At least 20 Iraqi civilians have been killed in airstrikes conducted by the so-called US-led coalition in the northern parts of Mosul’s Old City, a report says.
According to Arabic-language al-Forat news agency, the air raid, which was conducted on al-Farouq and Hazir al-Sadeh districts on Sunday, also injured 25 other people.
The death toll is one of the highest in the military campaign led by the United States against what are said to be the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group’s targets. The US and some of its allies have been engaged in the campaign since June 2014. Airstrikes by the coalition have done little to dislodge the terror outfit and have on numerous occasions claimed many civilian lives and inflicted damage on the Iraqi infrastructure.
On Thursday, the Pentagon acknowledged that at least 105 civilians had lost their lives in a US airstrike on Mosul in March 17. Iraq’s Kurdish-language Rudaw television network, however, raised the death toll to 237 at the time.
Late last month, the US also said at least 352 civilians had been killed in its airstrikes in Iraq and Syria since 2014, but rights groups provided a higher toll.
Meanwhile, other reports coming out of Mosul said that Daesh terrorists had executed at least 12 civilians at a hospital in the war-wracked city. According to army officials, Daesh then torched the medical center after it was besieged by Iraqi troops.
Separately, the Popular Mobilization Units announced that they had managed to liberate the Qahtanieh area, located in the vicinity of al-Ba’aj town, from the grips of Daesh. They added that the liberation became possible after Iraqi forces, backed by the air force, attacked the strategic area.
Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq, fell to Daesh in 2014, when the terrorist group began its campaign of death and destruction in Iraq, making the city its de facto capital in the Arab country.
Separately, security sources in the northern province of Kirkuk said unknown gunmen had killed a Daesh local leader in the city of Hawijah. The slain Daesh element was behind the execution of the women who had attempted to flee the city, then a militant-held urban area, a few months ago.
Since October 2016, Iraqi army soldiers and allied volunteer fighters have been leading a major operation to recapture Mosul.
Iraqi forces took control of eastern Mosul in January and launched the battle in the western part of the city in February. The operation has taken longer than planned as Takfiri elements have dug in among civilians and are fighting back with car bombs, booby traps, mortar fire and snipers.
The full liberation of Mosul would spell the end for the Iraqi half of Daesh’s so-called caliphate.