Pentagon: 45 civilians killed by coalition strikes

The Pentagon said Sunday that the USA -led coalition in Iraq and Syria killed 45 civilians in airstrikes between November 2016 and early March of this year.

Operation Inherent Resolve is a joint effort between US military and coalition forces to support Iraqi Security Force operations against the Islamic State fighters. He died Saturday after an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated while he was patrolling near Mosul, his division said in a statement. The coalition insists the ISIL group has targeted civilians and used them as human shields, making it hard to avoid civilian casualties despite its state-of-the-art technology.

Members of the Iraqi Federal Police clash with Islamic State group (ISIS) fighters in western Mosul, Iraq, May 1, 2017.

The US began the campaign of air strikes against Isis in 2014 after the extremists pushed into Iraq from Syria, overrunning Mosul and large swaths of Iraq's north and west.

"We regret the unintentional loss of civilian lives. and express our deepest sympathies to the families and others affected by these strikes", the Pentagon said in a statement on Sunday.

The UN mission added that the death toll included 309 civilians, while the number of injured civilians stood at 309.

Some in Iraq's political leadership have expressed concern that the levels of damage and loss of human life in Mosul will make reconciliation with the country's minority Sunni population more hard after a military defeat of IS.

The group of men, women, and children from the persecuted religious sect was freed by Iraqi forces fighting to retake Mosul from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, according to local media.

The U.S. military reopened its investigation into that strike last summer after a Washington Post report identified flaws in the initial probe of the attack, which concluded that only four civilians were killed.

Jan Kubis, the United Nations envoy to Iraq and the UNAMI chief, said civilians continue to pay a heavy price in the conflict, particularly in Nineveh province where the Iraqi security forces are fighting heavy street battle against IS militants in the provincial capital Mosul, according to the statement.

Even if defeated in Mosul, ISIS will remain in control of vast swathes of land in the border area with Syria.

Civilians have paid a heavy price, however.

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