Insisting that they are putting a “high priority” on the review of recent US airstrikes in western Mosul which killed hundreds of the civilians, the Pentagon insists that they have more than 700 video feeds related to airstrikes at the time which are all going to be gone over.
Evidence has been growing that US airstrikes have killed nearly 300 civilians recently, and the US is facing growing criticism from human rights groups for not taking care to protect civilians as their air war gets into increasingly densely populated parts of Mosul.
The Pentagon confirmed over the weekend that they had dropped bombs against the buildings that collapsed around the time of the bombing, which ended up with hundreds of civilians buried within, but still say that they aren’t sure the bombs directly led to civilian casualties.
The Iraqi military has been invading Mosul for nearly six months, and fighting in the Old City has been going arduously slow. US airstrikes have been sought to enable the Iraqi military, which was virtually stalled of weeks, to start making new progress.
Instead, the huge civilian toll of the air campaign has forced the Iraqi military into a total rethink of their current strategy in invading western Mosul, as they recognize that they can’t afford for their “liberation” to be seen by the locals as a bloodbath.
Throughout the Iraq and Syria air wars, NGOs have estimated some 3,000 civilian deaths in US-led coalition strikes, with the official US toll less than 10% of that, under 300, reflecting how often US “investigations” quietly sweep the tolls under the rug. In this case, however, the incidents are likely far too large for the Pentagon to just dismiss.