Survivors Describe US Airstrike That Killed Hundreds in Mosul

Witnesses Deny US Claims ISIS Forced Them Into Houses

On March 17, US airstrikes leveled three buildings in Mosul’s Old City, killing hundreds of civilians within. The official death toll is still not totally clear, but all told was well in excess of 200, and close to 300 according to some accounts. The Pentagon version is that they were responsible for 14 deaths.

In the course of trying to manage the narrative, the Pentagon had claimed to have video footage of ISIS forcing hundreds of civilians into the homes right before the US strikes, though they never offered this footage, and rather showed footage of ISIS moving civilians before a much smaller incident. Witnesses and survivors of the US strike say the whole US story about ISIS putting them in the homes never happened.

Rather, they insist airstrikes had been leveling houses in the area for days, and ultimately everybody ended up collected into just three houses close together, hundreds of people from scores of families, when major US airstrikes came and brought the buildings down on top of them.

Indeed, the whole reason the houses had been so popular with fleeing civilians is that they were relatively far away from the fighting, and they assumed there’d be no reason for them to be attacked, since they were small and isolated. The Pentagon has yet to respond to the eyewitness accounts, which radically differ from their own version of events.

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.