The US Department of Defense says Canadian fighter jets killed dozens of Iraqi civilians in an airstrike against the Daesh (ISIL) terrorists in the country earlier this year.
The Pentagon documents obtained by CBC News revealed that the warplanes killed as many as 27 civilians during a January attack against ISIL in northwest of Mosul.
In an area known as “Kisik Junction” Coalition Special Forces received a report from an “English speaking Pesh soldier” alleging that “between 6 and 27 civilians were killed on 21 January as a result of a coalition strike,” read the document.
“A Canadian strike (CF-18) struck a Daesh sniper/heavy machine gun position on the roof of a building within an ISIL occupied compound which correlates with the alleged report,” it added.
The Canadian military, which rejects the allegations, has so far refused to identify the source of the allegations or provide details about the quality of the investigation.
The internal Pentagon documents also revealed, “[Canadian Joint Operations Command Legal Advisor] opinion is that, under the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC), there are no obligations for the [Canadian Air Force] to conduct an investigation.”
“The [Canadian Air Force] review identified that there were no substantive grounds to believe that civilians had been killed,” Canadian Armed Forces Public Affairs Officer Kirk Sullivan told CBC.
“Furthermore, subsequent to the allegations, there was no information from the Iraqi Security Forces or government suggesting there may have been civilian casualties,” he added.
Last October, Canada’s House of Commons approved six months of air raids in Iraq to battle the terrorist group there.
The document summarizes 45 separate reports involving dozens of civilians allegedly killed by US- led coalition airstrikes in Iraq and Syria.
One allegation details an Australian airstrike as potentially having injured or killed a woman and child. The report, however, went on to dismiss the allegation because there was “insufficient information to warrant further inquiry.”