THE US-UK-led military coalition reported on September 26 that it had conducted a total of 34,573 airstrikes in both Iraq and Syria between August 2014 and August 2019, and that at least 1,335 civilians had been ‘unintentionally’ killed in the mass bombings of civilian targets.
However, local sources have revealed a much greater toll of civilians and that tens of thousands of Iraqis and Syrians were murdered in the mass bombings that levelled both Mosul in northern Iraq and Raqqa in Syria.
This was not the work of just the US and the UK. The Netherlands has now admitted that an airstrike by one of its warplanes serving with the US-led military coalition in Iraq killed some 70 people – including dozens of civilians in 2015.
In a letter to the parliament last Monday, Dutch defence minister Anna Bijleveld-Schouten admitted that the number of the victims had been higher than anticipated in the night-time raid.
She wrote: ‘It turned out that there were far more explosives in the IED factory than was known or could be estimated by the Netherlands on the basis of the information available.’
Bijleveld-Schouten admitted that the Dutch strike had triggered some ‘secondary and larger explosions not anticipated from earlier strikes on similar targets,’ adding that the series of chain blasts had ‘caused the destruction of a large number of other buildings.’
The Dutch defence minister further revealed that in another strike on September 20, 2015, a bomb had hit a suspected Daesh headquarters that turned out to be a family home in Mosul, killing four civilians.
She claimed that the mistake was due to faulty intelligence. According to Bijleveld-Schouten, Dutch F-16 warplanes conducted some 2,100 sorties over Iraq as part of the so-called anti-Daesh military coalition between 2014 and 2018. The Dutch sorties in Iraq ended last year.
However things in Iraq are now changing fast! The Iraqi masses, to the horror of US and UK imperialism, have now rejected the role of being ‘victims’ of imperialist barbarism and have risen up to demand their rights.
The imperialist invasion of Iraq in 2003 was based on lies pedalled by Bush and Blair that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and unless Saddam Hussein was removed there would be a mass slaughter of innocent people when these wmds were used to attack targets outside Iraq.
Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis were murdered during and after the 2003 US-UK invasion. It was used to push the Iraqi people into abject poverty with their oil resources stolen by the imperialist powers, and their standard of living and education destroyed.
The Iraqi working class and its youth are however now on the march in a new Iraqi workers revolution.
They are occupying Tahrir Square in Baghdad and marching and occupying city centres from Tikrit to Basra in the oil rich south where abject poverty is the rule. They are demanding jobs, the restoration of living standards and a future for Iraq’s millions of young people.
They are insisting that Iraq’s vast resources are used to benefit the people, and that a corrupt government and its officials are jailed. They are calling for a workers government.
Major General Abdul Karim Khalaf, the spokesman for the Commander-in-Chief of the Iraqi Armed Forces, told Al Forat TV network on Monday that the demonstrators had entered Baghdad’s Alawi region through the Ahrar Bridge in an attempt to approach the headquarters of the Ministry of Justice.
The bridge leads to the heavily-fortified Green Zone, which hosts Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi’s office and other government buildings.
On Sunday, the Prime Minister called for markets, factories, schools and universities to reopen and appealed for an end to the mass protests.
However the Iraqi workers and youth continue to press forward. They are now calling on the army rank and file to support the people.
They are demanding a workers government. They must have the 100% support of the working people of the world!