Updating reports of hundreds of civilians being killed in Mosul on May 31, the UN Human Rights Office has issued a statement confirming that US airstrikes killed between 50 and 80 civilians themselves, while ISIS also killed “hundreds” of civilians over a three day span in that time.
There were reports of airstrikes on May 31, but at the time no one seemed to be sure if they were US airstrikes, Iraqi airstrikes, or a combination of the two. At this point there is still no indication if there were Iraqi warplanes participating in any way.
Either way, the UN attributed the growing death toll to the general escalation of the conflict in Mosul, and indeed we’ve seen civilian tolls spike dramatically in recent months as fighting in Mosul has boiled down to densely populated parts of the Old City.
The UN followed this up with a call for everyone, particularly Iraqi authorities, to make sure that they are held accountable for civilian deaths in the fighting. This has been a long-standing problem in Iraq, as in addition to very bloody fighting there are consistent reports of summary executions by Iraqi forces against “suspects” that are rounded up after neighborhoods are captured.