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4,000 Iraqi civilians killed in Western Mosul campaign: Army source

Since mid-February, Iraqi forces -- backed by US-led coalition air power -- have struggled to wrest western Mosul from Daesh

4,000 Iraqi civilians killed in Western Mosul campaign: Army source FILE PHOTO


As many as 3,864 civilians have been killed in western Mosul since mid-February, when the Iraqi army began a wide-ranging campaign to wrest the area from the Daesh terrorist group, according to an Iraqi army source.

“Those who have fled the combat areas are reporting high civilian casualties,” Army Brigadier-General Thaer al-Mosawi told Anadolu Agency.

Al-Mosawi also said that nearby displacement camps and field hospitals had received more than 22,000 injured Mosul residents since the start of the army campaign almost six weeks ago.

In terms of material damage, the army officer said that more than 10,000 residential homes in western Mosul had been destroyed over the same period.

He went on to assert that Iraqi forces had so far driven Daesh militants from slightly more than half of western Mosul.

On Wednesday, an Iraqi army officer in western Mosul -- preferring anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to media -- told Anadolu Agency that as many as 43 civilians were believed to have been killed in an attack launched “in error” by a U.S.-led air coalition.

On the same day, Iraqi officials announced that the bodies of some 80 dead civilians had been pulled from the rubble of destroyed buildings in both sides of the city.

In mid-February, Iraqi ground forces -- backed by U.S.-led coalition air power -- began fresh operations aimed at ousting Daesh militants from western Mosul, the terrorist group’s last bastion in northern Iraq.

The offensive is part of a wider campaign launched last October to retake the entire city, which Daesh overran in mid-2014.

Reporting by Mohamed Walid and Amir al-Saadi; Writing by Mahmoud Barakat

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