On the night of June 2nd to June 3rd 2015, a Dutch F-16 jet dropped a bomb on an ISIS facility used to manufacture IED in the city of Hawija, Iraq, killing at least 70 civilians and injuring 100 more. While soon after the incident local authorities claimed that the airstrike had caused a considerable number of victims, the US-led coalition failed to recognize any casualty. This assessment retraces the events that followed the international coalition airstrike, from the early statement made by the head of the Kirkuk’s Arab Council following the strike to the recent Dutch debate on the bombing raid.
The role played by the Netherlands in the airstrike emerged from a joint investigation of Dutch media NOS and NRC in October 2019. Four years after the events, on November 4th 2019, the Dutch Ministry of Defence took public responsibility. However, it was later revealed that the Netherlands might have been aware of the presence of civilian establishments near the facility and of the risks attached to the attack.