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Iraq: Military Intervention

Question for Ministry of Defence

UIN HL1641, tabled on 2 October 2017

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their estimate of the number of civilians killed during the liberation of Mosul.

Answered on

12 October 2017

UK airstrikes always follow the principles of international humanitarian law: necessity, proportionality, distinction between combatants and non-combatant civilians, and the prevention of unnecessary suffering. The complex and congested urban environment of Mosul presented particular challenges for those undertaking airstrikes as part of the Coalition support to forces on the ground against Daesh. Our rigorous targeting processes take into account the conditions on the ground, including the potential presence of a civilian population. We undertake a battle damage assessment after every airstrike. This assessment examines all the available records including video, and one of its roles is the identification of any collateral damage, including civilian casualties. If any such assessment indicated anything that should be scrutinised further, a full investigation would be undertaken, with appropriate resources allocated to it. Thus there is no requirement for a further evaluation of the deployment of UK airpower in the campaign against Daesh.