IS fighters in Mosul provoking coalition strikes on civilians: U.S. military

The U.N. Assistance Mission to Iraq says Antonio Guterres landed in Baghdad on Thursday to focus on the dire humanitarian situation on the ground.

The Pentagon on Thursday said it would soon release a video showing Islamic State militants herding civilians into a building in the Iraqi city of Mosul and then firing from it, the US military's latest response to an outcry over a separate explosion thought to have killed scores of civilians.

Reports from frontline units claim Iraqi forces are seeing twice as many Iraqi civilians attempting to flee western Mosul, compared to the flood of refugees who attempted to escape the city's east side at the beginning of the operation, according to Gen. Townsend.

He said that was different from using civilians as human shields and that ISIS did not want the coalition to know the civilians were in the building so that a strike would kill them.

The current operation to recapture Mosul carried out by the Iraqi troops backed by the US-led global coalition began in October 2016 and resulted in the liberation of the eastern part of the city this January. Human rights groups already are slamming the US military for an increase in the allegations of civilian casualties in recent weeks.Amnesty International has said the high civilian toll in Mosul suggested USA -led coalition forces had failed to take adequate precautions to prevent civilian deaths.Votel said Islamic State militants were aware of US sensitivities to civilian casualties and were exploiting them by using human shields in Mosul.

The Iraqi push has been backed up with coalition air strikes.

The bombardment, which also killed four other IS jihadists, destroyed a multimedia operation team, said another Defense Department official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Guterres expressed support for Iraq's fight, condemned IS crimes against civilians and pledged continued aid for the some 3 million Iraqis displaced by the fighting. But he called for "an urgent review of tactics to ensure that the impact on civilians is reduced to an absolute minimum".

The US has acknowledged a coalition strike in Mosul earlier this month "probably" killed dozens of civilians.

Airwars.org said since coalition forces began anti-Daesh operations more than two years ago, the most civilian casualties were recorded this month, including those killed in attacks in the past two weeks.

The video that the Pentagon has said it will soon release would be the first instance that the United States has independently confirmed and made public.

IS overran large swaths of territory north and west of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, in 2014.

An Iraqi federal police member guards Abu Saif, Iraq, from a vehicle turret during operations to liberate and secure western Mosul, Iraq, from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, March 6, 2017.

  • Leroy Wright


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