A Dutch F-16 jet serving with the US-led coalition in Iraq killed about 70 individuals – Islamic State (IS) militants and civilians – in an air strike in 2015, the Dutch defence ministry says.
It’s the first time the Dutch authorities has given particulars of the raid, which focused an alleged IS bomb manufacturing unit in Hawija, north of Baghdad.
Massive, surprising secondary explosions meant the dying toll was greater than anticipated, a ministry assertion stated.
Dutch sorties in Iraq ended final yr.
The IS facility hit in Hawija on the evening of two June 2015 was believed to be producing vehicle-borne improvised explosive gadgets (IEDs) used to assault coalition forces, the assertion stated.
It’s not clear how most of the 70 killed had been civilians or jihadists. And Dutch Defence Minister Anna Bijleveld stated “the connection between perished [IS] fighters and civilian casualties couldn’t be decided afterwards”.
She stated the intelligence earlier than the strike had indicated that “there have been no civilians within the speedy neighborhood of the goal”.
“The closest residences had been outdoors the injury space… After the assault, nevertheless, extra and bigger secondary explosions occurred than might have been anticipated from earlier expertise with the elimination of the sort of goal, leading to a bigger injury space,” she added.
“It turned out that there have been way more explosives within the IED manufacturing unit than was recognized or could possibly be estimated by the Netherlands on the premise of the data obtainable… This additionally destroyed a lot of different buildings within the space.”
The day after the Hawija bombing, US Air Pressure Lt Gen John Hesterman informed a information convention “pretty small weapon” had been dropped on “a recognized IED constructing in an industrial space”.
“The secondary explosion, which was brought on from a large quantity of [IS] excessive explosives, was very giant, and it destroyed a lot of that industrial space,” he stated, including that the coalition had seen no proof of civilian casualties.
Airwars, an organisation which tracks civilian deaths, concluded that a minimum of 26 youngsters and 22 girls had been amongst these killed within the incident.
The Dutch defence ministry additionally stated on Monday that an air strike within the Iraqi metropolis of Mosul on 20 September 2015 killed 4 civilians. A household residence was bombed after defective intelligence recognized it as an IS headquarters, the ministry stated.
The coalition activity drive combating IS in Iraq and Syria reported on 26 September that it had carried out 34,573 air strikes between August 2014 and August 2019, and that a minimum of 1,335 civilians had been unintentionally killed.
However Airwars believes between eight,214 and 13,125 non-combatants are more likely to have been killed on account of coalition actions over the identical interval.