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Battle for Mosul: US investigates coalition airstrikes said to have caused mass civilian casualties

Battle for Mosul: US investigates coalition airstrikes said to have caused mass civilian casualties
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By Euronews
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Iraqi government forces have halted their push to recapture western Mosul after reports of mass civilian casualties.

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Iraqi government forces have halted their push to recapture western Mosul after reports of mass civilian casualties.

It is feared scores, perhaps as many as 200 people, may have died as a result of American led airstrikes against ISIL last week.

The US military has launched an investigation while a review of tactics has also been ordered.

One man burying several members of his family said:
“How could they have used this much artillery on civilian locations. Before the battle for the west of Mosul began, Iraqi and American forces both assured us that it will be an easy battle, that’s why people didn’t leave their houses, they felt safe. They didn’t know they would be shelled. This was not a liberation, it was destruction.”

Around half a million civilians are still believed to be holed up inside western Mosul. Fleeing residents say ISIL fighters are hiding among the local population, complicating the use of air strikes and heavy artillery to drive the militants out of their last major stronghold in Iraq.

Meanwhile, the reports of mass civilian casualties in Mosul came as Iraq received delivery of four F-16 fighter jets from the US. The batch is part of a deal between the two countries to boost Baghdad’s air force in the fight against ISIL.

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