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Airstrikes Against ISIS Result in Few Civilian Casualties

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Iraqi security forces drive past civilians fleeing their homes in Mosul's old city

Jumaili, believed to have been the second-in-command of the terrorist group, was hit by the country's air force near the region of al-Qaim near the Syrian border, Iraqi state TV reported, although no dates or details were provided about the raid.

Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, leader of the infamous militant terror organization Islamic State, is reportedly under siege and is close to being either captured or killed, according to Russian news agency RIA Novosti citing Iraqi military sources Sunday.

A formal investigation has begun into the March 17 deaths of civilians in western Mosul, Iraq, the Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman said today.

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

"The high civilian toll suggests that coalition forces leading the offensive in Mosul have failed to take adequate precautions to prevent civilian deaths, in flagrant violation of worldwide humanitarian law", said the group's senior crisis response adviser Donatella Rovera, after carrying out field investigations in Mosul.

Ibrahim Al-Ansari was an "important ISIS leader", said Colonel Joseph Scrocca, a spokesman for the Baghdad-based coalition.

In another incident, a civilian was unintentionally killed on a January 30, 2017, strike against an Islamic State weapons manufacturing facility.

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But he also backed calls for an independent inquiry into the suspected chemical weapons attack. Haley like Tillerson said the USA remains focused on eliminating ISIS from Syria.

The coalition is backing Iraqi forces in the battle to push out Daesh from west Mosul, a maze of narrow and densely populated lanes in which residents must hunker down in a bid to avoid bombs and bullets.

The US-led coalition claims it has initiated an investigation into the reported casualties while justifying the high civilian death toll by insisting that ISIL terrorists have used civilians as human shields, making it hard to avoid civilian deaths despite its state-of-the-art technology.

"Ibrahim Al-Ansari, an ISIS propaganda official, and four of his associates were killed by a coalition strike on March 25 in Al-Qa'im, Iraq", it said.

A full investigation will allow OIR to analyze other aspects of the case that have significant bearing, such as strike procedures and the impact of ISIS tactics, Scrocca said.

The US military is conducting a formal review of the strikes.

Some 5,262 United States troops are now authorized to be in Iraq, a USA military official told the Military Times last Thursday.

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