Airstrike Kills Dozens of Civilians in Western Iraq

One of the wounded is being treated by locals and medics One of the wounded is being treated by locals and medics Al-Jazeera

15 December 2016
An airstrike, launched on December 7 and allegedly attributed to the Iraqi forces, killed more than 50 civilians in the ISIS-held city of al-Qaim in Western Iraq.

Dozens of civilians were killed and many more wounded by an airstrike which hit a marketplace in the ISIS-held city of al-Qaim, in the province of Anbar, during the rush hour on December 7. Some entire families were killed, reports say, as the victims were lining up there to receive their salaries. The exact death toll remains unconfirmed, as 55 civilian deaths, including 12 women and 19 children, were confirmed by the hospitals, but the Provincial Council Chairman said that the number of victims may amount to 100. The airstrike, which is reported to have killed also 8 fighters, was imputed either to the international US-led coalition, or to the Iraqi forces. However, the US later denied conducting any operations at that time, and some officials confirmed the responsibility of the Iraqi side.

The attack gave rise to harsh criticism on the part of the Iraqi MPs who demanded accountability for those behind the airstrike. “Killing dozens of civilians only to target a handful of terrorists is clearly a massacre against innocent civilians”, said confidentially an official in Anbar.  

Earlier, Amnesty International stated that 11 airstrikes conducted by the US and examined by Amnesty have killed up to 300 civilians. In total, according to the UN estimates, more than 2,000 civilians have been killed in Iraq over the past two months.


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