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    A boy rides his bike past destroyed cars and houses in a neighborhood recently liberated by Iraqi security forces, on the western side of Mosul, Iraq, Sunday, March 19, 2017

    At Least 300 Civilians Killed or Wounded in Western Mosul Op - Mayor

    © AP Photo / Felipe Dana
    Middle East
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    Military Operation to Retake Mosul From Daesh (225)

    At least 300 civilians were killed or wounded since the beginning of the operation of the Iraqi army to liberate western Mosul from Daesh, mayor of the city Hussein Khajem told Sputnik.

    MOSUL (Sputnik) – He called for an investigation into the US-led coalition's airstrike killing civilians.

    "Three hundred civilians were either killed or wounded in fighting in in the western part of Mosul," Khajem said, adding that the numbers of victims could be much higher.

    The US-led international coalition is responsible for civilian deaths in airstrikes on Iraq’s Mosil, the international community should investigate this, he said.

    "Military mistakes were made. The coalition forces are responsible for those casualties and erroneous attacks … We are asking through you and other media outlets to not let this issue pass by without an international investigation," he said.

    More than 400,000 residents have fled western Mosul since the start of an Iraqi military operation to liberate the city from Daesh, Hussein Khajem said.

    "The number of people who fled from the western part of the city to refugee camps has reached 153,000. Another 250,000 have crossed [the Tigris River] from the western to the eastern embankment. Therefore, over 400,000 people have left their homes in western Mosul so far," Khajem said.

    Up to 150,000 civilian residents of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul are still in the areas controlled by Daesh, he said.

    “Currently, since the start of the operation in Mosul in October of last year, up to 5,000 of Daesh terrorists were killed,” the mayor said.

    On March 17, an alleged US-led coalition airstrike targeting the militants and their equipment hit a building in al-Jadida neighborhood in western Mosul. The militants reportedly forced dozens of civilians into the structure and secured the building with explosives.

    Iraqi media reported that at least 200 people, many of whom were civilians, were killed in recent airstrikes in Mosul.

    Iraqi President Fuad Masum described in an interview to Sputnik earlier in March the situation in Mosul as a humanitarian catastrophe due to the civilian deaths, but urged to continue recapturing the city, since "it would not be sensible to leave the city to terrorists." He called for investigation into the mistakes made by US-led coalition airstrikes two weeks before to establish "whether there was a communication failure, whether the information was erroneous" and noted that the operation in that part of Mosul was postponed in order to find more appropriate methods to fight the militants.

    The Iraqi operation to recapture Mosul, the key stronghold of Daesh in the country, began in October 2016 and resulted in the liberation of Mosul’s eastern part this January. The fighting continues in the city's west.


    Military Operation to Retake Mosul From Daesh (225)


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