Dozens of civilians 'killed in airstrikes' on Iraq's Mosul

Dozens of civilians 'killed in airstrikes' on Iraq's Mosul
Reports of at least 200 civilians killed in airstrikes targeting Mosul's Az Zanjili district on Tuesday, as Iraqi forces push to recapture the city from IS militants.
2 min read
30 May, 2017
The recapture of Mosul will not mark the end of the war against IS [AFP]
Dozens of civilians were killed in fresh airstrikes targetting a district in Mosul's Old City on Tuesday, as Iraqi forces press on to recapture the neighbourhood from Islamic State [IS] group control, local sources told The New Arab.

Dozens of houses in the Az Zanjili district were reportedly completed flattened by the air raids – which lasted several hours, an army officer said, adding that it is estimated at least 200 people were killed in the attack.

"It was not clear whether the aircrafts that carried out the airstrikes belonged to the Iraqi forces or the US-led coalition," the officer told The New Arab.

A member of the Mosul council Mohammed Hassan told The New Arab the aircrafts resorted to carpet-bombing the area after the Iraqi army failed to advance against IS militants, which led to "the hysterical bombing of an entire neighbourhood".

The bombing was followed by ground troops entering the area without any resistance from the militants.

Following the strikes, hundreds of people - including dozens of wounded - were escorted out of the area by Iraqi federal police officers, The New Arab correspondent reported.

The Pentagon recently admitted the death of over a hundred civilians in airstrikes in March.

More than seven months into the massive operation to recapture Mosul, Iraqi forces have retaken the city's east and large parts of its western side, but the militants are still putting up tough resistance. 

Nearly 90 percent of Mosul has been recaptured by Iraqi forces, with the Islamic State group holed up in neighbourhoods around the Old City, where at least 250,000 civilians are still trapped and living in dire conditions.

IS overran large areas north and west of Baghdad in 2014, but Iraqi forces backed by US-led air strikes have since regained much of the territory they lost.

The recapture of Mosul will not however mark the end of the war against IS: the militants hold other territory in three Iraqi provinces and are also able to carry out frequent attacks in government-controlled areas.