London – CAGE is calling on the UK Government to conduct a full investigation for any role it may have played in a coalition airstrike which killed at least 140 civilians in Western Mosul on 17 March.

Such actions and devastation cannot be allowed to pass by.

In the United States, the Pentagon are reviewing tapes in relation to the incident and the Central Command said it has opened an investigation. However, no further details of the nature of these investigations have been given. Only an objective international inquiry will do, one that stands no danger of being compromised by political interests.

The UK must swiftly follow suit with an independent and full investigation into any role Britain played in the atrocity so that individuals can be held accountable and victims’ families experience justice.

The targeting of civilians is a war crime, especially since residents were told by the coalition-backed Iraqi government to stay in their homes rather than flee, effectively trapping them underneath the bombs.

Recent civilian targets of US-backed coalition airstrikes have included a school in Raqqa in which at least 30 were killed, and a mosque building in northern Syria in which 56 were killed.

Ibrahim Mohamoud, spokesperson for CAGE, said:

“Since Donald Trump took office in January, independent monitors have said the monthly total of recorded civilian deaths from coalition airstrikes in Iraq and Syria has more than doubled. It is imperative that complicit states including the UK investigate the role of their military in these atrocities and hold individuals accountable before the coalition can continue with further airstrikes.”

“Britain’s role in the incident must be established by independent inquiry if we are to address the military’s part in perpetuating violence as part of the War on Terror.”

“According to recent reports, the coalition airstrikes have hit houses with whole families inside. Such actions must be halted by firm international action that reestablishes the rule of law globally.”

CC image courtesy of  The U.S. Army on Flickr

(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)