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Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve Monthly Civilian Casualty Report

Release No: 17-129 April 1, 2017 PRINT | E-MAIL
April 1, 2017
Release # 20170401-02
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SOUTHWEST ASIA — During the month of February 2017, CJTF-OIR carried over 19 open reports of possible civilian casualties from previous months, received 41 new reports, and completed the assessment on 17 reports resulting from Coalition strikes in Iraq and Syria in the fight to defeat ISIS. Twelve of these reports were assessed to be non-credible and five were assessed to be credible. A total of 43 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.

To date, based on data between August 2014 and February 2017, the Coalition conducted a total of 18,645 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 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 Mosul, Iraq, since the start of operations to liberate the city on Oct. 17, 2016, to the liberation of the East side of Mosul on Feb. 18, 2017, the total number of reports of possible civilian casualties was 37. The total number of credible reports during this time period was 15. The percent of engagements in Mosul during this time period that resulted in a credible report of credible civilian casualties was .37%.

After a thorough review of the facts and circumstances of each civilian casualty report, CJTF-OIR assessed that the following 12 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. Jan. 2, 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.

2. Jan. 2, 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.

3. Jan. 13, 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. 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.

5. Jan. 22, 2017, near Al-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.

6. Jan. 25, 2017, near Abu Jadi, 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.

7. Feb. 1, 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.

8. Feb. 3, 2017, near Al-Abyad, Iraq, via self-report: After a review of available information and strike video it was assessed that no civilians were harmed in this strike.

9. Feb. 4, 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.

10. Feb. 8, 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.

11. Feb. 19, 2018, near Manbij, Syria, via NGO report: No Coalition strikes were conducted on that day in the geographic area of the reported civilian casualties.

12. Feb. 24, 2017, near Al-Qa’im, Iraq, via self-report: After a review of available information and strike video it was assessed that no civilians were harmed in this strike.

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. Five reports were assessed to be credible resulting in the unintended death of nine 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. Sept. 20, 2015, near Mosul, Iraq, via media report: During a Sept. 21 strike on what was evaluated at the time to be an ISIS headquarters building. After receiving additional information, it was assessed that four civilians were unintentionally killed and two civilians were unintentionally injured in the building.

2. Jan. 30, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via self-report: During a strike on an ISIS weapons manufacturing facility, it was assessed that one civilian in the building was unintentionally killed.

3. Feb. 6, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via self-report: During a strike on ISIS fighters, it was assessed that three civilians were unintentionally injured when they entered the target area after the munition was released.

4. Feb. 12, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via self-report: During a strike on an ISIS VBIED facility, it was assessed that two civilians were unintentionally killed when they entered the target area after the munition was released.

5. Feb. 16, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via self-report: During a strike on an ISIS VBIED facility, it was assessed that two civilians were unintentionally killed when they entered the target area after the munition was released.

Currently, 43 reports of possible 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. March 23, 2016, near Hajj Ali, Iraq, via NGO report.

3. June 18, 2016, near Manbij, Syria, via NGO report.

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

5. Nov. 17, 2016, near Mosul, Iraq, via NGO report.

6. Dec. 11, 2016, near Mosul, Iraq, via NGO report.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

17. Feb. 3, 2017, near Dayr Az Zayr, Syria, via social media report.

18. Feb. 7, 2017, near Idlib, Syria, via social media report.

19. Feb. 9, 2017, near Al Qaim, Iraq, via self-report.

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

21. Feb. 14, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via social media report.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

29. Feb. 19, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via social media report.

30. Feb. 19, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via social media report.

31. Feb. 20, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via media report.

32. Feb. 20, 2017, near Raqqah, Syria, via NGO report.

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

34. Feb. 20, 2017, near Dayr Az Zayr, Syria, via social media report.

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

36. Feb. 21, 2017, near Raqqah, Syria, via social media report.

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

38. Feb. 22, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via self-report.

39. Feb. 22, 2017, near Tabqah, Syria, via social media report.

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

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

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

43. Feb. 27, 2017, near Al Qaim, Iraq, via self-report.

Additionally, a 15-6 investigation has been opened in regard to strikes conducted on or about March 17, 2017, in the Al-Jadida neighborhood of Mosul, Iraq.

To date, based on information available, CJTF-OIR assesses that, it is more likely than not, at least 229 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.
CJTFOIR