Central Command have said that they were carrying out “further investigation”in what is the third such alleged incident in recent weeks.
At the same time they have insisted that all of their strikes against Mosul “comply with the Law of Armed Conflict.”
Centcom’s official report for the Wednesday night strikes claimed they had hit “11 fighting positions” but did not mention killing hundreds of civilians.
The United Nations warned yesterday the worst was yet to come for those still trapped in the Iraqi city.
The Telegraph reports:
Some 230 bodies of mostly women and children were pulled from three adjoining houses in the Jadida neighbourhood of west Mosul overnight Wednesday and into Thursday morning, according to witnesses.
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) had taken over the buildings to use as sniper positions and had been holding civilians there which they had rounded up to use as human shields.
A Mosul resident who has been documenting life under Isil and now the battle for the city under the name MosulEye told the Telegraph one of the trapped residents called him yesterday pleading for help, saying they had been without food and water for four days.
“We asked them to rescue the people, but received no response,” said MosulEye, who passed the coordinates of the houses on to the Iraqi army.
He said Isil let off a car bomb in the area before the coalition air strike hit.
“This is what Isil wants,” he said. “They want the ISF (Iraqi special forces) and coalition to target civilians, this is why they are using them.”
Centcom, US Central Command, said: “We are aware of reports on airstrikes in Mosul resulting in civilian casualties. The coalition conducted several strikes near Mosul and we will provide this information to our civilian casualty team for further investigation.”
Iraqi forces are pushing into the densely-populated Old City in west Mosul, where 400,000 people are trapped in increasingly desperate conditions.
As the US airstrikes in the Iraqi city of Mosul are increasingly concentrated around densely populated neighborhoods in the city’s west, the death toll from those airstrikes in spiraling rapidly out of control.
Most recent figures out of the area suggesting around 230 people were killed overnight in US and coalition strikes in just a single neighborhood.
That’s an enormous toll, of course, but is reported from several sources telling largely the same story, including that a single US airstrike against a large building full of civilians in Mosul killed over 130 people, while the other 100 or so were killed in the surrounding area.
Central Command said that they were “aware of the loss of life” and were carrying out “further investigation,” while insisting that all of their strikes against Mosul overnight “comply with the Law of Armed Conflict.” Centcom’s official report for the overnight strikes claimed they’d hit “11 fighting positions” and didn’t mention killing hundreds of civilians.
Britain’s Daily Telegraph reported that the civilian death toll was mostly women and children, saying that the bulk of the bodies were pulled from just three adjoining residences in the Jadida neighborhood. They speculated the civilians were “human shields” for ISIS snipers in the area.
That would be an awful lot of human shields, of course, and there wouldn’t be much point of stashing them inside buildings where the US forces clearly either didn’t know where they were or didn’t feel it amounted to a deterrent to bombing those buildings anyhow.
If the toll is ultimately confirmed by Centcom, which is a huge “if” given how often well documented incidents never end up on their official reports, it would roughly double the number of civilians the US has admitted to killing in Iraq and Syria over the ISIS war. NGOs have suggested the US strikes have killed well over 2,000 civilians already, and that’s not including last night’s massive toll.