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Iraqi parl. speaker demands investigation into fatal airstrikes

8 December 2016 16:24

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Iraq’s Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jabouri has called for a thorough investigation into airstrikes purported Daesh positions in a western border town which left dozen of civilians dead.

The airstrikes in the militant-held town of al-Qa’im near the Syrian border the previous day targeted “civilian shopping centers, causing the martyrdom and wounding of dozens,” Jabouri said on Thursday.

He said those responsible for the tragedy must be brought to justice, and receive due punishment.

Hospital sources and local authorities said three airstrikes against Qa’im claimed the lives of around 60 people, including 12 women and 19 children.

“The speaker holds the government responsible for such mistakes, asking them to open an immediate inquiry to find out the truth of the incident and to guarantee that civilians are not targeted again,” a statement released by his office read.

The airstrikes came as government forces and their allies pushed ahead with a multi-pronged operation to flush Daesh extremists out of Mosul, which serves as their last urban stronghold in Iraq.

On Wednesday, Iraqi forces liberated eight villages in northern Mosul from the grip of Daesh militants. The Iraq Special Forces further managed to wrest control over the al-Elam neighborhood in eastern Mosul.

The commander of the Nineveh Liberation Operation, Lieutenant General Abdul Amir Yarallah, announced in a statement that the area was “fully liberated” and the Iraqi national flag was raised over several buildings there.

Iraqi army soldiers and their allied forces launched joint operations on October 17 to retake Mosul from Daesh terrorists.

The Iraqi forces’ advance has however been slowed down due to the presence of hundreds of thousands of civilians, many of whom are prevented from leaving Mosul by Daesh.

The United Nations says more than 82,000 civilians have experienced forced displacement in the wake of Mosul liberation operation.

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