Iraqi forces resume bid to recapture Mosul's Old City
- Author: Leroy Wright Mar 28, 2017,
Mar 28, 2017, 7:00
In addition to the deadly airstrike in Mosul, the US military also reportedly conducted a strike against IS that killed over 30 civilians in Raqqa, Syria, last Tuesday. The Pentagon is also is trying to determine if civilians died in two strikes in Syria in the last two weeks - at a potential mosque in Jinah, Syria, targeting al Qaeda and a second strike at a school outside of Raqqa that local officials said was being used as a shelter for displaced civilians. Iraqi civil defense, the rescue workers who are pulling the bodies out of the building, they say they're experts in building collapses, and they say this was caused by an airstrikes.
General Joseph Votel said, "While Iraq's security forces are making measurable progress, the fight in Mosul is a hard one, and particularly because the enemy operates amongst the civilian population".
"We felt the earth shaking as if it was an natural disaster".
The U.S. military now does not have access to the affected location but expects to be able to arrive there soon, Thomas said, once fighting subsides.
"We heard screams and loud crying coming from the house next door". Reports say Islamic State extremists use civilians as human shields against Iraqi forces. Residents fleeing the city said that the IS was in some cases shooting at fleeing residents. Army units are clearing villages to the north.
At the beginning of this month it had said that "it is more likely than not, at least 220 civilians have been unintentionally killed by coalition strikes", while other incidents were still under investigation.
The U.S. -led coalition backing Iraqi forces on Saturday said it carried out a strike on Islamic State militants and equipment in the area of the reported deaths, and was investigating. It did not give figures for any casualties or details on targets.
Brigadier General Matthew Isler, a deputy commanding general for the coalition, said on Sunday it took "every feasible measure to protect civilians" and was investigating all "credible allegations".
On Sunday, the Iraqi military claimed that the targeted building had been booby-trapped by the Islamic State, saying their troops has found no evidence of a coalition strike. Some American military officials had also chafed at what they viewed as long and onerous White House procedures for approving strikes under the Obama administration.
"Sixty-one bodies were evacuated", the statement said.
"In western Mosul, there is no place to strike without hitting families", he said. Trump has granted a Pentagon request for the looser rules in three provinces of Yemen. Local residents and officials charged that the United States strike in a densely populated part of western Mosul, known as Jaida, detonated a truck bomb and a second explosion, leading a set of apartment buildings to collapse.
Ghazwan al-Dawoodi, head of the Nineveh governorate human rights council, said his team had made a field visit and that 173 people were killed after militants forced them into a bunker, and then opened fire on gunships to prompt an air strike.
"Going to the more destroyed neighborhoods is all but forbidden".
More than 200,000 people have fled west Mosul since Iraqi forces launched the operation to retake it on February 19, an Iraqi ministry said on Saturday. Thousands more are trapped in the fighting.