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    A man stands outside houses damaged during fights between Iraq security forces and Islamic State on the western side of Mosul, Iraq, Friday, March 24, 2017.

    Mosul Airstrikes: US Seeks to 'Shift Blame' for Civilian Casualties

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    Military Operation to Retake Mosul From Daesh (225)

    It appears that the United States is doing its best to shift the blame concerning deadly Mosul airstrikes to another side, retired US Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski told Sputnik.

    In an interview with Sputnik, retired US Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski specifically drew attention to Washington's efforts to shift blame pertaining to deadly Mosul airstrikes to another side.

    The interview came after the UN said that it is profoundly concerned by reports about hundreds of casualties in alleged coalition airstrikes against the Daesh terrorist group in the Iraqi city of Mosul.

    Earlier this week, media reported that around 200 civilians died in the raid in the embattled western part of the city.

    Meanwhile, the US military is investigating whether it was responsible for the suspected casualties.

    Officials told CNN that the Central Command is looking seriously into the matter, but does not contemplate a pause in regional military operations.

    "It's undeniable that there were civilian casualties in the Mosul airstrikes and now they have to deal with it," Kwiatkowski said referring to media and social media reports confirming the civilian death toll.

    According to her, the goal of the US Central Command's current probe into the Mosul strikes is to try and shift the blame.

    "Again, you have to think about motivation. What motivated them to launch an investigation is certainly to shift the blame from the US. Casualties produce negative publicity and the real purpose of the military public affairs is to reduce this publicity," Kwiatkowski said.

    Asked about if there will be an international independent inquiry into the western Mosul airstrikes and similar incidents, Kwiatkowski said that "it seems like that it should be and it seems that it would be the UN's and NATO's attention" on the matter.

    Meanwhile, the US-led coalition has claimed that its airstrike in western Mosul was allegedly carried out against Daesh militants at the request of Iraq.

    "An initial review of strike data from March 16-23 indicates that, at the request of the Iraqi Security Forces, the Coalition struck ISIS fighters and equipment, March 17, in West Mosul at the location corresponding to allegations of civilian casualties," the statement released on Saturday said.

    The city of Mosul has been occupied by Daesh since 2014. The operation to retake it began on October 17, 2016 and resulted in the liberation of Mosul's eastern part this January, but fighting continues in the city's western areas. The operation to liberate it started on February 19.

    Since the operation began, over 100,000 refugees have fled the city, according to estimates by the International Organization for Migration. Before February 19, the population of this part of the city amounted to 750,000.

    Military Operation to Retake Mosul From Daesh (225)


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    civilian casualties, airstrike, Daesh, US Air Force, Iraq, United States, Mosul
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