U.S. Airstrike Kills 230 People in Mosul, Iraq

April 2, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


We were all huddled in one room at the back of the house, 18 of us, three families. But when the house next door was bombed, it collapsed on us, precisely over the room we were sheltering in. My son Yusef, nine, and my daughter Shahad, three, were killed, together with my brother Mahmoud, his wife Manaya and their nine-year-old son Aws, and my niece Hanan. She was cradling her five-month-old daughter, who survived, thank God.

Amnesty International Report on the U.S./Coalition airstrike on Mosul,
March 17, 2017

Outrage is growing around the world as more details are coming out about the horrific—and criminal—slaughter of more than 200 innocent civilians, most of them women and children, by massive U.S. and coalition airstrikes inside the city of Mosul on March 17. Iraqi news puts the number of Iraqis killed that day at 230. This is the greatest number of civilian deaths from a U.S. military strike in decades.

As usual, the U.S. command overseeing the U.S. and coalition forces denied responsibility for the carnage. First, they claimed the deaths were not a result of the bombing, but from booby traps set by fundamentalist Islamic State (ISIS) forces. They also blamed ISIS troops for using civilians as “human shields.” But as rescue workers, reporters, and human rights groups like Amnesty International (AI) went into the area to examine the neighborhoods destroyed, the accounts by Iraqis who survived the horror painted a different picture. According to witnesses and survivors, there was no doubt that bombs dropped from jets caused the devastation, the massive numbers killed, and destruction of as many as 50 houses—and not explosives left in homes.

Not until 11 days after the massacre did the commanding U.S. general admit that “there was at least a fair chance” the U.S. was responsible for the civilian deaths.

According to the British Broadcasting Company (BBC), more than 286,000 civilians living in Mosul have been forced to flee their homes since the start in October of the U.S. coalition assault aimed at driving ISIS forces out of Mosul. But hundreds of thousands more have followed the Iraqi government’s repeated instructions to stay put until they are reached by troops.

Imagine the human consequences of what this U.S. imperialist monster is doing in Iraq, Syria, and many other countries in the region; and the fact that “collateral damage”—the killing of innocent Iraqi people—means nothing to these ghouls.

A New York Times reporter described “a panorama of destruction in the neighborhood of Mosul Jidideh so vast one resident compared the destruction to that of Hiroshima, Japan, where the United States dropped an atomic bomb in World War 2.” The reporter continued: “There was a charred arm, wrapped in a piece of red fabric, poking from the rubble; rescue workers in red jump suits who wore face masks to avoid the stench, some with rifles slung over their shoulders, searched the wreckage for bodies.”

On January 28, Trump signed a national security memorandum giving the military 30 days to bring him a plan to defeat the Islamic State. He said he wanted the plan to include “relaxing the rules of engagement”—in line with his fascist regime’s hyper-aggressive military foreign policy. And this is taking place at the same time the U.S. military is intensifying its operations in both Iraq and Syria. The Trump/Pence regime has added hundreds of additional forces to the assault on Mosul, and 500 more ground troops have been sent into Syria—both locations where ISIS fighters are concentrated. And the U.S. military reports that an incredible 500 so-called “precision-guided” munitions a week were dropped on Mosul in March.

Amnesty International in its report said the fact that residents were being told to remain at home meant the coalition had to know that airstrikes were likely to result in civilian casualties. And AI expressly made the point that any failure to take precautions to prevent civilian casualties would be “in flagrant violation of international humanitarian law” and constitute war crimes.

“International humanitarian law (also called the laws of war),” said AI, “demands that all feasible precautions must be taken by warring parties to a conflict to minimize harm to civilians, and that attacks must not cause disproportionate harm to civilians—that is, damage which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated.”

The U.S.-led, record-breaking, one-day civilian massacre inside Mosul is yet more evidence that the global agenda of the fascist Trump/Pence regime is truly a threat to humanity and MUST BE DRIVEN OUT.



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