In 2015, an estimated 70 civilians were killed in a Dutch airstrike on the Iraqi city of Hawija. The impact of the airstrike can still be felt in the city on a daily basis. In this program we talk about that impact, and the responsibility of the Dutch state, who to this date has neither truly acknowledged the long-term civilian harm effects of the airstrike nor paid individual compensation to its victims.
In the night of June 2nd to 3th in 2015, Dutch F16s bombed the Iraqi city of Hawija. This strike was one of over 34.000 air-strikes carried out by the US-led Coalition in their war against IS. The airstrike hit its target, namely an ISIS bomb factory. However, it led to such a huge secondary explosion that it reduced an entire neighbourhood to rubble.
Al-Ghad League for Woman and Child care, PAX and the Intimacies of Remote Warfare (IRW) program at Utrecht University have spent the last two years researching the reverberating civilian harm effects of the airstrike on Hawija. Their findings expose that 85 civilians were killed, hundreds more were injured, and infrastructure, livelihoods and futures were destroyed. The results of their investigation will be discussed during this program.
Along with the questions: who do civilians blame for what happened to them? Has the Netherlands taken enough responsibility? Is this airstrike an isolated incident? Or does it symbolize how the West wages war in the Middle East and how they try to cover up the impact of their interventions on civilian harm?
Read this article for more information
This program will be partially in English and partially in Dutch.