Coalition strikes killing civilians in Mosul: Officer
REUTERS photoAt least 43 civilians, including women and children, were killed on March 27 by airstrikes carried out by the U.S.-led coalition aircraft in western Mosul, according to a senior Iraqi military officer.
“Coalition warplanes at dawn Monday struck a [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] Daesh position in Mosul’s central Bab Sinjar district,” the officer, who holds the rank of brigadier in the Interior Ministry’s rapid-reaction forces, told Anadolu Agency, using an Arabic acronym for ISIL.
“The airstrike led to the death of 23 civilians -- including women, children and elderly people -- while also destroying the intended target and killing the militants holed up inside,” the officer, who spoke anonymously due to restrictions on speaking to media, said.
The same source went on to note that coalition aircraft had conducted a second airstrike -- minutes after the first -- ostensibly targeting a ISIL position in western Mosul’s Al-Tawwafa area.
“That strike led to the death of 20 people from a single family,” he said.
Spokesmen from the U.S.-led coalition and the Iraqi military, for their part, have yet to comment on Monday’s reported carnage.
“Today’s massacre is similar to that which took place earlier in western Mosul’s Al-Jadeeda area,” the officer said without elaborating.
According to the Sunni bloc in Iraq’s parliament, more than 260 civilians were killed on March 17 when U.S.-led coalition jets struck targets in western Mosul’s Al-Jadeeda district.
On March 26, parliament’s human rights committee called on Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to launch urgent investigations into reports of “massacres” being committed in western Mosul by U.S.-led coalition warplanes.
Iraqi forces have driven ISIL militants from most of eastern Mosul as part of a wide-ranging army offensive launched last October to retake the city, which ISIL overran in mid-2014.
In mid-February, Iraqi forces -- backed by a U.S.-led air coalition -- began fresh operations aimed at purging ISIL from the rest of the city.