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Air strike may have killed Iraqi civilians

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The Australian Defence Force (ADF) says its fighter jets may have caused the deaths of up to 18 civilians in a strike on Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq.

The incident in 2017 was part of the US-led coalition’s bid to retake Mosul.

However, the ADF said it was impossible to “definitively know” whether its forces, another coalition strike or “other actors” killed the civilians.

The deaths were “highly regrettable”, military officials said.

Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld said two Australian F/A-18F Super Hornets had bombed IS militants in a residential area on 13 June 2017, following a request by Iraqi ground forces.

A separate strike by unidentified coalition force took place simultaneously in the same street.

Despite post-strike surveys failing to detect civilian deaths, “credible” reports of casualties later emerged, Air Marshal Hupfeld said.

The allegations were first raised publicly by Airwars – a group monitoring civilian deaths – which suggested up to 34 people had died.

Following an investigation launched in January last year, the ADF determined that between six and 18 civilians were unintentionally killed – a figure based on population density estimates.

“Our pilots and decision-makers involved in the targeting process do everything they can to avoid civilian casualties, but sometimes it is not possible,” he said.

Air Marshal Hupfeld said the Australian strikes had accurately hit their targets and been carried out according to protocol. As a result, no penalties or other actions would be taken.

At least 1,190 civilians have been “unintentionally killed” as a result of coalition air strikes in Iraq and Syria since 2014, the joint force said in a statement on Thursday.

It is still working its way through a list of other allegations.

Air Marshal Hupfeld said any compensation actions would be handled by the joint force’s central command.


13 Comments on "Air strike may have killed Iraqi civilians"

  1. Sissyfuss on Sat, 2nd Feb 2019 9:49 am 

    The entire Middle East is becoming collateral damage according to plan.

  2. Cloggie on Sat, 2nd Feb 2019 9:55 am 

    I can assure that what has been happening in the ME since 2003 absolutely went NOT according to plan.

    [insert neocon teeth-gnashing here]


  3. Anonymouse on Sat, 2nd Feb 2019 2:01 pm 

    Will the BBC be doing a follow-up story, explain just exactly what the Australian Air Force was even doing there in the first place?

    If I read that last line correctly, if you or your family gets killed by a freedom and democracy bomb during ‘Operations intended to make the ME safe for uS oil Corporations’, you can apply for compensation? That is downright civilized. Back in the old days, the uS and britian would just firebomb, naplam, or WP, the shit out of your women, children and elderly, and tell you it for their own good.

  4. Cloggie on Sat, 2nd Feb 2019 4:20 pm 

    Erdogan and Assad buddies again:

    Erdogan is now competing with the Kurds for favours from Assad.

    Oh yeah, and the Cold War is back.

    Trump-2016: “wouldn’t it be great is the US and Russia could get along?”

  5. Bot alert on Sat, 2nd Feb 2019 4:30 pm 

    Anonymouse on Sat, 2nd Feb 2019 2:01 pm

  6. intellectual nematode Alert! on Sat, 2nd Feb 2019 4:36 pm 

    Davy on Sat, 2nd Feb 2019 4:30 pm

  7. I AM THE MOB on Sat, 2nd Feb 2019 4:36 pm 


    Your source was just busted and admitted to writing tons of fake news for years..And you just ignore and keep going back for more.

    None of my sources have ever be refuted..Both of your favorite sources daily mail and speigal i have proven make shit up..

  8. I AM THE MOB on Sat, 2nd Feb 2019 4:38 pm 

    I can’t wait until the oil shortage hits Europe and Asia..And they will collapse into civil war fighting for whats left..

    And the US will pick up any scraps..I can see those Asian and European companies relocating to america already!


  9. Copycat JuanP on Sat, 2nd Feb 2019 4:47 pm 

    You like your name don’t you juanprick. Lol

    intellectual nematode Alert! on Sat, 2nd Feb 2019 4:36 pm

  10. I AM THE MOB on Sat, 2nd Feb 2019 4:51 pm 

    Russia Is Attacking the U.S. System From Within

  11. Copycat Davy Alert! on Sat, 2nd Feb 2019 4:57 pm 

    Sat, 2nd Feb 2019 4:47 pm

  12. Free Speech Forum on Mon, 4th Feb 2019 12:22 pm 

    Future generations will ask why Americans didn’t resist when the US became a police state.

  13. makati1 on Mon, 4th Feb 2019 5:20 pm 

    Free, they were “frogs in the pot” and it was done slowly. It is now, when it is starting to affect them, that they are noticing. Too late.

    Security comes in many forms. People in prison are “secure”. So are the animals in the zoo. But, not free.

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