Operation Inherent Resolve

 

CJTF – OIR Monthly Civilian Casualty Report

By | March 04, 2017

SOUTHWEST ASIA- During the month of January 2017, CJTF-OIR carried over 10 open reports of possible civilian casualties from previous months, received 27 new reports, and completed the assessment on 19 reports resulting from Coalition strikes in Iraq and Syria in the fight to defeat ISIS. Ten of these reports were assessed to be non-credible and nine were assessed to be credible. A total of 19 reports are still open and being assessed at the end of the month. Coalition strikes are defined as ground artillery or air strikes conducted as part of the Coalition Air Tasking Order.

CJTF-OIR takes all reports of civilian casualties seriously and assesses all reports as thoroughly as possible. Although we are unable to investigate all reports of possible civilian casualties using traditional investigative methods, such as by interviewing witnesses and examining the site, the Coalition interviews pilots and other personnel involved in the targeting process, reviews strike and surveillance video if available, and analyzes information provided by government agencies, non-governmental organizations, partner forces and traditional and social media. In addition, the Coalition considers new information when it becomes available in order to promote a thorough and continuous review process.

After a thorough review of the facts and circumstances of each civilian casualty report, CJTF-OIR assessed that the following 10 reports are non-credible. Non-credible means that at this time there is not sufficient information available to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.

1. Nov. 2, 2016, near Mosul, Iraq, via social media report: After a review of available information and/or strike video it was assessed that no Coalition strikes were conducted in this geographic area that correspond to the report of civilian casualties.

2. Nov. 19, 2016, near Ar Raqqah, Syria, via media report: After a review of available information and/or strike video it was assessed that no Coalition strikes were conducted in this geographic area that correspond to the report of civilian casualties.

3. Dec. 22, 2016, near Ar Raqqah, Syria, via media report: After a review of available information and/or strike video it was assessed that no civilians were harmed in the strikes conducted in this area on that day.

4. Dec. 30, 2016, near Mosul, Iraq, via NGO report: After a review of available information and/or strike video it was assessed that no Coalition strikes were conducted that correspond to the report of civilian casualties.

5. Dec. 30, 2016, near Mosul, Iraq, via social media report: After a review of available information and/or strike video it was assessed that no civilians were harmed in the strikes conducted in this area on that day.

6. Jan. 3, 2017, Sarmada, Syria, via social media report: The report contained insufficient information on the time, location and details of strike to assess its credibility.

7. Jan. 10, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via self-report: After a review of available information and strike video it was assessed that no civilians were harmed in this strike.

8. Jan. 10, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via self-report: After a review of available information and strike video there was insufficient information to assess that any civilians were harmed in this strike.

9. Jan. 12, 2017, near Raqqah, Syria, via NGO report: After a review of available information it was assessed that no Coalition strikes were conducted on that day in the geographic area of the reported civilian casualties.

10. Jan. 17, 2017 near Mosul, Iraq, via social media report: After a review of available information and/or strike video it was assessed that no Coalition strikes were conducted in this geographic area that correspond to the report of civilian casualties.

Although the Coalition takes extraordinary efforts to strike military targets in a manner that minimizes the risk of civilian casualties, in some incidents casualties are unavoidable. Nine reports were assessed to be credible resulting in the unintended death of 21 and injury to two civilians.

A credible assessment means it is more likely than not a Coalition strike resulted in a civilian casualty. In each of the incidents below, 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 unfortunately occurred.

1. Nov. 14, 2016, near Tal Afar, Iraq, via self-report: During a strike on an ISIS checkpoint it was assessed that one civilian was unintentionally injured when the vehicle he was driving approached the checkpoint just prior to the munition’s impact.

2. Nov. 27, 2016, near Dayr Az Zayr, Syria, via self-report: During a strike on ISIS oil tanker trucks it was assessed that three civilians were killed. After warning shots were fired to dislodge drivers from the vehicles a number of the trucks scattered. Three of the trucks were subsequently engaged, destroyed, and their drivers presumed killed. The other vehicles in the area were abandoned after the warning shots were fired and subsequently destroyed with no assessed civilian casualties.

3. Dec. 11, 2016, near Dayr Az Zayr, Syria, via self-report: During a strike on an ISIS oil tanker trucks it is assessed that five civilians were unintentionally killed. After warning shots were fired truck drivers vacated their vehicles and moved a safe distance away. Aircraft engaged targets and following munition release five of the drivers returned to their vehicles and were killed by munition’s impact.

4. Jan. 4, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via media report: During a strike on ISIS fighters in a house it was assessed that one civilian was unintentionally injured in the house.

5. Jan. 4, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via media report: During a strike on ISIS fighters in a moving vehicle it was assessed that one civilian pedestrian was unintentionally killed near when the vehicle was struck.

6. Jan. 7, 2017, near As Sawa, Syria, via self-report: During a strike on ISIS oil tanker trucks it is assessed that two civilians were killed. After warning shots were fired to dislodge drivers from the vehicles a number of the trucks scattered. Two of the trucks were subsequently engaged, destroyed, and their drivers presumed killed. The other vehicles in the area were abandoned after the warning shots were fired and subsequently destroyed with no assessed civilian casualties.

7. Jan. 7, 2017, near Dayr Az Zayr, Syria, via self-report: During a strike on ISIS oil tanker trucks it is assessed that one civilian driver was unintentionally killed. After warning shots were fired to dislodge drivers from the vehicles, aircraft engaged the targets. After munitions’ impact a driver exited a vehicle and attempted to flee when he was killed by a secondary explosion from one of the oil tanker trucks.

8. Jan. 13, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via self-report: During a strike on ISIS fighters in a house it was assessed that eight civilians were unintentionally killed. During post-strike video analysis civilians were identified near the house who were not evident prior to the strike.

9. Jan. 14, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via self-report: During a counter-fire strike on an ISIS mortar team it was assessed that one civilian was unintentionally killed when he entered the target area after weapon was fired.

Currently, 19 reports of civilian casualties are still being assessed:

1. Sept. 20, 2015, near Mosul, Iraq, via media report.

2. Sept. 17, 2016, near Al Tabqah, Syria, via self-report.

3. Dec. 20, 2016, near Al Tabqah, Syria, via media report.

4. Dec. 29, 2016, near Mosul, Iraq, via self-report.

5. Jan. 2, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via social media report.

6. Jan. 2, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via social media report.

7. Jan. 6, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via social media report.

8. Jan. 13, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via social media report.

9. Jan. 15, 2017, near Raqqah, Syria, via social media report.

10. Jan. 16, 2017, near Raqqah, Syria, via self-report.

11. Jan. 17, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via social media report.

12. Jan. 19, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via social media report.

13. Jan. 22, 2017, near Al-Tabqah, Syria, via social media report.

14. Jan. 22, 2017, near Nayrab, Syria, via social media report.

15. Jan. 25, 2017, near Abu Jadi, Syria, via social media report.

16. Jan 26, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via social media report.

17. Jan. 30, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via self-report.

18. Jan. 31, 2017, near Dayr Az Zayr, Syria, via self-report.

19. Jan. 31, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via social media report.

The Coalition is in the process of conducting an audit of its civilian casualty report tracking and reporting from August 2014 to the present. The intent is always to be as thorough as possible in our investigations and as accurate and forthcoming as possible in our reporting.

To date, based on information available, CJTF-OIR assesses that, it is more likely than not, at least 220 civilians have been unintentionally killed by Coalition strikes since the start of Operation Inherent Resolve. We regret the unintentional loss of civilian lives resulting from Coalition efforts to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria and express our deepest sympathies to the families and others affected by these strikes.


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