Mosul air strikes kill dozens of civilians: Iraqi officials

Mosul air strikes kill dozens of civilians: Iraqi officials
Relatives and friends bury the body of Khadeer Hassan, who was killed during fighting between Iraqi security forces and Daesh militants on the western side of Mosul, Iraq, on Saturday. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
Updated 25 March 2017

Mosul air strikes kill dozens of civilians: Iraqi officials

Mosul air strikes kill dozens of civilians: Iraqi officials

NEAR MOSUL, Iraq: Air strikes carried out in recent days have killed dozens of civilians in west Mosul, where Iraqi forces are battling jihadists, officials said on Saturday.
Both Iraqi aircraft and a US-led international coalition are bombing the Daesh group in the Mosul area.
“There are dozens of bodies still under the rubble,” Bashar Al-Kiki, the head of the Nineveh provincial council, told AFP.
Nawfal Hammadi, the governor of Nineveh, of which Mosul is the capital, said the coalition had carried out the strikes in the city’s Mosul Al-Jadida area, killing “more than 130 civilians.”
“The Daesh terrorist organization is seeking to stop the advance of the Iraqi forces in Mosul at any cost, and it is gathering civilians... and using them as human shields,” Hammadi told AFP, using an Arabic acronym for Islamic State.
Other officials said that hundreds of people had died in the strikes. It was not possible to independently confirm the tolls.
The US military acknowledged on Saturday that US aircraft struck at the request of Iraqi security forces a location in West Mosul where dozens of civilian casualties allegedly occurred.
US Central Command said in a statement that it took the allegation seriously and has opened an investigation “to determine the facts surrounding this strike and the validity of the allegation of civilian casualties.”
An Iraqi brigadier general said that strikes had damaged more than 27 residential buildings and that three of them were completely destroyed.
The officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the strikes were carried out after Daesh targeted military aircraft and attacked Iraqi forces with sniper fire.
Daesh overran large areas north and west of Baghdad in 2014, but Iraqi forces backed by US-led air strikes have since retaken most of the territory they lost.
Iraqi forces launched the operation to recapture Mosul in October, retaking the east of the city before setting their sights on the smaller but more densely populated west.