Evidence of between 72-81 civilian deaths in December – will the UK military investigate?
AIRWARS, an independent monitoring group of coalition airstrikes in Syria and Iraq, has called for a UK government investigation into the link between British bombing and new civilian casualties on the ground.
The call has also been backed by the Scottish National Party and the Stop the War campaign group .
The evidence compiled by AirWars has raised further concern over the human tragedy of the ongoing wars across the Middle East and North Africa.
CommonSpace, citing AirWars evidence, highlights the eight airstrikes the groups want investigated. Reports of between 795 and 2,332 civilian casualties can also be read in full.
Case A – 13 December Mosul (Iraq), 3-4 dead
Salah Mohammed Afri of the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Mosul was killed alongside two or three professors, according to the Iraqi News Agency.
Three further Arabic news sources confirmed the attack.
The UK military confirms that “in and around both Mosul and Sinjar” on 13 December both Typhoon and Tornado aircraft dropped bombs.
Case B – 21 December Mosul (Iraq), 12-20 dead
Reuters news agency reported that “at least 12 civilians” were killed in an airstrike in Mosul on the 21st of December 2015. AirWars back this report up with a further seven Arabic news sources and eleven images connected to the strike.
Among the dead was Abdul Khaliq Ghanem Sabawi, who was killed with his wife, daughter and aunt in the strike, according to NRN News. A local medical centre was damaged in the attack, according to AirWars analysis. A child aged ten was a victim of the attack, alongside at least three other children.
Community leader Ethel Nujaifi is cited in the reports. He said: “Targeting elements of Daash can not justify the bombing of innocent civilians in residential areas.”
Between 17 and 50 further individuals were injured.
The UK military confirms that “Typhoon FGR4s and an RAF Reaper operated around the Mosul area” on December 21st, which included dropping a “Paveway IV bomb” and further “targeted support” in an airstrike.
Case C – 21 December Mosul (Iraq), 6 dead
Six civilians, including five children, were killed in a coalition airstrike in the Keseir village east of Mosul.
Three Arabic news stations reported the bombing casualties – including Al Rafidain, A3 Maq Agency and Iraqi Revolution.
There were three further civilian injuries reported.
The UK military confirms that “Typhoon FGR4s and an RAF Reaper operated around the Mosul area” on 21 December, including dropping a Paveway IV bomb.
Case D – 29 December Mosul (Iraq), 2 or more dead
Two attacks were linked to civilian casualties by credible news agency reports.
The first, west of Mosul, struck oil transportation trucks – “but the attack also destroyed the ‘Cairo’ gas station, which in turn damaged a number of civilian homes nearby.”
According to the NRN Agency, the second bombing of a house was “located in a residential area and is surrounded by many other homes, which suffered significant physical damage. Civilians were also killed and injured.”
Five separate Arabic news sources reported on the attacks, identifying two or more civilian casualties.
The UK military confirm that near Mosul on 29 December a Typhoon dropped a Paveway IV bomb near the city, killing its targets.
The first four airstrikes are all considered to be ‘fairly’ confirmed by AirWars. The following reports are ‘contested’.
Case E – 21 December Mosul (Iraq), 17 dead
Reports that 17 civilians, including five children and four women, were killed in a coalition airstrike were published by Arabic news sources.
However, NRN News contradicted reports of civilian casualties.
The UK military confirms that it was bombing Mosul on this date.
Case F – 25 December Ramadi (Iraq), 5 dead
On Christmas Day five civilians were killed in a bombing of the Iraqi city of Ramadi. Twenty civilians were also reported to have sustained injuries.
Sources identified the aircraft as coalition forces, however according to the Al Rafidain news groups it could have been either coalition or Iraqi forces.
The UK military confirms bombing Ramadi on Christmas Day with Paveway IV bombs.
Case G – 22 December Ramadi (Iraq), 8 dead
Eight civilians were killed and a further twelve injuried, most of them women and children, according to reports on an air and ground attack on the city of Ramadi.
Local reports, including from Iraqi Spring Media Centre and Iraqi Revolution sources, provided the details of the attack – however few details were fully disclosed.
The UK military confirmed that RAF Tornados and Reaper drone aircraft dropped Paveway bombs on Ramadi on 22 December.
Case H – 13 December Mosul (Iraq), 19 dead
A single source report from National Iraqi News Agency Arabic news reported an airstrike killed 19 civilians including 4 children.
However, other AirWars sources disputed the details of the attack.
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Image courtesy of Airman Magazine