The Ministry of Defense knew that the bombing of the Iraqi city of Hawija in 2015 could be more dangerous than the risk analysis had shown. That appears from documents released by the government on Monday. At least 70 civilian casualties were caused by the bombing.
In the documents you can read that a “Collateral Damage Estimate” (CDE) was carried out prior to the bombing. It is calculated how large the risks will be that the attack will entail.
In addition to the CDE, the Ministry of Defense also looked at attacks that were carried out in the past and which would cause additional explosions as a result of the bombs for damage. This showed that the extra damage from the bombing could be greater than the CDE had calculated.
However, this damage was expected to remain within the complex that the Defense organization wanted to attack. Also, the mission should only have caused material damage because it was carried out at night. The officer who had to determine whether the attack would go ahead decided that the military advantage was more important than the possible extra damage.
According to the Ministry of Defense, the pilots who should have carried out the mission carried out the attack “carefully and without errors”. The right goal would also have been hit. The additional damage caused by the mission amounted to 400 buildings.
Cabinet concealed civilian deaths for a long time
In June 2015, Dutch F-16s carried out an air attack on an IS bomb factory. A residential area was also destroyed during the attack. It turned out that there were far more explosives in the factory than was previously assumed.
At least seventy people died. About a hundred people were also injured. The Dutch cabinet admitted this in October, after the civilian deaths were previously concealed.