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Published On: Sun, Mar 26th, 2017

Mosul shelter rigged to explode by ISIS, vehicle borne explosive device found nearby: Iraqi Military

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nsnbc : The Iraqi military denied that an airstrike claimed the lives of at least 100 civilian non-combatants in Western Mosul on March 17. Citing experts, the military stated that the site shows no evidence of an airstrike but rather of a controlled demolition. A vehicle borne explosive device went off at another site where 61 bodies were retrieved.

West Mosul_Mar 17, 2017_IraqThe Joint Command of the Iraqi military issued a statement on Saturday, describing the developments of events on March 17 in both Mosul’s al-Jaida where the house was located and the adjacent district of al-Risala. In the statement that Joint Command confirms that the U.S.-led coalition carried an air strike against ISIS positions on request of the Iraqi government and the armed forces.

The Joint Command reported that an investigative team was formed by field commanders. The team investigated the sites and asked witnesses. One house that was entirely destroyed and lacked the typical signatures of airstrikes including signs of penetration damage showed all the typical signs of all bearing walls having been rigged with explosives – in other words, the controlled demolition of a shelter with more than 100 persons inside.

Rescue operations - allegedly after an airstrike struck a house with over 100 displaced non combatants - nsnbc could not independently verify the allegations.

Rescue operations

Investigators also concluded that a vehicle borne explosive device had been exploded near a house where 61 bodies were retrieved. Witnesses interviewed by the military investigators as well as by local media stated unequivocally that ISIS had rigged the houses with explosives and forced the families, many of them displaced families, to enter the basement while they used the houses to launch suicide bombers toward government forces.

The Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service (CTS) had launched an attack on the adjacent al-Risala district, said the report. ISIS reportedly launched a large number of car bombs with suicide bombers to halt their advance but Iraqi forces were able to seize the district by 6 p.m. that day.

With the buildings “most probably” not being hit by airstrikes, the question that would need to be investigated, but which probably never will be fully answered, is whether ISIS willingly exploded the buildings with the civilians inside or whether the explosions happened “as a result of the exchange of fire”.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says it so far confirmed the deaths of at least 100 people from the affected area. Altaf Musani, the WHO representative in Iraq, told the press that “It is our understanding that there was an incident and we have worked with the local health actors and they have confirmed more than 100 are dead.” Since the start of the Mosul operations in October, Musani said, at least 5,300 people have referred to hospitals in and around the city.

The tragic incidents were, some would say shamelessly, portrayed in media depending on their “preferred teams” in the complex war or based on geopolitical preferences rather than based on sound media ethics. All rhetoric and positioning set aside, in war, people get killed. Moreover, since the Korean War the ratio of non-combatant to combatant casualties has hovered somewhere between 80 – 20 and 96 – 4 percent.

In other words, it is a matter of fact that the majority of casualties in modern warfare are civilians. What makes matters worse is that politicians and media use or rather abuse this fact to justify own actions and to position the enemy as “evil and criminal”. UN sources report that about 4,000 people are fleeing Mosul each day, adding to the estimated 750,000 displaced.

CH/L – nsnbc 26.03.2017

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