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Operation Inherent Resolve

 
News Releases

Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve

By CJTF-OIR | April 30, 2017

SOUTHWEST ASIA- During the month of March 2017, CJTF-OIR carried over 43 open reports of possible civilian casualties from previous months, received 27 new reports, and completed the assessment on 28 reports resulting from Coalition strikes in Iraq and Syria in the fight to defeat ISIS. Seventeen of these reports were assessed to be non-credible, nine were assessed to be credible, and two reports were assessed to be duplicates of previous reports.  A total of 42 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 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.

 

To date, based on data between August 2014 and March 2017, the Coalition has conducted a total of 20,205 strikes that included 42,089 separate engagements.  During this period, the total number of reports of possible civilian casualties was 396.  The total number of credible reports of civilian casualties during this time period was 102. The percent of engagements that resulted in a report of possible civilian casualties was .94%.  The percent of engagements that resulted in a credible report of civilian casualties was .24%.  In last month’s report this information was incorrectly reported as February data, when in fact all but the strike numbers were accurate as of 31 March. 

 

After a thorough review of the facts and circumstances of each civilian casualty report, CJTF-OIR assessed that the following 17 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. March 23, 2016, near Hajj Ali, Iraq, via NGO report: No Coalition strikes were conducted on that day in the geographic area of the reported civilian casualties. The closest strike to the report of possible civilian casualties was almost 4 km away. 

     

  2. June 18, 2016, near Manbij, Syria, via NGO report: No Coalition strikes were conducted on that day in the geographic area of the reported civilian casualties.

     

  3. Jan. 6, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via social media report: After a review of available information and strike video it was assessed that no Coalition strikes were conducted in this geographic area that correspond to the report of civilian casualties.

     

  4. Jan. 14, 2017, near Mosul, via NGO report: After a review of available information and strike video it was assessed that there is insufficient information available to determine if civilians were present or harmed in this strike. 

     

  5. Jan. 15, 2017, near Raqqah, Syria, via social media report: After a review of available information it was assessed that there is insufficient information available to determine if civilians were present or harmed in this strike. 

     

  6. Jan. 17, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via social media report: After a review of available information and strike video it was assessed that there is insufficient information available to determine if civilians were present or harmed in this strike. 

     

  7. Jan. 22, 2017, near Nayrab, Syria, via social media report: No Coalition strikes were conducted on that day in the geographic area of the reported civilian casualties. The closest strike to the report of possible civilian casualties was 30 km away. 

     

  8. Feb. 3, 2017, near Dayr Az Zayr, Syria, via social media report: No Coalition strikes were conducted on that day in the geographic area of the reported civilian casualties. The closest strike to the report of possible civilian casualties was 35 km away. 

     

  9. Feb. 7, 2017, near Idlib, Syria, via social media report: No Coalition strikes were conducted on that day in the geographic area of the reported civilian casualties. The closest strike to the report of possible civilian casualties was 90 km away. 

     

  10. Feb. 14, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via social media report: After a review of available information and strike video it was assessed that there is insufficient information available to determine if civilians were present or harmed in this strike. 

     

  11. Feb. 19, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via social media report: No Coalition strikes were conducted on that day in the geographic area of the reported civilian casualties. A similar report of possible civilian casualties less than a kilometer away is still being assessed.   

     

  12. Feb. 19, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via social media report: No Coalition strikes were conducted on that day in the geographic area of the reported civilian casualties. The closest strike to the report of possible civilian casualties was approximately a kilometer away. After a review of available information and strike video it was assessed that there is insufficient information available to determine if civilians were present or harmed in strikes in that area.    

     

  13. Feb. 20, 2017, near Dayr Az Zayr, Syria, via social media report: No Coalition strikes were conducted on that day in the geographic area of the reported civilian casualties.

     

  14. Feb. 20, 2017, near Raqqah, Syria, via social media report: After a review of available information and strike video it was assessed that no Coalition strikes were conducted in this geographic area that correspond to the report of civilian casualties.

     

  15. Feb. 22, 2017, near Tabqah, Syria, via social media report: After a review of available information and strike video it was assessed that no Coalition strikes were conducted in this geographic area that correspond to the report of civilian casualties.

     

  16. March 5, 2017, near Raqqah, via social media report: No Coalition strikes were conducted on that day in the geographic area of the reported civilian casualties.

     

  17. March 12, 2017, near Maskana, Syria, via social media report: No Coalition strikes were conducted on that day in the geographic area of the reported 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 unintentional death of 45 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. 17, 2016, near Mosul, Iraq, via NGO report: During a strike on ISIS fighters firing on partnered forces from a building Nov. 18, it was assessed that eight civilians were unintentionally killed and 12 civilians unintentionally injured in the building. 

     

  2. Dec. 11, 2016, near Mosul, Iraq, via NGO report: During a strike on ISIS fighters firing on Coalition and partnered forces, it was assessed that the strike impacted an ISIS weapons cache that set off secondary explosions that set an adjacent building on fire killing eight civilians in the building. 

     

  3. Feb. 9, 2017, near Al Qaim, Iraq, via self-report:  During a strike on ISIS fighters in a moving vehicle, it was assessed that two civilians were unintentionally injured when they entered the target area after the munition was released. 

     

  4. Feb. 19, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via self-report: During a strike on an ISIS command and control node, it was assessed that one civilian was unintentionally killed.

     

  5. Feb. 22, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via self-report: During a strike on ISIS fighters in a moving vehicle, it was assessed that one civilian was unintentionally killed when he entered the target area after the munition was released.  

     

  6. Feb. 27, 2017, near Al Qaim, Iraq, via self-report: During a strike on ISIS fighters in a moving vehicle, it was assessed that one civilian was unintentionally killed and one civilian unintentionally injured in another moving vehicle that came into the proximnity of the target vehicle at the time of the attack.     

     

  7. March 1, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via media report: During a strike on an ISIS VBIED factory, it was assessed that the strike blast set off a secondary explosion of an ISIS VBIED parked next to a house down the street from the target location resulting in the unintentional death of 14 civilians. 

     

  8. March 3, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via self-report: During a strike on an ISIS headquarters, it was assessed that 10 civilians were unintentionally killed.

      

  9. March, 9, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via self-report: During a strike on ISIS fighters in a moving vehicle, it was assessed that two civilians were unintentionally killed when the target vehicle passed their location at the time of the strike.  

The following two reports were assessed to be duplicates of other reports that have been or are currently being assessed. 

  1. Jan. 31, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via social media report: It was assessed that this report of possible casualties is a duplicate of non-credible report #2 in the April 1, 2017, CJTF-OIR press release.  

     

  2. Feb. 20, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via media report: It was assessed that this report of possible casualties is a duplicate of non-credible report #11 in this press release.  

Currently, 42 reports of civilian casualties are still being assessed:

  1. April 22, 2015, near Mosul, Iraq, via social media report, re-opened due to new information being provided. 

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

  8. Feb. 14, 2017, near Raqqah, Syria, via social media report. 

     

  9. Feb. 16, 2017, near Tabqah, Syria, via social media report. 

     

  10. Feb. 16, 2017, near Raqqah, Syria, via social media report. 

     

  11. Feb. 17, 2017, near Tabqah, Syria, via social media report. 

  12. Feb. 18, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via self-report.

     

  13. Feb. 18, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via self-report. 

     

  14. Feb. 19, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via self-report. 

     

  15. Feb. 20, 2017, near Raqqah, Syria, via social media report. 

     

  16. Feb. 20, 2017, near Al Bab, Syria, via social media report. 

     

  17. Feb. 20, 2017, near Raqqah, Syria, via social media report. 

     

  18. Feb. 21, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via social media report. 

     

  19. Feb. 23, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via self-report.

     

  20. Feb. 25, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via self-report.

     

  21. Feb. 25, 2017, near Kheurbet el-Baida, Syria, via self-report.

     

  22. Feb. 27, 2017, near Al Qaim, Iraq, via social media report.

     

  23. Feb. 28, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via self-report.

     

  24. Feb. 28, 2017, near Al Qaim, Iraq, via self-report.

     

  25. March 1, 2017, near Tabqah, Syria, via social media report. 

     

  26. March 1, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via social media report. 

     

  27. March 3, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via social media report. 

     

  28. March 8, 2017, near Mat’ab, Syria, via social media report. 

     

  29. March 9, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via self-report report. 

     

  30. March 11, 2017, near Kasrat, Syria, via social media report. 

     

  31. March 14, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via social media report. 

     

  32. March 17, 2017, near Al Jeinah, Syria, via social media report. 

     

  33. March 17, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via social media report. 

     

  34. March 19, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via social media report. 

     

  35. March 19, 2017, near Tabqah, Syria, via social media report. 

     

  36. March 20, 2017, near Raqqah, Syria, via social media report. 

     

  37. March 21, 2017, near Tabqah, Syria, via social media report. 

     

  38. March 21, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via self-report. 

     

  39. March 21, 2017, near Al Islah az Zira, Iraq, via self-report. 

     

  40. March 21, 2017, near Tabqah, Syria, via self-report. 

     

  41. March 23, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via self-report. 

     

  42. March 25, 2017, near Raqqah, Syria, via self-report.   

In February and March, the Coalition completed an audit of its civilian casualty report tracking and reporting from August 2014 to the present. The audit determined that 10 previously released reports of civilian casualties were incorrectly reported resulting in a net reduction of two civilians killed.   

  1. March 13, 2015, near Hatra, Iraq: On the Nov. 20, 2015, U.S. Central Command press release it was reported that four civilians were killed during a strike on an ISIS checkpoint.  A subsequent investigation concluded that 11 civilians were unintentionally killed.  

  2. Sept. 10, 2015, in Kubaysah, Iraq, near Hit: Number 1 on the Apr. 22, 2016, U.S. Central Command press release reported that two civilians were killed and four injured during a strike on an ISIL checkpoint.  This was incorrect, it was assessed that four civilians were unintentionally killed and two injured. 

  3. Sept. 24, 2015, near Sinjar, Iraq: Number 3 on the Jan. 29, 2016, U.S. Central Command press release it was reported that two civilians were killed during a strike on an ISIS vehicle. That was incorrect, it was assessed that one civilian was unintentionally killed. 

  4. June 21, 2016, near Ar Raqqah, Syria: Number 12 and 13 on the Nov. 9, 2016, U.S. Central Command press release were both based on the same report. The actual assessment was that on June 21, 2016, near Ar Raqqah, during a strike on an ISIS headquarters four civilians were unintentionally killed. 

  5. June 26, 2016, near Mosul, Iraq: Number 15 on the Nov. 9, 2016, U.S Central Command press release reported that one individual was injured after entering the target area after the aircraft released its weapon. That was incorrect, it was assessed that one civilian was unintentionally killed.

  6. July 14, 2016, near Qayyarah, Iraq: Number 18 on the Nov. 9, 2016, U.S. Central Command press release reported that one civilian was killed during a strike on an ISIS-held building. That was incorrect, it was assessed that one civilian was unintentionally injured. 

  7. Oct. 4, 2016, near Talatanah, Syria: Number 5 on the Dec. 1, 2016, CJTF-OIR press release reported that one civilian was killed during a strike on ISIS fighters. That was incorrect, it was assessed that one civilian was unintentionally injured. 

  8. Nov. 6, 2016, near Shahid-Yunis As Sab, Iraq: Number 1 on the Jan 2, 2017, CJTF-OIR press release reported that seven civilians were killed during a strike on ISIS fighters in a moving vehicle. That was incorrect, it was assessed that two civilians were unintentionally killed and five injured. 

  9. Jan. 4, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq: Number 4 on the March 4, 2017, CJTF-OIR press release reported that one civilian was unintentionally injured in a house. That was incorrect, it was assessed that the report of civilian casualties was non-credible.

  10. Jan. 4, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq: Number 5 on the March 4, 2017, CJTF-OIR press release reported that during a strike on ISIS fighters in a moving vehicle one civilian was unintentionally killed. That was incorrect, it was assessed that one individual was unintentionally injured.

Additionally, it is assessed that 80 civilian casualties attributable to Coalition strikes to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria from August 2014 to the present had not previously been announced. 

 

To date, based on information available, CJTF-OIR assesses that, it is more likely than not, at least 352 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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