New York Times – The uncounted

On 20 September 2015, the American-led coalition fighting the Islamic State in Iraq launched an airstrike against what was believed to a Daesh truck bomb factory near Mosul. Later, it was revealed that the attack did not strike its intended target, but a two-house civilian complex, where Basim Razzo lived with his family. (link to reparation case NF website) Basim’s family, who died in the strike, was not counted in the coalition monthly report assessing ISIS and civilian deaths in Iraq. In fact, it featured under the “ISIS” column.

This New York Times article notes that the international coalition’s reports vastly understate civilian casualties. According to the paper’s own investigation, the airstrikes launched between April 2016 and June 2017 resulted in 31 times more civilian deaths than what acknowledged. The article, thus, reveals that the air war waged by the US-led coalition is significantly less precise than what authorities claim and there are grave failures in the investigations carried out to assess claims of death and/or injury. The authors find that “…Iraqis are considered guilty until proved innocent. Those who survive the strikes, people like Basim Razzo, remain marked as possible ISIS sympathizers, with no discernible path to clear their names.”