Despite Ban on Civilian Targeting, Iraq Shells Fallujah Hospital

Rights Groups Push for Probe Into Iraq's Civilian Killings

Less than 24 hours after Prime Minister Hayder Abadi ordered the military to halt all airstrikes against civilian areas, the Iraqi military fired multiple missiles at a hospital in Fallujah, badly injuring a staff member and causing damage to the building.

Fallujah was the first major city ISIS took, all the way back in January, and the city’s hospital has repeatedly been targeted by the Iraqi military, causing civilian casualties.

Abadi’s ban on such targeting was meant to meet a demand of Sunni tribal leaders in the region who have offered to back Iraq in retaking the area from ISIS, and the latest attacks probably throw serious doubt into that.

It also adds to unwelcome attention for Iraq’s major human rights violations in the ISIS war. Human Rights Watch is calling for an investigation into a recent Iraqi airstrike against a school in al-Alam, north of Tikrit. The strike killed 31 civilians, including 24 children, and the school had been used to shelter civilian refugees as the fighting in the area escalated.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.