Mosul residents deny findings of US probe into Iraq strike

Iraq Mosul

The incident occurred at about 8 a.m. on March 17 in Mosul's al-Jadidah district after Iraqi security forces fighting the Islamic State on the ground requested a coalition airstrike.

In March, the US-led coalition was accused of killing several civilians after an air strike.

The bombing is the largest single instance of civilian deaths confirmed by the coalition in the almost three-year-old campaign against IS.

"Our condolences go out to all those that were affected", Army Maj. "The coalition takes every feasible measure to protect civilians from harm".

The US military believes that ISIS rigged the building, which was serving as a shelter for 140 people seeking protection, with a 1,000-pound explosive.

The strike, carried out on 17 March, targeted an ISIS stronghold.

But critics feel this airstrike, and the devastating consequences, reveals the US has been reckless with its use of airpower in congested urban areas like Mosul, particularly since Donald Trump became president.

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US -backed Iraqi forces are closing in on the last IS held neighborhoods in western Mosul nearly three years after the extremists overran almost a third of Iraq in 2014.

Under a law known as the Leahy law, the U.S.is prohibited from supporting units accused of human rights abuses for which "credible evidence" exists.

Local officials and eyewitnesses have said as many as 240 people may have died in the strike. The U.K. -based group estimates that USA -led airstrikes have killed more than 3,000 civilians in both countries.

In reality, USA forces and Iraqi troops failed to observe the mass of people enter the building even though the Iraqis on the ground could observe the building for three days before the strike, according to the summary.

An air controller with the Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service called for an airstrike against a large two-story structure where Iraqi forces had observed two snipers firing on their position.

Those organising the strike "could not have predicted the presence of civilians in the structure prior to the engagement", it added. Following the public outcry from the strike, the USA -led coalition sharply decreased the number of sorties over Mosul in April, according to data analyzed by the nonprofit monitoring group Airwars.

The GBU-38 was meant to destroy only the top floor of the building, but when it set off the cache of explosives laden with accelerants the resultant damage was far greater, Isler said. It was not powerful enough to bring down the reinforced concrete structure.

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"The secondary explosion caused a rapid failure of the structure", Isler said.

Neither the Iraqi nor American troops who conducted the airstrike knew civilians were in the building, or that any explosive materials were present.

In this case, the civilians weren't herded into the building.

Furthermore, "wormholes" or smashed openings in the walls throughout the building allowed ISIS fighters to move fighters, weapons and supplies covertly.

In the process, over 100 civilians were killed as the building collapsed.

The building was in a densely populated area in western Mosul.

Ahmed Abdul Karim and other residents interviewed by The Associated Press on Friday say only civilians were in the house when it was hit.

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The report provides new details about a strike that devastated several families and prompted rights groups to accuse the USA -led coalition of not taking adequate precautions to protect people in Mosul, which Iraq is trying to reclaim from the terrorist group.

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