Dutch government to compensate Iraqi man with “nearly one million” euros

Basim Razzo's house before and after being struck by Dutch warplane - Photo: The New York Times


 An Iraqi man whose family members were killed in an airstrike by Dutch warplanes in 2015 during the ISIS war, is to be compensated with “nearly one million euros,” according to some sources who spoke to the Dutch NRC and the public broadcast NOS.

Mosul airstrike

The airstrike stuck two houses next to each other in the early hours of 21 September 2015 when it was still dark. The houses belonged to Basim Razzo and his brother. Basim lost his wife, daughter, brother and nephew in the airstrike. He survived with severe injuries: his left feet, hip and pubis were broken, a shrapnel in his back paralized his legs and he can no longer walk, according to the Dutch newspaper NRC.

footage of the airstrike made public by the American-led Coalition against ISIS

The Dutch were given intelligence by the Americans that the houses were being used by ISIS militants. The Dutch defense Minister Bijleveld told the press in November 2019 that the fault lies with the Americans, and that the Netherlands feels responsible, but is not liable according to laws of war.

Neither Basim, nor the Dutch authorities want to speak of the exact amount for the compensation. And the Dutch Defense Minister Ank Bijleveld wrote to the Dutch Parliament that “I have decided to voluntarily offer compensation for humanitarian reasons,” and that the Dutch government denies any liability, “there is no unlawful use of force.” Basim had initially demanded two million dollars, but according to his lawyer, he is satisfied with the amount he is to get.

After the airstrike, Basim has talked to several news outlets about the incident. The New York Times published a lengthy report on the airstrike and Basim life in 2017.

Hawija airstrike

In Januari this year, the Dutch public broadcast NOS wrote that 60 individuals will be taking the Dutch government to court for an airstrike in Hawija in 2015 that killed 70 civilians.

The target of the airstrike was a car bomb factory belonging to ISIS. The amount of explosives in the factory was so great, that once it was struck by the Dutch F16s, the explosion destroyed an entire neighbourhood.

When he was pressed by MPs whether his government had withheld information about the airstrikes, the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte denied it. But he admitted that there was a mistake in a letter written by then Defense Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert (currently serving as Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq). The letter claimed that there were no civilian casualties from the airstrike.

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