Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Magic missiles that only kill bad people.

The Ministry of Defence's insists it has seen "no evidence" that RAF strikes in Iraq have caused civilian casualties. The MoD has carried out no investigations on the ground counting the cost to civilian life.

Estimates for the number of civilians killed in the nine-month battle for Mosul - the last stronghold of the Islamic State group in Iraq - range from more than 1,000 to 10 times that number. Some were also the victims of the US-led coalition's bombing campaign, which saw 29,000 munitions dropped or fired in and around the city. The UK was second to the US in the number of airstrikes it conducted for the coalition in and around Mosul, with British warplanes hitting more than 750 targets. Over the past three and a half years the RAF has dropped more than 3,700 bombs and missiles in the campaign against IS in Iraq and Syria. It has still not claimed responsibility for a single civilian death.

A source inside the coalition has told the BBC he believes civilians have been killed as a result of RAF air strikes. The source, who has not been named to protect his identity, says it was "impossible" to conduct a bombing campaign in highly-populated areas, like Mosul, without killing civilians. He said he had seen evidence that British airstrikes had caused civilian casualties "on several occasions". "To suggest they have not - as has been done - is nonsense," he added.
During the BBC's investigation other factors emerged that might cast some doubt on whether British airstrikes have caused civilian deaths including:
  • Reports of a number of RAF weapons malfunctions
  • Instances of some bombs failing to detonate
  • Occasions when bombs have strayed and exploded hundreds of metres off target - hitting buildings that were not even even under surveillance.

Abdel Rahman Ali lost five of his children, when a bomb hit his home, and says 47 civilians were killed as a result of the air strikes in his street alone. "Nobody destroyed us except the coalition," he said.
Airwars, a group which has been monitoring civilian casualties, says, "It's simply fanciful to claim no civilians have been harmed by the RAF. We don't live in a world of magic bombs and missiles that only kill bad people."

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