UK jets killed 29 civilians within two years in Iraq and Syria: Report
NATO forces have been responsible for countless war crimes committed during their occupation of Iraq and Syria
By News Desk - March 24 2023

(Photo Credit: RAF)

The UK Royal Air Force (RAF) killed at least 29 civilians in just nine airstrikes between 2016 and 2018 in Syria and Iraq, according to on-the-ground reports published by The Guardian on 23 March.

The estimates between 2016 and 2018 were exceeded by 10 additional casualties, according to the latest reports, and is far higher than the single non-combatant fatality accepted by the UK.

According to on-the-ground reports, the RAF killed at least four civilians from the same family during an airstrike in Syria in 2016, while the US killed at least 12 civilians in its “worst incident” during an airstrike targeting Raqqa in 2017.

The report conducted by the London-based charity Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) argues that the RAF has “major questions to answer,” however, the Ministry of Defense denied the claims and says there is “no evidence” of civilian casualties.

The Guardian’s investigation also revealed that the RAF killed civilians in at least six airstrikes on the Iraqi city of Mosul during the same period covered in the AOAV report.

According to Syrian media reports, on 13 August 2017, RAF Typhoon jets launched an attack against enemy fighters using mortars, during which 12 civilians were killed.

Following the attack, US Central Command issued a statement saying, “Regrettably, 12 civilians were unintentionally killed, and six were unintentionally injured as a result of the blast.”

The RAF only admitted to killing four civilians in the fight against ISIS during an airstrike targeting a “group of terrorists.”

The investigation questions the accuracy and “safety” of unmanned drone strikes as civilian targets would remain high.

The spokesperson of the Ministry of Defense added, “The UK always minimizes the risk of civilian casualties through our rigorous processes and carefully examines a range of evidence to do this, including a comprehensive analysis of the mission data for every strike.”

The US launched its latest airstrikes on targets in Syria on Thursday night, claiming it was a response to a drone strike on its base in northeastern Hasakah’s Kharab al-Jir military airport, which killed a US contractor and injured several others, CENTCOM said in a statement.

According to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), eleven ‘Iranian-backed militiamen’ were killed in the US strikes. SOHR claims that six were killed in strikes on a weapons depot in Deir Ezzor’s Harabish neighborhood, three were killed in strikes on the Al-Bukamal desert, while two were killed by strikes on the southern outskirts of Al-Mayadin town.

The New York Times revealed in a 2021 investigation that the US military covered up the apparent war crime committed near Baghuz on 18 March 2019.

According to the report, a US F-15E attack jet dropped a 500-pound bomb on a “large crowd of women and children huddled against a river bank.” This was followed by two 2,000-pound bombs, which killed most of the survivors from the first strike.

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