IS fighters in Mosul provoking coalition strikes on civilians: US military

Asked if the USA military was alarmed at the high number of casualties suffered by the Iraqi military in Mosul - 774 killed and 4,600 wounded, according to Votel - Scrocca declined to weigh in.

"The Iraqi people have proved their ability to defeat terrorism and to expel IS militants".

A Pentagon spokesman on March 30 said the USA military will soon release a video showing IS fighters herding people into a building, then firing from the structure to bait coaltion forces.

But the U.S. military has also repeatedly denounced what they call the militants' use of civilians as human shields - and now accuses them of trying to provoke the coalition into making deadly blunders.

He also called on the United Nations and its Security Council to "issue a resolution to prosecute (IS) for its crimes against civilians".

"According to information received from our sources inside western Mosul, 11 people were killed - including women and children - in an airstrike that targeted the Al-Mushahada district of the city's old quarter", Ammar Hussein al-Najjar, an Iraqi activist told, APA reports citing Anadolu Agency.

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"We don't need to use a 500-pound bomb which is going to destroy a building if we can use a Hellfire missile which is just going to blow out a room and kill some fighters", said Scrocca.

"Since we believe a coalition strike contributed in at least some way to the civilian casualties, Lt. Gen. Townsend has directed that the civilian casualty assessment move directly to a formal 15-6 investigation for all allegations in the west Mosul neighborhood where the strikes occurred on or around March 17", he said.

Al-Nuri mosque is a symbolic place for Daesh, as in 2014, Daesh leader Abu Bakr Baghdadi, during his public preaching there, proclaimed a caliphate across the territory controlled by the terrorist group both in Iraq and Syria.

The UN chief pledged that the United Nations would increase its assistance to the displaced families, confirming that the global organization is working and assisting the Iraqi government in building and developing the country's institutions, it said.

Shortly after landing at Baghdad International Airport, Mr Guterres said on Twitter that his visit is to "focus on the dire humanitarian situation on the ground". After routing IS from the eastern part of the city, Iraqi forces in February launched a push to drive the militants from the western half. Votel told a congressional committee that 490 Iraqi security personnel were killed and more than 3,000 wounded in the battle for east Mosul, while 284 have been killed and more than 1,600 wounded in fighting for the west.

A series of large-scale bombings claimed by IS have struck Baghdad since the operation to retake Mosul began.

  • Megan Austin