United Nations deeply concerned over US-led airstrikes on Mosul

March 25, 2017 2:24 pm
The has
expressed deep concerns over reports that more than 200 people lost
their lives in two airstrikes by the US-led coalition purportedly
fighting the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group in the northern Iraqi city of
earlier this week.

“The United Nations is
profoundly concerned by the reports yesterday of a high number of
civilian casualties in al-Jadida in , a densely populated
neighborhood in Mosul. Initial reports indicate hundreds of
casualties,” Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for the Secretary General,
told a press conference on Friday.
Haq added that Lise Grande, UN
Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, is “stunned by the horrendous loss of
life” in the aerial attacks.
Grande urged all parties to the
operation in the embattled western Mosul, where Iraqi troops backed by
pro-government fighters from Popular Mobilization Units – commonly known
by their Arabic name, Hashd al-Sha’abi – are pushing hard to flush out
Daesh terrorists, to refrain from “indiscriminate use of firepower” and
“do everything possible to protect civilians.”
Iraq’s
Kurdish-language Rudaw television network reported late on Thursday that
237 people had been killed in US-led coalition airstrikes on a
Daesh-held neighborhood in western Mosul.
The report said 137
people died when a bomb hit a single building in Mosul
al-Jadida district of western Mosul. Another 100 were killed nearby.
“Some of the dead were taking shelter inside the homes,” Hevidar Ahmed, a correspondent for Rudaw, said from the scene.

A
pair of US Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles flies over northern Iraq after
conducting airstrikes against Daesh targets in Syria on September 23,
2014. (Photo by US Air Force)The video footage
released in the aftermath of the airstrike shows scores of dead
bodies being pulled up from a completely destroyed building.
The US-led coalition is said to have “opened a formal civilian casualty credibility assessment” on the report.
The
latest US-led raids in Iraq have heightened concerns about an increase
in civilian casualties since the administration of US President Donald
Trump has already “sped up” the process of approving airstrikes.
Airwars,
a Britain-based organization that monitors purported US-led strikes on
Daesh positions, estimates that as many as 400 civilian deaths could be
attributed to the aerial assaults in March alone.

Armored
vehicles of the Iraqi government forces advance towards the Old City in
western Mosul on March 24, 2017, during an offensive to retake the city
from Takfiri Daesh terrorists. (Photo by AFP)Iraqi
army soldiers and Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters launched their offensive to
retake Mosul last October and since then they have made sweeping gains
against Takfiri elements.
Iraqi forces took control of eastern
Mosul back in January after 100 days of fighting, and launched the
battle in the west on February 19.

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