Published: Fri, May 26, 2017
World Media | By Joan Schultz

US military acknowledges over 100 civilians died in Mosul strike in March


The results of a USA military investigation have found that numerous more than 100 Iraqi civilians killed in west Mosul in a United States airstrike in March died because the building in which they were held had explosives inside that detonated after a U.S. bomb hit the building.

The U.S. -led coalition and Iraqi forces were unaware that civilians were huddled inside the building or that it was packed with explosives when the U.S. dropped the small bomb to kill two snipers who were firing on Iraqi forces, the Pentagon said.

The Pentagon has admitted that an air strike targeting Islamic State snipers on the roof of a house in the Iraqi city of Mosul in March killed at least 105 civilians.

There was a secondary explosion in the back side of the building that caused the building to collapse.

A summary of the report says the munition, described as a "GBU-38 with a delayed fuse", was chosen by the coalition's Target Engagement Authority in the belief that it would achieve "the necessary effect and minimize collateral damage". However, for two days before the strike took place, the coalition did not have overhead surveillance of the area because of the weather, Isler said. USA forces selected a GPS-guided 500-pound bomb with a delayed fuze to eliminate the snipers.

The bombing is the largest single instance of civilian deaths confirmed by the coalition in the almost three-year-old campaign against IS.

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There are another 36 civilians still unaccounted for, however U.S. Air Force Brigadier General Matt Isler says that these civilians had most likely left the area just before the deadly airstrike.

"Individuals or units failing to uphold that standard (of human rights) do a disservice to their sacrifice and must be investigated & held accountable", Brett McGurk, Washington's envoy to the US -led coalition, said on Twitter, alluding to the Spiegel report. Isler said it was a home owned by a well-regarded Iraqi, who invited people to take shelter there because it was sturdy and well-built.

"While we welcome the USA investigation into the Jadida airstrike, we are curious to know whether any lessons were learned and what steps were taken to ensure such horrors do not occur again", human rights group Amnesty International said in a statement. "Neither Coalition nor Iraqi forces knew that civilians were sheltered within the structure", the statement stressed. According to Arkady, his intention was to document the heroism of Iraqi forces, but instead, he witnessed torture, rapes and murders.

Airwars, a London-based collective of journalists and researchers that tracks civilian deaths in Iraq and Syria, this week said it has seen numbers jump since Trump came into power. Gen. Joe Martin. "The Coalition takes every feasible measure to protect civilians from harm".

The U.S. military will make "solatia" or condolence payments if claims from next of kin can be substantiated, one official said.

CORNISH: So was this a tactic, a case of ISIS intentionally luring USA forces to bomb a house packed with civilians?

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