US opens formal investigation into civilian deaths in Mosul

Numerous 21 Arab heads of state leaders present have seen their countries riven by terrorism.

"Eyewitnesses from Mosul and Iraqi officials have said last week's strike on Islamic State targets may have collapsed homes where rescue officials say as many as 200 people were buried in the rubble", Reuters reported.

His envoy Jason Greenblatt is at the Arab League summit and Trump has invited Abbas to visit the White House in April, following his saying that he wants to strike the "ultimate deal" between Israelis and Palestinians.

Intelligence that was received from the Iraqi partners will also be assessed, Votel added.

Daesh is an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group.

The Arab leaders urged unity and the need for peaceful solutions but had few specific plans to offer.

Morocco's King Mohammed VI is expected to be present at the summit in the first time a monarch from the North African country attends since 2005, a Jordanian official source said.

"The Israeli government has since 2009 worked on wrecking the two-state solution by accelerating the tempo of settlements and the confiscation of land", Abbas told the leaders.

"Egypt has sought and continues to seek a comprehensive and just solution to this issue, based on the establishment of a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital", said Sissi. The Agenda also includes debates on latest developments of the situation in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

According to a French defence ministry statement dated 22 March, French jets carried out 11 air strikes against IS defensive positions inside Mosul in support of Iraqi ground forces in the week to 21 March. He said Wednesday that the summit resolutions will "send a clear message to the world" of a united Arab stance. Iraqi government forces are now battling to retake the city's western half.

In his summit speech, Serraj renewed a call to the Arab League to oversee a unified force tasked with the protection of oil terminals.

The Egyptian president and Saudi Arabia's King Salman slipped out of the summit session for face-to-face talks, signaling an attempt at possible reconciliation.

A photo handout by the Egyptian delegation showed the two leaders sitting next to each other in white overstuffed chairs. Saudi Arabia is a leading supporter of the Syrian opposition, while Egypt, fearful of Islamic militants among the rebels' ranks, has pushed for a political solution that might keep Assad in power.

In October, the Saudis abruptly suspended oil aid to Egypt just days after Cairo backed a U.N. Security Council resolution on Syria drafted by Assad's ally Russian Federation.

Several Iraqi commanders involved in operations in western Mosul told MEE that the advance of Iraqi troops had been halted for two days at the start of the week because of concerns about mounting civilian casualties.

The U.N. secretary-general has warned Arab leaders that their internal divisions have opened the door to foreign intervention and have helped breed sectarianism and terrorism.

President Bashar Assad is absent.

"There is no Plan B", said Guterres.

The draft resolutions condemn Israeli policies, including settlement construction, that are "aimed at eliminating the two-state solution and replacing it with apartheid".

King Abdullah, whose dynasty has custodianship over Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem, said any unilateral Israeli move to change the status quo in the Dome of the Rock and the Aqsa mosque would have "catastrophic" consequences for the future of the region, inflaming Muslim sentiment.

The Arab summiteers oppose plans by US President Donald Trump to move Washington's embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and consider alternatives to a Palestinian state.

  • Leroy Wright