 2020, the Coalition admitted that a strike had been conducted on March 13th “against a Kata’ib Hizbolla facility”, killing one civilian.

US officials had told Reuters that American “retaliatory strikes are underway in Iraq after the Taji camp attack north of Baghdad”.

Step News Agency reported that “on Thursday night-Friday night, the United States launched airstrikes targeting sites belonging to the Iranian militias in Iraq, amid reports that the general was killed in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard militia, Siamand Mashhadani, in the Jurf Al Sakhr region.” The Pentagon confirmed that strikes targeted five weapon storage units of Iranian-backed militias.

One of the victims was identified by New York Times as “Karrar Sabbar, aged 23, who left behind a wife and two children. He worked as a guard, sleeping in one of the airport’s halls or one of the administrative buildings.”

@Nz0FT8c0yti5CxG tweeted that Karrar (1995, full name unknown) was killed in American airstrikes around 1 AM. The source added that the young man was from Karbala governorate, and he worked as a night security guard at an airport that had been under construction. Four missiles were reportedly fired by American warplanes. Also continued to say that “two of his brothers are martyrs.”

NYTimes said that the airstrikes launched overnight “killed three Iraqi soldiers, two police officers and a civilian worker, and damaged an unfinished civilian airport.”

NYTimes said the Pentagon said the American strikes were in self-defense to destroy rockets and other weapons that he said had been supplied by Iran and one of the five sites attacked was a weapons storage site at an airfield in Karbala, but the Iraqi military statement said the airport that was hit was “totally civilian” and all workers there were civilians. Witnesses including a New York Times reporter noted that while the damage from the strikes was clear nothing appeared to have been burned, not even the papers that were in one of the administrative office areas that were hit. If the facility had been used for ammunition storage, it would have been likely to have caused a fire.

Shiite News said that “An airport under construction in Iraq’s central Karbala province was hit in a US bombing raid on militias, with photos showing debris scattered across the site. The US said earlier the strikes were “precise” and defensive.”

Tasnim News said “Unconfirmed reports suggest a construction worker may have been killed in the raid, which the Pentagon insisted earlier was conducted with precision and for purely defensive purposes. ”

Anadolu Agency said “The Iraqi army announced that three soldiers from its forces, two policemen and one civilian were killed as a result of the American strikes Friday night in the southern province of Babel.”

The Joint Operations Command (affiliated to the army) said in a statement on Friday: “At dawn today, Iraq was subjected to a blatant attack by American combat aircraft targeting the army units of the 19th Division and the headquarters of the 46th Popular Mobilization and the third Babylon Police Regiment in Babil Province (Jurf Al-Nasr, Al-Saeedat, Behbehani, The former Ashtar military manufacturing facility, Karbala Airport, is under construction located on the road between Karbala and Najaf). The statement stated that the attack resulted in the death of 3 soldiers and the injury of 4 others, the killing of 2 policemen and the injury of 2 others. In turn, “Al-Husayniya Threshold” in the city of Karbala, southern Iraq, reported that a civilian was killed during the American air strikes at Karbala International Airport.”

The Washington post reported from the Iraqi authorities that “three soldiers and two policemen were killed in the attacks, along with a civilian who was working in an airport that was under construction.”

The Shiite supreme leadership in Iraq condemned the attack and said in a statement that “the bombing had caused the death of a civilian and the wounding of others who were working in the construction of the airport, in addition to significant damage to administrative and service facilities. The statement clearly states that “this airport is purely civilian, and its construction is supervised by the Husseiniya threshold, in agreement with several Iraqi companies and by Iraqi civilian cadres.”

According to Youm7, the Iraqi president condemned the attack and described it “a violation to national sovereignty.”

A statement by the Joint Operations Command said that the attack led to “the killing of three fighters from the nineteenth division, and the injury of four, two of them in critical condition, and the killing of two and the injury of two from the employees of the Babylon third emergency police regiment, and the injury of five of the 46 fighters of the PMF and the death of a civilian worker in Karbala airport, which is under construction, and the wounding of another.”

According to Aleba’a, the Iraqi MP Karim Alaiwi considered the US attack on Karabala airport a message to the Iraqi Shiite Supreme Leadership which pushed the Parliament to take a decision asking the US forces to withdraw from Iraq. He said: “Everyone knows that Karbala airport is a purely civil project and has nothing to do with military objectives, but the United States wanted to send a message to the Shiite decision center that led Parliament to take the decision to remove foreign forces from Iraq.”

In the first of their September 2020 civilian casualty reports, the US-led Coalition stated: “Coalition forces conducted an airstrike against a Kata’ib Hizbolla facility. Regrettably, one civilian was unintentionally killed as a result of the strike”.

The incident occured at approximately 1:00 am local time.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • (3 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    3
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Suspected attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    Iraqi militias (PMUs)
  • Belligerents reported killed
    3
  • Belligerents reported injured
    9

Sources (20) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (32) [ collapse]

  • Aftermath of a deadly US airstrike on Karbala Airport on March 13th, 2020 which the Pentagon admits killed a civilian.
  • Destruction at Karbala airport in the Iraqi shrine city, one of the areas targeted by US military air strikes on March 13th, 2020 (via Vox)
  • A US military PowerPoint slide released to reporters shows the five targets of the airstrikes on March 13th, 2020 (via Vox.com)
  • Damage to Karbala international airport which was under construction after a US airstrike on March 13th, 2020. (via shiitenews).
  • Damage to Karbala international airport which was under construction after a US airstrike on March 13th, 2020. (via shiitenews).
  • Damage to Karbala international airport which was under construction after a US airstrike on March 13th, 2020. (via shiitenews).
  • Damage to Karbala international airport which was under construction after a US airstrike on March 13th, 2020. (via shiitenews).
  • Image showing the damage caused to Karabala International Airport project which was still under construction when attacked by the US in an airstrike on March 13th, 2020 (via imamhussain)
  • Image showing the damage caused to Karabala International Airport project which was still under construction when attacked by the US in an airstrike on March 13th, 2020 (via imamhussain)
  • Image showing the damage caused to Karabala International Airport project which was still under construction when attacked by the US in an airstrike on March 13th, 2020 (via imamhussain)
  • Image showing the damage caused to Karabala International Airport project which was still under construction when attacked by the US in an airstrike on March 13th, 2020 (via imamhussain)
  • Image showing the damage caused to Karabala International Airport project which was still under construction when attacked by the US in an airstrike on March 13th, 2020 (via imamhussain)
  • Image showing the damage caused to Karabala International Airport project which was still under construction when attacked by the US in an airstrike on March 13th, 2020 (via imamhussain)
  • Image showing the damage caused to Karabala International Airport project which was still under construction when attacked by the US in an airstrike on March 13th, 2020 (via imamhussain)
  • Image showing the damage caused to Karabala International Airport project which was still under construction when attacked by the US in an airstrike on March 13th, 2020 (via imamhussain)
  • Image showing the damage caused to Karabala International Airport project which was still under construction when attacked by the US in an airstrike on March 13th, 2020 (via imamhussain)
  • A US airstrike on Karabala international airport caused huge damage to the building which was under construction (via Shafaq)
  • Fighters from the Kataeb Hezbollah, or Hezbollah Brigades militia, inspect the destruction at their headquarters in the aftermath of a U.S. airstrike in Qaim, Iraq, Monday, Dec. 30, 2019. The Iranian-backed militia said Monday that the death toll from U.S. military strikes in Iraq and Syria against its fighters has risen to 25, vowing to exact revenge for the "aggression of evil American ravens." (AP Photo)
  • Aftermath of an American airstrike on Karabala international airport project on March 13th, 2020 (via youm7)
  • Aftermath of an American airstrike on Karabala international airport project on March 13th, 2020 (via youm7)
  • Aftermath of an American airstrike on Karabala international airport project on March 13th, 2020 (via youm7)
  • Aftermath of an American airstrike on Karabala international airport project on March 13th, 2020 (via youm7)
  • Aftermath of an American airstrike on Karabala international airport project on March 13th, 2020 (via youm7)
  • Aftermath of an American airstrike on Karabala international airport project on March 13th, 2020 (via youm7)
  • Aftermath of an American airstrike on Karabala international airport project on March 13th, 2020 (via youm7)
  • Image via Alghadeer in the aftermath of the American airstrike that hit Karabala international airport project that was still under construction bordering Najaf province on March 13th, 2020.
  • Image via Alghadeer in the aftermath of the American airstrike that hit Karabala international airport project that was still under construction bordering Najaf province on March 13th, 2020.
  • Image via Alghadeer in the aftermath of the American airstrike that hit Karabala international airport project that was still under construction bordering Najaf province on March 13th, 2020.
  • Image via Alghadeer in the aftermath of the American airstrike that hit Karabala international airport project that was still under construction bordering Najaf province on March 13th, 2020.
  • Aftermath of an American airstrike on Karabala international airport project on March 13th, 2020 (via youm7)
  • Destruction of parts of Karbala international airport by a US airstirke on March 13th, 2020 (via Alebaa).

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention multiple strikes on alleged weapon caches, some of which struck a civilian from Karbala (كربلاء), who sources suggest that he was employed as night security at the Karbala International Airport (مطار كربلاء الدولي) that is currently under construction. Since the strikes happened during the night and assuming that the individual was at work, we suggest that the location of the strike is the airport, for which coordinates are: 32.347736, 44.214334. Due to limited satellite imagery and information available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further. Prior to the Coalition releasing the MGRS for this incident, Airwars had geolocated it to the nearest neighbourhood/area at 32.347736, 44.214334.

  • Google Earth imagery dating back from 2010 does not show the current progress of the Karbala International Airport (مطار كربلاء الدولي) which is currently under construction. Instead, here is an image from the Sentinel-2 L1C data, from the 9th of March, 2020.

    Imagery:
    Sentinel-2, ESA

United States Armed Forces Assessment:

  • Suspected belligerent
    United States Armed Forces
  • United States Armed Forces position on incident
    Not yet assessed

US-led Coalition Assessment:

  • Known belligerent
    US-led Coalition
  • US-led Coalition position on incident
    Credible / Substantiated
    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
  • Civilian deaths conceded
    1
  • Civilian injuries conceded
    None
  • Stated location
    in Karbala, Iraq
    Nearest population center
  • Location accuracy
    100 m
  • MGRS coordinate
    38SMA261793
    Military Grid Reference System

Civilian casualty statements

US-led Coalition
  • Sep 9, 2020
  • Mar. 13, 2020, in Karbala, Iraq, via media report. Coalition forces conducted an airstrike against a Kata’ib Hizbolla facility. Regrettably, one civilian was unintentionally killed as a result of the strike. 3047 38SMA261793

Summary

  • Strike status
    Declared strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    3
  • (3 men)
  • Civilians reported injured
    3
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Confirmed
    A specific belligerent has accepted responsibility for civilian harm.
  • Suspected attacker
    United States Armed Forces
  • Known attacker
    US-led Coalition
  • Suspected target
    Iraqi militias (PMUs)
  • Belligerents reported killed
    3
  • Belligerents reported injured
    9

Sources (20) [ collapse]

Incident Code

ISIR001

Incident date

August 12, 2019

Location

قاعدة الصقر, Al Saqar camp, South of Baghdad, Iraq

Geolocation

33.211872, 44.370779 Note: The accuracy of this location is to Exact location (other) level. Continue to map

Geolocation accuracy

Exact location (other)

Airwars assessment

Local sources published conflicting reports about a major explosion at what appears to have been a weapons depot at Al Saqar Camp, in Baghdad on the evening of August 12th, 2019. One civilian was reportedly killed, while up to 30 others were reported injured.

While no belligerent claimed responsibility, Israel was blamed by some as the possible culprit. Israel, in turn, claimed that Iran has begun to reinforce armed militias in Iraq as a result of increased attacks against its targets in Syria. One source blamed US aircraft for the strikes.

Sources, such as the National News, initially reported that a fire in a warehouse storing weapons and ammunition caused a series of explosions. Qasim Al Attabi, a spokesman for the district’s health directorate, stated that: “The fire ignited several rockets which struck neighbourhoods several miles away and injuring mainly children.” A security source told Reuters that the facility stored short-range and Katyusha missiles.

According to Jorf News, the explosions destroyed a garage for armoured vehicles, and large parts of Al Saqar camp, including two warehouses each about 1,000 meters in size. The source wrote that while some reported that a fire was caused by negligence and poor storage of ammunition and equipment, and the lack of electrical insulation, others reported a drone strike.

Arab48 claimed that the targeted base belonged to the Popular Mobilization Units and had included missile storage. The source noted that media close to the PMU had claimed the attack was carried out with surface-to-surface missiles, while others said that the attack was carried out with planes.

According to Masrawy News, which referred to the location as Camp Falcon, the explosion killed one person and wounded 28 others. A security source told Masrawy News that it was suspected that the explosion was indeed caused by an Israeli action. The source added that the Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi had called for a thorough investigation into the cause of the incident.

The Guardian reported that “an official report leaked to the Associated Press said investigators believed the explosions at the al-Saqr military base on 12 August were the result of a drone strike. The blasts killed one civilian and wounded 28 others.”

Jorf News initially reported that “the Iraqi Ministry of Health announced that (13) people were injured as a result of the explosion of a warehouse of equipment inside Saqr Camp, which includes (4) brigades of the Popular Mobilization Militia, in the Abu Dashir area, south of the capital, Baghdad.”

Khabar Agency also reported that, according to Ministry of Interior spokesman Saad Maan, “the explosion wounded 13 people, including two from the Federal Police and four members of the (Popular Mobilization).”

According to Al Araby, “officials in the Iraqi Police Service said that a warehouse of weapons and ammunition belonging to the Sayyid al-Shuhada Brigades militia, one of the Iraqi armed factions linked to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, south of the capital, Baghdad, was subjected to a series of explosions, which resulted in one death and wounding 29 people, according to the Iraqi Ministry of Health. In addition to large material losses at the headquarters and nearby homes, due to the fall of shrapnel of rockets and missiles from inside the warehouse.”

Al Jazeera News also reported that the explosion at Al Saqr camp was caused by shelling from outside. The source claimed that the camp housed four headquarters of the PMU Brigades including the Badr Organization, Jund al-Imam, and Sayyed al-Shuhada Brigades. The source also claimed that one person was killed, with a further 30 wounded.

According to Al Jazeera, sources claimed the explosion was caused by an airstrike by an unknown aircraft, and added that “security sources and eyewitnesses said that an unidentified aircraft carried out more than one strike on weapons stores inside the camp. The same sources ruled out that the explosion was caused by a technical fault occurred inside the stores, which used to contain large quantities of missiles and bombs belonging to factions of the Popular Mobilization Units, and their volatility led to the casualties mentioned.”

Eurabia reported that the PMF accused the US and Israel for the bombing of the facility. Adel Al Karawi, spokesman for the Ansar Allah Al Loyal Movement in the Popular Mobilization Forces stated that “the data about the outbreak of the Saqr camp fire indicate that the camp was bombed by an American aircraft loaded with missiles.”

Baghdad Today posted a video of civilians leaving their homes to rush to the site of the airstrikes.

RasheedTV spoke to several locals after the strike. Civilians showed the damage to their homes. One local said: “These roofs of the houses are made of thin sheets of metal. A single bullet would make it shake, now imagine what an airstrike would do. Even if it didn’t explode it would completely destroy it – these houses were hit and the windows broke, houses collapsed.”

On August 13th, Huriyat News posted a photo of Baghdad residents who were affected by the event reportedly protesting for the removal and transfer of the Al Saqar base.

On August 16th, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi ordered the formation of a joint committee from all concerned parties to investigate the incident. The Prime Minister also cancelled all flight approvals in Iraqi airspace, wrote Aawsat.

Newsweek reported: “The United States and its coalition allies against the Islamist State militant group (ISIS) in Iraq have agreed to new, stricter airspace regulations issued by the government after a mysterious explosion that caused dozens of civilian casualties.” For the US-led Coalition aircraft to fly, they would need “exclusive approval of the General Commander of the Iraqi Armed Forces or his authorized representative,” otherwise aircraft “will be deemed to be hostile aviation and handled immediately by our air defenses”, said the Iraqi government.

On August 20th, Military.com reported that this restriction, however, did not apply to close-air support or casualty evacuation, according to US army colonel James Rawlinson, who stated: “CJTF-OIR is authorized by the Government of Iraq to provide emergency support to any Coalition Forces and Iraqi Security Forces in danger.”

The incident of August 12th was widely covered by international media. The New York Times, for example, wrote: “Israel has carried out an airstrike on a weapons depot in Iraq that officials said was being used by Iran to move weapons to Syria, an attack that could destabilize Iraq and thrust it deeper into the conflict between the United States and Iran”, adding that it was the first Israeli attack in Iraq in nearly four decades.

The deputy chief of the Popular Mobilization Forces, Jamal Jaafar Al Ibrahim, blamed American and Israeli aircraft for repeated attacks on the militias local headquarters. While the Israeli military refused to comment on the strikes, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters: “A state that says, ‘We are going to destroy you and we will build bases to fire missiles and to send terrorist cells against you’ — as far as I’m concerned, has no immunity. (…) We will act — and currently are acting — against them, wherever it is necessary.”

The American Department of Defence did comment on the strikes, and stated that “U.S. forces did not conduct the recent attack on a convoy or any recent attacks that resulted in the explosion of ammunition storage facilities in Iraq.”

As a result of the strikes, a group of Iraqi parliamentarians called for the withdrawal of US troops from the country, reported VOA News. On August 26th, the Fatah Coalition stated that it held the US fully responsible for the Israeli strikes, “which we consider to be a declaration of war on Iraq and its people.”

Al Arabiya reported that American officials had confirmed that Israel had been responsible for a strike on a weapon depot in July 2019.

The incident occured in the evening.

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • Civilians reported injured
    13–30
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Unknown
  • Suspected target
    Iraqi militias (PMUs)
  • Belligerents reported injured
    6

Sources (54) [ collapse]

Media
from sources (41) [ collapse]

  • An explosion at the al-Saqr camp south of Baghdad in the evening of August 12th (via Aljazeera News).
  • An explosion at the al-Saqr camp south of Baghdad in the evening of August 12th (via Aljazeera News).
  • Translation: “Explosions at ammunition depots (and perhaps also missiles) of Shiite militias in the Baghdad region in Iraq. It was bombed for the third time in recent weeks” (via @simonarann).
  • Alleged Israeli strikes on Al Saqar camp, Baghdad governorate, on August 12th, 2019 (via Al Daee).
  • Translation: “Baghdad, my beloved area, Abu Dashir. Oh my God. Who has done this to the terrifying children and women” (via @wisamalknane).
  • Translation: “The first moments of a pile of ammunition exploding this evening in southern Baghdad. The ammunition pile of the Federal Police and the Popular Mobilization Forces exploded at Al Saqr base in A Dora area, south of Baghdad, and caused random rockets and mortar shells to be fired at residential areas” (via @AL_Menassa).
  • Translation: “On the occasion of Eid al-Adha. Powerful explosions at the Ain al-Saqr base, a popular crowd, and Katyusha rockets fell on the homes of citizens. The news conflicted between poor storage and direct air strikes. The truth is known only to God and Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis” (via @zeyad_alsenjary).
  • Translation: “An explosion of an ammunition pile at Ain Al-Saqr Military Base, South Bagdad and mortar shells fell on several areas, including Karrada and Sidiyah” (via @25iraq_Aish).
  • Photo of alleged Israeli strikes on Al Saqar camp, Baghdad governorate, on August 12th, 2019 (via @25iraq_Aish).
  • Photo of alleged Israeli strikes on Al Saqar camp, Baghdad governorate, on August 12th, 2019 (via @25iraq_Aish).
  • Damaged civilian homes in the areas of Abu Dashir and Dora, south of Baghdad, after alleged Israeli airstrikes on August 12th, 2019 (via Yesiraq).
  • Civilians showing the damage in their homes in the areas of Abu Dashir and Dora, south of Baghdad, after alleged Israeli airstrikes on August 12th, 2019 (via Yesiraq).
  • Damaged civilian homes in the areas of Abu Dashir and Dora, south of Baghdad, after alleged Israeli airstrikes on August 12th, 2019 (via Yesiraq).
  • Rubble in civilian homes in the areas of Abu Dashir and Dora, south of Baghdad, after alleged Israeli airstrikes on August 12th, 2019 (via Yesiraq).
  • Damaged civilian homes in the areas of Abu Dashir and Dora, south of Baghdad, after alleged Israeli airstrikes on August 12th, 2019 (via Yesiraq).
  • Damaged civilian homes in the areas of Abu Dashir and Dora, south of Baghdad, after alleged Israeli airstrikes on August 12th, 2019 (via Yesiraq).
  • Rubble in civilian homes in the areas of Abu Dashir and Dora, south of Baghdad, after alleged Israeli airstrikes on August 12th, 2019 (via Yesiraq).
  • Damaged civilian homes in the areas of Abu Dashir and Dora, south of Baghdad, after alleged Israeli airstrikes on August 12th, 2019 (via Yesiraq).
  • Damaged civilian homes after alleged Israeli airstrikes on Al Saqar Camp, August 12th, 2019 (via Sky News).
  • Alleged Israeli airstrikes on Al Saqar Camp, August 12th, 2019 (via Sky News).
  • Civilians at the site after alleged Israeli airstrikes on Al Saqar Camp, August 12th, 2019 (via Sky News).
  • Alleged Israeli airstrikes on Al Saqar Camp, August 12th, 2019 (via Sky News).
  • Damaged civilian homes after alleged Israeli airstrikes on Al Saqar Camp, August 12th, 2019 (via Sky News).
  • Damaged civilian homes after alleged Israeli airstrikes on Al Saqar Camp, August 12th, 2019 (via Sky News).
  • Munition remnants after alleged Israeli airstrikes on Al Saqar Camp, August 12th, 2019. It remains unclear whether these remnants are related to the August 12th event (via Sky News).
  • Civilians reportedly protesting for the removal and transfer of the Al Saqar weapon depot (via Huriyat News).
  • Translation: “A series of explosions in Baghdad, very strong explosions at Al Saqar base, including missiles and various ammunition, shattering the windows of houses and the displacement of the people of the region, and we think this is to weaken the Iraqi Iranian militia in preparation for a possible war on Iran that may come within a few months” (via @RAlshallal).
  • Translation: “Violent bombardment targets a warehouse of weapons and equipment belonging to the (Popular Mobilization) militia, which it established inside the residential areas in the Abu Dashir neighbourhood in the Dora district, south of Baghdad, and local residents talk about the fall of rocket and shrapnel shells on the houses surrounding the site of the explosion” (via @drImadEddin).
  • Smoke after alleged Israeli airstrikes on Al Saqar Camp, August 12th, 2019 (via @drImadEddin).
  • Alleged Israeli airstrikes on Al Saqar Camp, August 12th, 2019 (via @drImadEddin).
  • Translation: “Missiles inside a militia camp Al Hashad Al Sh a'abi. Close to the residential neighborhoods in the south of the capital Baghdad. A huge explosion, a weapons depot belonging to the Hashd militia. Unidentified aircraft bombed a crowd's weapons depot. Whatever the reasons were: explosion, contact, bombing, what was important in the PMF camp was” (via @IslNaimi).
  • Smoke after alleged Israeli airstrikes on Al Saqar Camp, August 12th, 2019 (via @IslNaimi).
  • Alleged Israeli airstrikes on Al Saqar Camp, August 12th, 2019 (via @drImadEddin).
  • Translation: “Material damage following the explosion of the Saqr camp, in an area close to civilians, who are demanding an urgent inquiry into the incident” (via RasheedTV).
  • The targeted Al Saqar military base before and after alleged Israeli strikes in Iraq, August 12th, 2019 (via @ImageSatIntl).
  • The collateral damage radius after alleged Israeli airstrikes on Al Saqar military base on August 12th, 2019 (via @ImageSatIntl).
  • Alleged Israeli airstrikes on Al Saqar military base near Baghdad on August 12th, 2019 (via BBC).
  • Statement by the American Department of Defence on August 26th, 2019 (via American Department of Defence).

Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]

Reports of the incident mention a warehouse being struck within the Al Saqar Base (قاعدة الصقر). Analyizing audio-visual material from sources and comparing it to the location released by @ImageSatIntl, we can confirm that the exact coordinates are: 33.210878, 44.372361.

  • Reports of the incident mention a warehouse being struck within the Al Saqar Base (قاعدة الصقر).

    Imagery:
    Google Earth

Unknown Assessment:

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

Summary

  • Strike status
    Likely strike
  • Strike type
    Airstrike
  • Civilian harm reported
    Yes
  • Civilians reported killed
    1
  • Civilians reported injured
    13–30
  • Airwars civilian harm grading
    Fair
    Reported by two or more credible sources, with likely or confirmed near actions by a belligerent.
  • Suspected attacker
    Unknown
  • Suspected target
    Iraqi militias (PMUs)
  • Belligerents reported injured
    6

Sources (54) [ collapse]