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COLLATERAL DAMAGE

The United States deployed a variety of "smart" weapons in the Baghdad air war, and many hit their targets with astonishing accuracy. Others missed and damaged civilian and non-military targets. This is a list of Baghdad area collateral damage reports.


Thursday, Jan. 17, 1991

  • The Doura central bus station, across from the Bab al Muadem (Maiden Square) telephone exchange in downtown Baghdad is damaged. Flying debris from the attack badly damages two office buildings adjacent to the exchange, located on a corner.
  • The Ministry of Trade on Khulafa Street near Khullani Square is damaged. John Simpson of the BBC went out on the morning of 18 January: "The city was being stripped of its ability to function and yet it seemed undamaged. Apart from some broken glass outside the Trade Ministry, nothing much seemed to have happened."
  • Nineteen are reportedly killed in an attack in the Al-Waziriyah neighborhood of Baghdad (near the Sarafiya bridge), possibly in an attack on the Bab al-Muadem (Maiden Square) telephone exchange or the MOD Computer Center, both targeted on the first night, or the Waziriyah (Sarafiya) electrical substation. On 23 January, Iraqi radio reported that 38 civilians had been killed and 10 were wounded during air attacks at al-Waziriyah (in Baghdad) and in Tikrit (see 21 and 22 January).
  • A "pasteboard factory and a plastic foam factory in Za'faraniyah," southeast of Baghdad, are damaged in bombing.
  • Homes in the Urdunn and Bunuk quarters of Baghdad are "set on fire."
  • Civilian vehicles are set on fire near the Al-Sha'b bridge in Baghdad.
  • Abu Nawas street in Baghdad is damaged.
  • In an attack on the Taji electrical plant, two civilians, reportedly fire fighters, are killed and nine are injured.
    Airstrikes: Day 1


    Friday, Jan. 18, 1991

  • The 7 Nisan residential area of Baghdad is damaged, and seven are killed.
  • The Iraqi government states that the Al Rasheed hotel area is bombed on 18 January, and four homes are damaged.
  • The Al-Sha'b sports stadium in Baghdad is damaged (see also 17 January).
  • The Kasrah residential area of Baghdad is damaged.
  • An attack in the early morning hours in the Wahda quarter of Baghdad, between 52nd and 62nd Streets, probably directed at Iraqi air defense headquarters in Wahda, kills five and destroys four houses. Eyewitnesses described the attacking object as a very big missile. The whole neighborhood had glass broken for two or three blocks. The Iraqi government states that the Wahda quarter of Baghdad was hit on 17 January.
  • A vegetable-oil factory in Baghdad is damaged.
    Airstrikes: Day 2

    Saturday, Jan. 19, 1991

  • The Kasrah area of Baghdad is damaged, killing four civilians.
  • In an attack on the Mahmoon telecommunications center (Al Karkh) in Baghdad, the tower falls on and destroys an adjacent three story administrative building of the exchange, damaging neighboring houses.
  • A building under construction for the Council of Ministers in central Baghdad is damaged in bombing.
  • The Jazirat Baghdad tourist center is damaged, killing two and injuring seven, and destroying one home.lxxi
  • The Madinat Saddam residential area of Baghdad is damaged, and two homes are damaged.
  • The Ma'rifah residential district of Baghdad is damaged, injuring three.
  • On this or a subsequent large scale attack against the Baghdad Nuclear Research Center Tuwaitha, the 3rd century Arch of Ctesiphon, 12 miles away, is damaged. Later on, it is reported that cracks developed in the walls and "bricks have started falling down from the top of the arch and without urgent repairs the whole thing could soon fall down as well..."
  • An attack on the main television station in downtown Baghdad damages the Baghdad National Museum. According to the Iraqi government, "the museum" was bombed on 19 January, killing six and injuring 10. The museum was located 400m from the television station. "The Iraq museum was shelled when the Telecommunications center across the road was bombed. All the doors were damaged. The gallery containing statues from Hatra were damaged. The roof of the Assyrian room was hit and partially destroyed, as was part of the room with Islamic stucco from Samarra. Two guards were wounded from the shrapnel. Unfortunately the bombing of the Telecommunications centre and the Ministry of Defense which are only a few hundred meters away, caused wide rifts in these invaluable antique items and archaeologists have been trying to restore them since the end of the war."
  • Bombing of the Alwiya telephone exchange on Saduun street in downtown Baghdad damages five houses and a building about 100m away. An attack in the Iwadiyah area of Baghdad (possibly the same incident) results in one civilian injury, the collapse of a restaurant and damage to neighboring shops.
  • The Sinan Bin-Thabet Military Dispensary, approximately 200m from the Sarafiya pumping station in Baghdad, located adjacent to the Sarafiya bridge, is hit by a single object, likely a Tomahawk missile. Captain Najib Hamse Halef Mansour, manager of the dispensary, stated that the clinic was hit by a bomb on the second floor facing the Tigris river (southwest). Two floors and approximately one-fifth of the building were completely destroyed and the dispensary was abandoned (see also 19 February). The Iraqi government states that a Baghdad clinic is bombed on 18 January, killing one and injuring 10, and damaging four ambulances.
    Airstrikes: Day 3

    Sunday, Jan. 20, 1991

  • A missile crashes on the grounds of the Al Rasheed Hotel in downtown Baghdad, apparently hit by anti-aircraft artillery. According to eyewitness Peter Arnett of CNN, "I ran down to the lobby and saw the thick glass walls of the Sheherazade Bar had caved in. Masonry and debris were spilled over the floor. The furniture was upturned. Dust drifted through the air. Black smoke was curling up from the garden beyond the swimming pool....When we checked the grounds it turned out that only part of the missile had plowed into the empty hotel staff quarters, probably after it had been shot down..."
    Airstrikes: Day 4

    Monday, Jan. 21, 1991

  • Five are killed and five houses damaged in a residential neighborhood in Baghdad.
  • The civil defense directorate building in the Al-Sha'b area of Baghdad is damaged in bombing, and two staff are killed and five are injured.
    Airstrikes: Day 5

    Tuesday, Jan. 22, 1991

  • The Karadat Maryam area of central Baghdad is damaged, killing two and injuring four, and destroying four homes and damaging others.
  • Homes in the 52 Street area of the Wahda section of Baghdad are damaged, killing two and injuring three (see 18 January).
  • Residential neighborhoods of Nuayrah, Kiyyarah, the Qadisiyah quarter and Dur al-Shuhada' quarter are damaged in Baghdad.
  • The Madinat Saddam residential area of Baghdad is damaged, and homes are set on fire.
  • The Amin II residential neighborhood of Baghdad is damaged.
    Airstrikes: Day 6

    Friday, Jan. 25, 1991

  • Some 40-50 are reportedly killed and injured in an attack that takes place near a bus station in downtown Baghdad.
    Airstrikes: Day 9

    Saturday, Jan. 26, 1991

  • Bombing in Baghdad kills one and injures four.
    Airstrikes: Day 10

    Monday, Jan. 28, 1991

  • Residential areas in Baghdad are damaged, injuring 10.
  • Two civilians are injured in an attack on the radio and television building in central Baghdad.
    Airstrikes: Day 12

    Wednesday, Jan. 30, 1991

  • The Iraqi government states that the Central Bank in downtown Baghdad is damaged and two civilians are wounded in an attack. The damage probably occurred in an attack on the Shuhada bridge. "Around the corner from Shorja market, which is piled with trash from an interruption in pickups but otherwise undamaged, there is the ruined complex of the Central Bank, its roof collapsed, its pillars buckled inside their masonry lining. Crushed vehicles lie scattered all around. Next door is the Suk al-Benat, where youngsters used to window-shop for the latest fashions. Now it is a mess of splintered glass and boarded-up windows -- a victim of `collateral damage,' in Pentagon terms, from the hit on the Central Bank."
  • The Iraqi government states that the Ministry of Justice in central Baghdad is bombed. Near the downtown ministry, houses are hit in this or a subsequent bombing.ccxvi The Ministry is reportedly hit again near the end of the air war. The Ministry of Local Government, across the street from Justice is also damaged in this or subsequent attacks. "Some structures seem to have been attacked for reasons known only to the innermost conclaves of allied strategy: the Ministry of Local Affairs, now a tattered wreck of steel and concrete…
  • Attacks in Doura and the residential Jihad quarter of Baghdad kill two and injure two.
  • Attacks in New Baghdad and the residential Jihad quarter of Baghdad injure two.
    Airstrikes: Day 14

    Friday, Feb. 1, 1991

  • Seven reportedly are killed and 11 are injured near the Karada/Masbah quarter in Baghdad, where cinemas and shops are also damaged. A cruise missile crashes or is shot down enroute to Rasheed airfield to the east. The Iraqi government states that 27 are injured in attacks in Baghdad on 1 February. The Iraqi government states that one women was killed in the Karada (Karradeh) area of Baghdad on 2 February.
    Airstrikes: Day 16

    Monday, Feb. 4, 1991

  • The Iraqi government states that two raids in Baghdad kill two.
  • Attacks near residential areas of Baghdad kill one and injure four.
    Airstrikes: Day 19

    Tuesday, Feb. 5, 1991

  • An attack near the Betaween (Souk al-Haraj) quarter of old Baghdad causes damage to houses (see also 13 February). The Iraqi government reports that Baghdad attacks kill one and injure four.
    Airstrikes: Day 20

    Wednesday, Feb. 6, 1991

  • An attack on the Aadhamiya telephone exchange at Anther Square (another attack reportedly occurred on 12 February) in the Aadhamiya neighborhood of Baghdad (20th Street, Haba Katon Quarter), near the Aadhamiya Bridge, destroys 12 houses and kills six to eight. The exchange, a six story steel structure with two adjacent concrete buildings, was hit numerous times in February, according to eyewitnesses. Bombs penetrated the basement, "so you could say that the destruction was 100 percent," an engineer said. There was damage to surrounding buildings and houses. Ten houses were completely destroyed. Also destroyed in attacks on the exchange was a three-story building near the exchange, with apartments upstairs and stores on the ground floor. At least one bomb hit the apartment building directly. Two bombs landed in the neighborhood near the Aadhamiya bridge, and 12 houses were destroyed. There were seven dead and eight injured. Another home owner of a house adjacent to the destroyed and abandoned houses stated that the doors and windows of his house were destroyed. The rooms and the external wall adjacent to the abandoned houses received the most damage.
  • Two separate attacks on residential areas of Baghdad injure nine civilians.
    Airstrikes: Day 21

    Thursday, Feb. 7, 1991

  • Attacks on 6-7 February result in the destruction of the Taji civilian cold storage complex.
  • Attacks near residential neighborhoods in the Sheikh Umar and A'zamiyah areas of Baghdad kill 15 and injure 29.
    Airstrikes: Day 22

    Saturday, Feb. 9, 1991

  • An attack on the 14 July and Martyrs suspension bridge in Baghdad kills three and injures six, and causes large-scale damage to the bridge. Airstrikes: Day 24

    Sunday, Feb. 10, 1991

  • Two are injured and six houses are damaged from attacks in Baghdad.
    Airstrikes: Day 25

    Monday, Feb. 11, 1991

  • Attacks in the Palestine Street area and the Idrisi quarter of Baghdad injure seven.
  • Attacks aimed at residential quarters in Baghdad injure 45 civilians.
  • Some 24 are reportedly killed and 5-6 houses destroyed in the Nahda (Wahda?) quarter of Baghdad.
    Airstrikes: Day 26

    Tuesday, Feb. 12, 1991

  • An attack on the Ministry of Justice or the Ministry of Local Government causes damage in downtown Baghdad. "Two fireballs rose in the city after raids scored direct hits on the two ministries near densely populated Haifa Street, a business and residential route in the city center. Witnesses said at least 6 people were killed and 17 were wounded, many seriously...Residential neighborhoods adjacent to the buildings were damaged." The Iraqi government states that the Ministry of Local Government in downtown Baghdad is bombed on 11 February, killing five and injuring 17 (see also 30 January).
  • Attacks in residential areas of Baghdad injure two.
    Airstrikes: Day 27

    Wednesday, Feb. 13, 1991

  • An attack on the Amiriyah (al Firdos) shelter in western Baghdad kills 313 civilians. "The most notable incident of Iraqi civilian casualties occurred when a penetrating bomb destroyed a hardened shelter in Baghdad used for military command communications. Many civilians who had, unbeknownst to the coalition, taken shelter inside, were killed or injured." Among the first journalists on the scene were Jeremy Bowen, BBC television correspondent, and Rory Peck, cameraman. According to BBC correspondent John Simpson, "Inside the building was hot and there was a great deal of smoke. The corridor was 18 inches deep in water and the workers were fishing out pieces of body from below the surface....The building was on two levels. The upper level was a dormitory. Most of the people in the shelter had been here and they had died instantly....There was nothing in them to indicate that there might be a command centre hidden somewhere. The freedom there were given to wander around indicated that there was nothing there to find. Further stories circulated in Washington later: the Iraqis had moved out all the military bodies at the start of the rescue operation; a Swedish company had built a third level under the Finnish construction; a secret basement, fully equipped to communicate with
  • An attack near the Betaween (Souk al-Haraj) neighborhood of old Baghdad destroys 14 houses, damages almost 40, and reportedly kills 30-40 and injures 20. A Chaldean church also sustains damage during the bombing.
  • Forty are reportedly killed and nine houses are destroyed in an attack in the Kaadhamiya quarter of Baghdad, presumably in attacks on the Directorate of Military Intelligence.
    Airstrikes: Day 28

    Thursday, Feb. 14, 1991

  • An Armenian Orthodox Church in Baghdad is damaged. Eyewitnesses reported that the Bab al Muadem (Maiden Square) telephone exchange, was bombed on the night of 13-14 February, damaging the exterior and windows of the church (see also 6 February).
  • Attacks in Baghdad, in the residential areas of Kirah Kulat, eastern Karada, and Kahramana square, result in 11 deaths and seven injuries.
    Airstrikes: Day 29

    Tuesday, Feb. 19, 1991

  • Six reportedly are killed in the Saduun quarter of Baghdad.
  • Attacks in Baghdad reportedly result in damage to two houses near the Al Rasheed hotel.
  • An attack occurs near the foot of the Sarafiya bridge on the north side of the Tigris river in Baghdad, right at the perimeter to the Medical City complex. The Sarafiya Water Pumping station receives minor damage to the fence and grounds of an external pumping house. No part of the water pumping facility or the main station was directly bombed, but the diesel generators were effected by an attack on the external pumping building approximately 150m from the river and outside the main installation. The damage was minor. On 3 March, reporters are taken to the Sarafiya water pumping station, and report that it "had apparently been bombed."
    Airstrikes: Day 34

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