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Australian planes involved in Iraqi air strike that killed up to 18 civilians – Politics

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1 February 2019 00:01:54

Australian Defense officials have discovered that two RAAF fighters were involved in a bombing mission in Iraq, leading to the deaths of up to 18 Iraqi civilians.

This incident occurred in June 2017, when the bloody struggle of the Iraqi and Coalition forces focused on the recovery of the north of Mosul.

Iraqi security forces arrived in seven Islamic state fighters and rushed to call a coalition air strike.

The two F / A-18F Super Hornets were among the area-based nozzles that lowered the GPS-driven missiles to the target.

But Australian officials have confirmed that innocent civilians are near blasts.

"The coalition estimates that six to 18 civilians can be killed and based on population density estimates," said Mel Hupfeld, air force marshal.

"It is impossible to determine whether civilian casualties have occurred as a result of an Australian airbag, an adjacent Coalition airbag or other actors."

Air Marshal Hupfeld said that Australian forces would never take part in such strikes unless they were satisfied with the minimal risk based on the suggestions of the Iraqi forces.

"From our review of events, we know that our aircraft crew has not made a mistake," said Air Marshal Hupfeld.

The first reports of major accidents were published by the Airwars website, which monitors the damage to the civilian population through the influx of air in the Middle East and North Africa.

It was initially proposed to kill up to 50 people.

Some local reports suggest that innocent victims could be families.

Six months delay between incident and notification to Australian officials

Australian officials were informed in January 2018 and a 12-month investigation was then conducted. Investigators had not traveled to the airstrike site during the investigation because they were late to find out about the reports.

Air Marshal Huffeld admitted that if it were clear civilians would be close, the aircraft would never have been allowed.

But he is not ready to blame the Iraqi security forces for the situation, claiming that they were extremely powerful IS fighters at the time of the attack.

"The assessment was that … the probability of the presence of civilians or civilians was low, but there is always a chance," he said.

"The event in Mosul was the most serious air campaign we saw in our generation.

"The fact that these civilian casualties have occurred is a consequence of the failed war."

The Australian bombing mission in the region ended at the end of 2017.

More than 30,000 coalition air strikes have taken place in the region, and the Australian Defense Forces said it will carefully investigate all possible civilian victims of missions involving RAAF aircraft.

Air Marshal Hupfeld said that all claims for compensation would be dealt with by the Coalition Central Team rather than the ADF.


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