Defence pays tons of money to the surviving error attack on Iraq

The Ministry of Defence is going to pay compensation of tons to an Iraqi man, who lost a large part of his family in a bombardment by Dutch F16s on his house in Mosul in 2015. The international coalition wrongly assumed that the residents had ties to the terror organization IS.

The woman, daughter, a brother and a cousin of Basim Razzo were killed in the bombardment. He himself survived the attack.

In March Basim Razzo told the CCeit how the bombardment went:

In a letter to the House of Representatives, Minister Bijleveld writes that the compensation is paid voluntarily, for humanitarian reasons, and that the Dutch State does not acknowledge any liability. Both parties do not make any announcements about the amount of the compensation, but it is said to be just under one million euros.

Unlawful act

Initially, Razzo, who worked for a telecom company, claimed two million dollars as compensation for the damage. His lawyer, Liesbeth Zegveld, called the bombing an “international tort”, because the information about the target was limited and contradictory.

In her letter, the minister writes again that she does not agree. “There is no unlawful use of force”. With the compensation she wants to “compensate Mr. Razzo on behalf of the Cabinet for the enormous human suffering that has befallen him and the material damage he has suffered” Razzo got a shrapnel in his back when he was attacked and he says he can’t work anymore.

Tears of happiness

Lawyer Zegveld states that her client is very happy with the compensation. “He has reacted with tears of happiness now that he has some opportunity to start rebuilding his life”. According to Zegveld the case is unique. “Usually the Netherlands is not so willing to pay out and such a case comes to court”.

There is also a claim for damages from dozens of Iraqis who have been affected by the Dutch bombardment of Hawija. The bombardment of a car bomb factory of IS set in motion a series of explosions that destroyed an entire neighbourhood. At least seventy civilians were killed.


According to attorney Zegveld, it is difficult to say whether the claims of Hawijas victims have a better chance of success. “No two cases are the same. At the same time, today’s compensation does show that the Netherlands compensates for war damage, so that may have an advantage”.