UK Denies Involvement in Alleged Civilan Casualty Events in Iraq
IRAQ — The Royal Air Force has denied any involvement in eight incidents from December 2015 in Ramadi and Mosul that led to civilian deaths, according to Britain’s Defense Secretary.
Scottish media and British politicians began raising concerns in early January after independent watchdog groups, such as AirWars, cross-referenced civilian casualty events with UK airstrikes in Iraq.
RAF planes had been reported in the areas where the incidents allegedly took place, sparking the Scottish National Party to call for a Ministry of Defense investigation to determine if the RAF had been involved in any civilian casualty events.
UK Defense Secretary Michael Fallon stated the RAF was not involved in “seven of the incidents cited,” adding that the “eighth incident was impossible to locate.”
Other coalition allies could have been involved in similar airstrikes in the region but no country has yet to take responsibility. The MoD said it had passed on concerns over the strikes to CENTCOM, the United States military command in charge of the coalition airstrike campaign Operation Inherent Resolve, according to AirWars.org.
The recent heightened attention to civilian casualty events in Iraq and Syria comes on the tail of recent admissions by the US military of four additional civilian casualty events.
The most startling of the four admissions was the failed attempt to kill British born “cyber-Jihadist” Junaid Hussain in Raqqa, in August 2015. The strike resulted in eight civilian deaths.
CENTCOM has now confirmed 16 civilian casualty incidents since the start of Operation Inherent Resolve in August 2014. No other country involved in the coalition air campaign against ISIL has admitted to any civilian casualty events despite close to 10,000 strikes being preformed since its inception.
As of December 31, the total cost of the Coalition campaign is $5.8 billion with the average daily cost being $11.4 million, according to the Department of Defense.