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US Air Strike On Islamic State Kills 105 Civilians in Iraq

US Air Strike On Islamic State Kills 105 Civilians in Iraq

An air strike, intended to kill members of Islamic state, has also killed 105 Iraqi civilians - US officials have admitted.

Initial reports had placed the casualty estimates as high as 200.

The United States carried out the strike on Mosul in March, and now admits killing innocent citizens despite a 'precision-guided' approach.

The US Central Command (CentCom) said that it had targeted two snipers from so-called Islamic State (IS) with 'precision-guided munition', reports the BBC.

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Credit: PA

However, the strike detonated explosives that militants had placed in the building, CentCom said.

The civilians, based in the lower floors of the building, died when the building collapsed.

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In another incident, 35 civilians were killed on Thursday in a US-led coalition air strike on an eastern Syrian town, monitors said.

Families of IS fighters, including children, were among those killed as the strikes targeted the IS-held town of Mayadeen in the province of Deir Ezzor - according to the Syrian Observatory For Human Rights.

A further four civilians were added to the death toll for the attacks in March when a nearby building was also affected.

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Credit: PA

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Eyewitnesses claimed another 35 non-combatants were also in the building, but US authorities said it had 'insufficient evidence to determine their status'.

CentCom claimed previously that the planes had acted at the request of Iraqi security forces, as a coalition attempts to gain control of the city from IS.

A declassified summary of the report into the deaths of the civilians claims that those in the lower floors were there after IS had expelled them from their homes.

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The report added that the strike 'could not have predicted the presence of civilians in the structure prior to the engagement'.

US officials said a particular bomb was chosen 'to minimise collateral damage', but the explosives hidden by IS were at least four times more powerful than the weapon itself.

Credit: PA

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Major General Joe Martin said in a statement: Our condolences go out to all those that were affected.

He said: "The coalition takes every feasible measure to protect civilians from harm."

Hundreds of thousands of civilians have fled the northern city of Mosul as Iraqi forces attempt to regain control from IS continue.

Iraqi security forces, along with Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, Sunni Arab tribesmen, Shia militiamen, and US-led coalition warplanes and military advisers are involved in the offensive action, which was launched back in October 2016.

The government announced the full 'liberation' of eastern Mosul in January 2017. But the west of the city, with its narrow streets, proved to be more difficult.

Iraq has also opened an inquiry into claims that its forces abused and killed civilians in the battle for the city.

Source: BBC

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Islamic State, Mosul, iraq, America

Michael Minay

Mike Minay is a trending journalist at LADbible. He’s co-ordinated interviews with some of the big names from the world of news and sport including ITV’s Robert Peston, Sky Sports’ Jeff Stelling and darts champion Michael van Gerwen. His reporting days began on University radio in Birmingham, before moving to BBC Sport Online – creating content for large events such as Wimbledon and the FA Cup final. Mike still commentates on Football League matches at the weekend. A Manchester LAD at heart.