US forces target 'former hospital' in Mosul

US forces target 'former hospital' in Mosul
2 min read
19 February, 2017
US-led coalition forces have denied targeting an active hospital with airstrike, after the IS group claimed dozens of civilians were killed.
A frontline coalition fighter stands on an armoured vehicle on the outskirts of Mosul [Getty]
The US-led coalition in Iraq says it destroyed a significant military target in Mosul on Saturday, but a statement from the IS group claims that a medical centre was targeted.

In an online statement the IS group said the strike killed 18 people, including women and children, and injured 47.

"The coalition was able to determine through intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance efforts that ISIS did not use the building for any medical purposes and that civilians were no longer accessing the site," said a coalition briefing.

In December 2016, US forces admitted focusing an airstrike on a hospital complex in Mosul, when allied Iraqi fighters came under attack from the buildings.

Independent verification of the consequences of military targets in Mosul is very difficult, since independent media have no access to the besieged western areas of the city.

The latest coalition offensive in Mosul is ongoing, with the intention of driving IS forces out of one of their most significant remaining strongholds in Iraq. It is estimated as many as 750,000 civilians remain trapped in the IS occupied areas of the city, with very little opportunity to flee the fighting.

According to aid groups conditions in the city have been deteriorating since November when forces fighting the Islamic State group cut off supply lines to the west when capturing the east of the city.

Meanwhile, as forces move west to drive out entrenched IS fighters, a security vacuum in the east of the city has seen several explosions rock 'liberated' areas.