Canada Extends Mission In Iraq, Syria For Three Months

Carla Harmon
April 2, 2017

Baghdadi and other IS leaders are believed to have left the city but US officials estimate around 2,000 fighters remain inside the city, resisting with snipers hiding among the population, vehicle bombs and suicide trucks targeting Iraqi positions.

"The terrorists have used every possible wicked way to inflict casualties on civilians".

Iraq's Counterterrorism Service has reported two episodes in which it said the Islamic State forced civilians into buildings that were rigged with explosives. "We need more solidarity from the worldwide community", he said.

Local officials and eyewitnesses have said as many as 240 people may have died in the Al-Jadida district when a blast made a building collapse, burying families inside.

The United States has begun a formal investigation into the March 17 strike and other air attacks in that neighborhood where civilians were injured or killed. Later, they said, civilians were seen being freed from the building.

Meanwhile, UN chief Antonio Guterres called Thursday for protection of civilians to be the "absolute priority" as he visited Iraq, where hundreds of thousands are caught up in the battle for Mosul city.

That will require different training and support from the global community, which to this point has been largely focused on helping Iraqi and Kurdish forces fight ISIL as a regular military force.

Iraqi and Kurdish security forces launched an operation last October to retake Iraq's second largest city, which has been under IS control since 2014.

"We have to be able to positively identify the valid military target [and] positively identify the combatant", as well assess the potential collateral damage of a strike, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Townsend has delegated the right to approve bombings further down the hierarchy to allow a quick response to help Iraqi troops. Iraqi forces are gaining ground in heavily populated west Mosul but are facing fierce resistance from an estimated 1,000 IS fighters.

Other reports by iNewsToday