Between 9,000 and 11,000 civilians were killed during the nine-month battle with ISIS in the Iraqi city of Mosul, according to the count provided by “Mosul’s gravediggers, its morgue workers and the volunteers who retrieve bodies from the city’s rubble”, AP reported.
This number has not been acknowledged by the US-led coalition or the Iraqi government and is nearly 10 times higher than what has been reported previously.
According to an AP investigation, Coalition and Iraqi forces are responsible for “at least 3,200 civilian deaths from airstrikes, artillery fire or mortar rounds between October 2016 and the fall of the Islamic State [ISIS] group in July 2017.”
Meanwhile, the US-led coalition acknowledges responsibility for only 326 of the deaths. The coalition allegedly lacks the resources to send investigators into Mosul.
AP further reports:
In addition to the Airwars database, the AP analyzed information from Amnesty International , Iraq Body Count and a United Nations report. The AP also obtained a list of 9,606 people killed during the operation from Mosul’s morgue. Hundreds of dead civilians are believed to still be buried in the rubble.
Of the nearly 10,000 deaths the AP found, around a third of the casualties died in bombardments by the U.S.-led coalition or Iraqi forces, the AP analysis found. Another third of the dead were killed in the Islamic State group’s final frenzy of violence. And it could not be determined which side was responsible for the deaths of the remainder, who were cowering in neighborhoods battered by airstrikes, IS explosives and mortar rounds from all sides.
But the morgue total would be many times higher than official tolls. Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi told the AP that 1,260 civilians were killed in the fighting. The U.S.-led coalition has not offered an overall figure. The coalition relies on drone footage, video from cameras mounted on weapons systems and pilot observations. Its investigators have neither visited the morgue nor requested its data.
What is clear from the tallies is that as coalition and Iraqi government forces increased their pace, civilians were dying in ever higher numbers at the hands of their liberators: from 20 the week the operation began in mid-October 2016 to 303 in a single week at the end of June 2017, according to the AP tally.
Abdel-Hafiz Mohammed, who kept his job as undertaker throughout the militants’ rule, has carved approximately 2,000 headstones for the al-Jadidah graveyard since October 2016.
While the AP report includes nothing new for independent observers of the conflict in Iraq. It is one of the rare examples of admition of the reality on the ground by the mainstream media. This reality has nothing with the US-led coalition’s claims that push the “precision strikes without civilian casualties” narrative on a regular basis.