U.S. investigated report of civilian deaths following Canadian mission in Iraq

The American headquarters overseeing the war against Islamic insurgents in Iraq and Syria says there were multiple air strikes in Iraq on the same day and in the same vicinity where Canadian CF-18s were accused of causing civilian casualties.

MONTREAL — The American headquarters overseeing the war against Islamic insurgents in Iraq and Syria says there were multiple air strikes in Iraq on the same day and in the same vicinity where Canadian CF-18s were accused of causing civilian casualties.

There were potentially 19 bombing raids on Mosul, carried out by several coalition countries, around the same time, according to statistics compiled by the U.S. Central Command.

Canadian warplanes were involved in two separate missions, but one of them involved three bombing runs.

A spokesman for Central Command, which manages the war against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, confirms the Canadian military was advised of the allegation involving airstrikes that took place near Mosul on Jan. 21.

Lt.-Cmdr. Kyle Raines wouldn’t say which other countries carried out missions at the same time — or whether they were also investigated. The attacks happened during a period of intense fighting between Kurdish forces and extremists in the vicinity of Iraq’s second largest city, which has been occupied by Islamic State fighters since the summer of 2014.

The coalition command logs daily air strikes over a 24-hour period beginning at 8 a.m. U.S. figures show there were three missions over Mosul on Jan. 20-21 and a further 16 on Jan. 21-22.

He also said aircraft involved in the strikes that day were not American and the investigation involving the CF-18s was wrapped up with no evidence to support the claim.

“It is no longer under investigation,” Raines said in a telephone interview from Tampa, Fla., where the U.S. command is located.

However, he said the investigation could be reopened if new information comes to light.

The Canadian military has denied that the attacks against extremist targets killed civilians.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, whose party opposed the extension of the bombing campaign last spring, said the report is troubling, especially since the Harper government didn’t reveal the allegation before MPs voted on the extension.

“These are very serious allegations, but we need to know more about them,” Trudeau said Friday, during a campaign stop in Montreal.

“One of the things that has been consistent from this government has been a lack of openness and transparency, even on issues as important as our engagements around the world with Canadian military forces.”

The Canadian military was notified on Jan. 31 that the U.S. headquarters had conducted an investigation and had closed the book on the allegations.

Spokeswoman Ashley Lemire said, to date, Canada has not conducted its own independent investigation and is satisfied with the American-led review.

Canadian officials did check their own records.

“Furthermore, it was re-confirmed that the target was a valid military objective from which ISIS was firing a heavy machine gun at Iraqi Kurdish troops,” said Lemire. “The area in question is still within ISIS-held territory.”

For that reason, Raines said, follow-up is tough.

Just Posted

Alberta hiring more paramedics and buying new ambulances, none for Red Deer

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer is not concerned the provincial government didn’t… Continue reading

‘My nightmare began again’: Close call as bus carrying Humboldt crash survivor rear-ended

CALGARY — A terrifying ordeal for Humboldt Broncos survivor Ryan Straschnitzki this… Continue reading

Halifax airport operations normalize after Boeing 747 runway overshoot

HALIFAX — The Halifax Stanfield International Airport has resumed normal operations a… Continue reading

Bentley family left without a home grateful for community support

Central Albertans are coming together to support a Bentley family left homeless… Continue reading

Red Deer RCMP ready for new mandatory alcohol screening law

Red Deer RCMP are ready to enforce a new law intended to… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer and District Kennel Club Dog Show at Westerner Park

The Red Deer and District Kennel Club is holding a dog show… Continue reading

Pence aide out of running to be Trump’s next chief of staff

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s top pick to replace chief of staff… Continue reading

Swath of South faces wintry mess: Snow, sleet, freezing rain

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A massive storm brought snow, sleet, and freezing rain… Continue reading

‘I killed my best friend’: Opioids’ fatal grip on mayor, pal

MOUNT CARBON, Pa. — Janel Firestone found her son — the 24-year-old,… Continue reading

Brothers, 20, face second-degree murder charge in death of teen: police

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Police west of Toronto say two brothers have been… Continue reading

A young mayor, his friend, and a fatal attraction to opioids

MOUNT CARBON, Pa. — Janel Firestone found her son — the 24-year-old,… Continue reading

GM fights to retain key tax credit amid plant closing plans

WASHINGTON — General Motors is fighting to retain a valuable tax credit… Continue reading

TTC union asks provincial government to step in on transition to Presto

TORONTO — The union representing transit workers in Canada’s most populous city… Continue reading

Small pot growers find roadblocks on path to microcultivation licences

Yan Boissonneault’s daughter was turning blue. Without warning, his baby had stopped… Continue reading

Most Read