UK Linked to Airstrikes Killing Civilians in Iraq During ISIS Campaign

(MENAFN) A recent report by The Guardian and non-profit watchdog Airwars has claimed that UK forces were responsible for several airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq that killed civilians, despite the UK government and military's long-standing claims that their operations in Iraq protected civilians. Allies in the US-led coalition had admitted to killing hundreds of civilians while supporting Iraqi ground troops in the period after 2014. The UK Ministry of Defence said British troops had not killed or harmed civilians in Iraq and declined to confirm or deny whether the specific strikes were conducted by its forces.

The Guardian investigation claims to have identified six strikes in the Iraqi city of Mosul that killed civilians and were likely carried out by British forces in 2016 and 2017. Victims have come forward to describe the deaths and injuries of several people, including children, following missile attacks that devastated their families. A mother lost her eldest daughter after a missile exploded in a Mosul street and had to have both of her own legs amputated. Her second daughter still has shrapnel in her skull and her son lost parts of a foot and hand. Another woman’s home was destroyed by a missile, killing almost all her immediate family, including her mother, father, two siblings, and two nephews.

The US-led coalition has not identified which country fired the weapons, although it has accepted that both air strikes caused civilian casualties. The UK has faced controversy over its military operations in the Middle East before, with claims of complicity in torture and unlawful killing in Iraq, as well as allegations of war crimes committed by British troops in Afghanistan. The UK’s role in the deaths of civilians in Mosul will likely further damage its reputation in the region.



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