At least 14 dead in IS truck bomb at Baghdad checkpoint


The fight for western Mosul began in February after Iraqi security forces pushed IS out of the eastern side of the Tigris River city.

He said the video would be released to the media as soon as it has been declassified.

A top US commander said Islamic State fighters have begun forcing civilians in Mosul into buildings rigged to explode. Until then every coalition airstrike had to be approved by a general officer following the rigorous evaluation of a proposed target.

The announcement of video evidence follows reports that hundreds of civilians might have died as a result of USA airstrikes on March 17 in the battle for Mosul, the last urban stronghold for the Islamic State in Iraq. He was using an acronym for Islamic State.

"The distance between IS and us is 50 meters, yesterday, we killed four IS fighters and right now their bodies are in the street".

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General Votel, the head of US Central Command, said there had been no change in the rules of engagement. "We couldn't do anything to help others as they were completely buried under the collapsed roof". "We are enabling our on-scene commanders across the area of operations". He says the investigation will review intelligence provided by Iraqi forces. USA officials have said they are reviewing images from more than 700 videos covering 10 days of airstrikes, along with information from human-rights groups and intelligence provided by Iraqi forces.

Amid reports of dozens of civilians killed by air strikes in Mosul, he added that "protection of civilians must be the absolute priority".

The number of Islamic State fighters who have been killed is not known with certainty.

The close-quarters fighting is focussed on the old city surrounding the mosque, where ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed a caliphate almost three years ago across territory controlled by the group in both Iraq and Syria.

The rise to power of US President Donald Trump, who promised to "bomb the shit" out of the IS group, has fed suspicions that the new administration is giving a freer rein to its military - if necessary, by accepting more collateral damage.

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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.

Amnesty International on Tuesday said the rising death toll suggested the US -led coalition wasn't taking adequate precautions as it helps Iraqi forces try to retake the city. He suggested Islamic State's use of civilians as human shields and questioning why so many civilians would voluntarily gather in a single building under assault by American airpower.

Votel urged members of the Armed Services Committee to keep in mind that ISIS often exploits American concerns to operate at a higher standard and prevent civilian casualties as a method to distract its campaign against the terrorist group.

Scrocca said the tactic was first captured on video on Wednesday.

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