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06 April 2017, 02:41 | Clarence Schmidt
Fair Chance US Ops Contributed to Civilian Deaths in Mosul- CENTCOM Commander REUTERS Youssef Boudlal
The Islamic State has started using more sinister tactics in the five-month long fight for Mosul, a sign the terror group is getting even more desperate as its numbers dwindle, a spokesman for the US -led coalition said on Thursday.
Col. Mohammad Shumari, head of civil forces working in the area, told CNN that 141 bodies had been removed from the location of the March 17 strike in the al-Resala district of Mosul's al-Jadidah neighborhood.
The comments come as the US military responds to criticism from within Iraq and internationally over a separate incident in which as many as 240 civilians are believed to have been killed.
U.S. military officials say they have boosted precautions to avoid civilian victims.
The current operation to recapture Mosul carried out by the Iraqi troops backed by the US-led global coalition began in October 2016 and resulted in the liberation of the eastern part of the city this January. The inquiry will be led by Brig.
Air Force Brig. Gen. Matthew Isler will lead the investigation. Earlier this week, the Pentagon said it would deploy another 200 to 300 USA troops to help liberate the city.
A defense official told CNN that Townsend chose to order the investigation after the military's forensic team returned from the site.
"We want to go back to our villages".
The air strike, that took place on March 25, also killed four other IS jihadists, destroyed a multimedia operation team, said another Defence Department official.
The US is well aware ISIS tries to deceive US targeting.
This is not the first time the ISIS has indulged in carrying out such executions in the name of Islam.
At a joint press conference with Antonio Guterres, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said Iraqi forces were doing their "utmost" to protect civilians in the fight against IS and accused the extremists of intentionally putting civilians in harm's way while also "intensifying their propaganda machine to spread rumours".
However, this person would not say whether Trump apologized or expressed regret for the incident. "Iraq is in the final stages of its fight against terrorism".
"What you see now is not the use civilians as human shields", said Colonel Joe Scrocca, a spokesman for the Baghdad-based coalition.
"ISIS is smuggling civilians so we won't see them and trying to bait the coalition to attack to take advantage of the public outcry and the terror".
Scrocca said that the coalition had observed this tactic Wednesday via video surveillance.
When asked in a congressional hearing about the standards used by the USA military to avoid civilian casualties, General Joseph Votel said it would be hard to apply those standards in the narrow, crowded streets of the Old City in west Mosul.
Townsend has delegated the right to approve bombings further down the hierarchy to allow a quick response to help Iraqi troops.
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