Belgian F-16s played no part in the bloody air strike conducted by the anti-Islamic State coalition (IS) on March 17th in Mosul, Iraq’s second city. VRT is indicating this today (Tuesday), on the basis of “sources close to” the affair.
It already appeared at the beginning of this month that Belgium had probably not participated in the tragedy.
However, the risk of the opposite being the case had not been ruled out.
Since then, the international coalition has compared data from all active combat planes on the day the events unfolded above the Iraqi city.
The coalition has asserted throughout that no Belgian fighter jets were involved in the incident, which caused the deaths of some 130 civilians. However, it has not been clearly established which country bears responsibility for this.
It is clearly accepted that on March 17th, Belgian F-16s participated in the air strike manoeuvres on the day. However, these F-16s were accompanied by fighter jets from at least two other coalition member states.
The US has conceded that it participated on the day as well, without, for all that, its responsibility being called into question.
Under the procedure operated in the event of an incident, the data gathered was transmitted by the Ministry of Defence to the Public Prosecutor’s Office.
The latter has decided not to open a judicial inquiry into the matter.