Iraqi officials are demanding that the US compensate the victims of the March 17 airstrikes in Mosul, following the Pentagon finally admitting that they not only attacked the buildings, but had killed at least 105 civilians in the process.
Air Wars, which has been documented the civilian casualties of the US air wars in Iraq and Syria, put the actual civilian death toll of the strikes in excess of 230. In addition to more than halving the death toll, the Pentagon claimed there were ISIS snipers at the site, and that ISIS probably put explosives in the buildings.
Survivors of the attack continued to contest both of those claims, insisting that the whole reason they were massed in the buildings was because they were where ISIS wasn’t, and they hoped they’d be safe. Provincial officials are calling on the US to rebuild the homes of all the civilian victims of the attack.
That’s unlikely, at least in the near term, as the battle for Mosul’s Old City is still far from over, and there is no timetable for even starting reconstruction. Even when they do, the US offer of condolences did not home with any sort of pledge to pay for repairs of the buildings they destroyed, or anything else they destroyed within Mosul.
Officials have been warning for awhile that the reconstruction of Mosul will cost billions of dollars, and this likely adds to the efforts to get the US to pay at least part of that bill. The Trump Administration has not directly addressed this, but paying for reconstruction does not appear in keeping with President Trump’s stated position on the US getting compensated for the wars it fights.
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