CENTCOM Investigating Air Strike in Mosul that Killed up to 200 Civilians

Cheryl Sanders
March 28, 2017

To retake Mosul from the Islamic State, the president has ordered 200 more USA soldiers into the fight and has allowed them to go closer to the front lines to support Iraqi forces. While the investigation is predicted to take between two to three weeks, it has been reported that if the building collapse is found to be the result of the US -led strike, it would mark the deadliest civilian casualty incident since the USA became involved in 2014.

In a statement issued on his website, Vice President Osama al-Nujaifi, himself from Mosul, described the incident as a "humanitarian catastrophe", blaming the USA -led coalition airstrikes and excessive use of force by militarized Federal Police forces.

The Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights is reporting that an Iraqi civilian defense force is reporting that 500 corpses of civilians killed by air strikes have been discovered in Mosul.

"A huge detonated booby-trapped vehicle was found near the house".

In addition to the deadly airstrike in Mosul, the USA military also reportedly conducted a strike against IS that killed over 30 civilians in Raqqa, Syria, last Tuesday.

The coalition is taking it seriously because the US Department of Defense Civilian Casualty Assessment said in November 2016 that "as many as 64 civilians" had been killed in one year of fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

In September, Samantha Power, then the US ambassador to United Nations, accused Russian Federation of "barbarism" for its bombing campaign in Aleppo.

The Iraqi speaker of parliament has expressed concern over an air raid that killed more than 200 civilians in western Mosul where US-backed troops are fighting IS. When he emerged from his home after three hours, many homes were destroyed, he said.Iraqi forces have retaken the east of Mosul and half of the west, across the Tigris River that divides Iraq's second city.

"The Iraqi government and the USA -led coalition, must immediately launch an independent and impartial investigation into the appalling civilian death toll resulting from the Mosul operation", said Rovera, a Senior Crisis Response Adviser who carried out field investigations in Mosul.

Other officials also said that hundreds of civilians had been killed.

"We don't just have ad hoc people who are not trained and who have experience looking at these things", he said.

A review of the March 17 operation was "underway to determine the facts surrounding this strike and the validity of the allegation of civilian casualties", ABC News cited the statement as saying.

"The Daesh terrorist organisation 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 IS.

One of the neighbourhood residents said a cluster of homes were hit by airstrikes leaving many dead.

The Pentagon has admitted to killing 220 civilians in Iraq and Syria since mid-2014, yet independent monitoring groups such as Airwars.org in London say the number could be closer to 3,000.

"There is no indication" that the rules have been changed, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) spokesperson Air Force Col. John Thomas told reporters via teleconference Monday.

There are reports that terrified parents fleeing fighting between Iraqi forces and Daesh in the western side of Mosul drug their children with sedatives or tape their mouths to avoid discovery as they try to escape. "The same can not be said of our adversaries".

Other reports by iNewsToday