US-led coalition air strike kills dozens in western Mosul

No precise toll of civilian casualties has been given since the attack on western Mosul started in mid-February but a prominent Iraqi politician said last week that the number could be as high as 3,500 dead.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Smoke rises from from the old city during a battle against Daesh militants, in Mosul, Iraq March 21, 2017.

Dozens of civilians were reportedly killed when a US-led coalition air strike targeted a Daesh bomb-laden vehicle in western Mosul, a local official told Anadolu Agency.

“A US-led coalition warplane targeted an explosive-laden vehicle driven by a Daesh suicide bomber in western Mosul’s Al-Jadida area,” Ghazwan Hamed, head of the Nineveh provincial council’s human rights committee, said.

“[The warplane] managed to destroy the car-bomb before it reached its intended target,” Hamed added.

According to the official, the vehicle was packed with large amounts of explosive material, causing a massive blast that destroyed several homes in the area.

Hamed estimated that some 30 civilians had been killed or seriously injured -- including women and children -- as a result of the explosion.

As many as 600,000 civilians remain in the western sector of Mosul, complicating a battle being fought with artillery and air strikes as well as ground combat. 

In mid-February, Iraqi forces -- backed by a US-led air coalition -- began fresh operations aimed at ousting Daesh terrorists from western Mosul, their last stronghold in the northern city.

The offensive is part of a wider campaign launched last October to retake the entire city, which Daesh overran in mid-2014.

TRTWorld and agencies