Pentagon responds to criticism over civilian deaths in Mosul blast

Pentagon responds to criticism over civilian deaths in Mosul blast

Pentagon responds to criticism over civilian deaths in Mosul blast

Guterres's visit comes at a critical time for Iraq, which is fighting to retake Mosul in a battle that has sparked myriad humanitarian concerns.

An airstrike killed a leader of propaganda operations for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, CBS News national security correspondent David Martin reports.

Hours earlier, as the secretary-general arrived in the Iraqi capital, the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for a suicide truck bombing in Baghdad the previous night that killed 15 people and wounded 45.

An investigation into a U.S. airstrike that coincided with civilian deaths in Mosul, Iraq, on March 17 has now expanded into a more formal review of all airstrikes in the area over a period of several days, the USA military said Thursday.

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Ibrahim al Ansari incited vehicle, knife and arson attacks against American and Turkish citizens, Col. Joseph Scrocca, the US spokesman in Baghdad for the American-led coalition fighting ISIS, said Thursday.

US -backed forces are attempting to push IS fighters out of west Mosul after having liberated the less-populated eastern part of Iraq's second-largest city.

The US military has acknowledged the US-led coalition probably had a role in the March 17 explosion but said Daesh also could be to blame. It attributed the casualties to all sides involved in the fight for western Mosul: Iraqi and coalition airstrikes, Islamic State shellfire and improvised explosive devices detonated by the militants.

Shortly after landing at Baghdad International Airport, Guterres said on Twitter that his visit is to "focus on the dire humanitarian situation on the ground".

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The Iraqis have proven to be a tenacious, brave, professional fighting force as they place their lives in harm's way to protect Iraqi civilians and to defeat ISIS in Mosul, Scrocca added.

Having pushed the jihadists from the city's eastern section, they are now moving into the old city in western Mosul, where tens of thousands of civilians are believed to be trapped.

Jaafari highlighted the issue of reconstruction in talks with Guterres - a major challenge in areas that have been devastated by heavy fighting to retake them from IS.

Widespread displacement is one, with Iraqi authorities saying that more than 200,000 people have fled west Mosul since February.

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A U.S. defence official told reporters this week that they always try to have video images of the targets that Iraqi forces ask them to strike.

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