Civilians in Mosul Under Constant Threat of Airstrikes [EN/AR]
The Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights (IOHR) stated that the remaining civilians in the right coast of Mosul are still under threat of airstrikes. Although unidentified, the strikes seem to largely belong to US-led Coalition Forces.
IOHR states that Coalition Air Forces have caused the death of hundreds of civilians in Mosul over the past few weeks, who has used the same tactics, and has not taken any further action to spare civilians its fire, aimed at destroying ISIS targets.
Brigadier General Rick Uribe, Deputy Commanding General in the US-led Coalition against IS, said at a press conference in Baghdad last week: “We still have the same rules of engagement; those authorities were delegated before any change in administration,” referring to the new Trump presidential administration. The IOHR monitoring network has documented the deaths of 5 families in Al Yarmouk neighbourhood in the right coast of Mosul, after an airstrike hit their homes on 10 April 2017.
Laith Al Rashidy, a displaced person from Mosul, said: “The incident which occurred in the streets opposite to Al Yarmouk Bridge, next to Maysaloon Preparatory School for Girls, took the life of one of my cousins, Imad Abdul Ghani Al Rashidy, along with his mother, his wife, his four daughters, his niece, and those of five other families who had taken refuge in Imad’s home, who was their neighbor.”
He added: “The house was targeted one hour after the escape of an ISIS target who was present on its rooftop. I expect that the number of victims has reached at least 30 in the same house whose bodies remain under the rubble.”
His brother who survived the incident Al Yarmouk neighborhood, Iyad Abdul Ghani Al Rashidy, said in an interview with IOHR: “Four families lived in my house, including my own family, my brother’s family, and two other neighboring families. One of the families moved in with us after their home was controlled by an ISIS sniper.”
Iyad Al Rashidy added: “At 1pm on 10 April 2017, my home was struck by a rocket. The front end of the house was hit, which included the stores and the bedrooms. 14 people were killed, mostly women, 8 of whom were from my family, including my mother, daughter, brother, his wife and daughters. Only his son survived. As for my neighbor, he lost his wife and two daughters, and the second neighboring family lost 3 of their own family.”
In Bab Sinjar area, local residents stated to the IOHR: “A local Mosul resident, 42 members of Ghanem Subheya’s family were killed after an airstrike hit their home in the morning hours of Saturday, 15 April 2017.”
They added: “Subheya’s home consists of 16 rooms, which held more than one family at the time of the incident. Ghanem’s brother and his family, his six sons and five daughters were also present in the hosue during the attack.”
IOHR stated that airstrikes have also struck a house on 15 April 2017 in Al Islah Al Zera’y neighborhood. The two-story house fell entirely to the ground.
An eye witness whose son was wounded in the strikes on Al Islah Al Zera’y neighborhood, said: “ISIS members had previously sent a drone from the rooftop of the family’s home, before they escaped. The home was then hit with two successive rockets, killing at least 8 civilians – a father and his children, whose bodies are still under the rubble.”
A neighbor who became an eye witness to the strike, said: “My nine-year old son was also injured during the strikes as he was outside of the house. I heard ISIS members say to my neighbors who refused them access to the rooftop, that their lives are not worth more than theirs.”
The Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights (IOHR) calls on the commanders in the Iraqi Army, and all those who support them in the battle to liberate the right coast of Mosul, to adhere to international humanitarian law, taking any needed measures to limit the threat of ISIS to civilians and their safety.
IOHR states that International Coalition Airforces as well as some Iraqi Security Forces have made no distinction between civilian and military objects during the battles to liberate Mosul’s right coast.
IOHR stresses that the International Coalition and intelligence agencies responsible for identifying ISIS targets must use complete accuracy in doing so, in order to avoid civilian casualties. Civilians’ safety and protection must be prioritized during air raids against ISIS.