Reports are surfacing of civilian deaths due to an airstrike in the war-torn city of Mosul in a district held by Islamic State.
It is not clear if the airstrike was carried out by US-led coalition fighting Isis, or by Iraqi forces that have been trying to drive out Isis from the city.
It is believed that the house of senior militant Harbi Abdel Qader was the target and witnesses say they saw at least three missiles hit the house. By all accounts, he was not at home but his family were and are now believed to be dead.
The house was situated in the al – Jadida area of western Mosul. Iraq Body Count which is a group that counts violent deaths in the country has stated that between 21 to 25 civilians were killed last week. They are a peace organisation run by academics.
Isis still holds the area west of the River Tigris. Everywhere east of the river has been recaptured by the U.S backed Iraqi forces. If they are successful in driving out Isis from Mogul, it will be the militant group’s last stronghold.
According to the Iraqi officer overseeing operations, so far government troops have retaken the eastern edge of the third bridge and buildings inside the Mosul University. Iraqi commanders have said they have secured more than half of the campus and resistance was tough. This battle is still ongoing.
Entering from the South East, troops managed to secure a handful of buildings.
Special forces Sgt Maj Haytham Ghani said, “We watched all the Isis fighters gather in that building, so we blew it up. You can still see some of their corpses.”
The bridges in Mosul were attacked by U.S allied forces in an effort to isolate Isis.
According to medics in the city, civilian deaths have dropped since fighting has moved into government buildings.