WASHINGTON The top rated U.S. commander in Iraq on Tuesday acknowledged the chance that the U.S.-led coalition had a role in blasts in Mosul that killed civilians this thirty day period but claimed an investigation was underway and that Islamic State may perhaps also be to blame.
“My preliminary assessment is that we likely had a role in these casualties. Now, this is what I really don’t know. What I really don’t know is were they (the civilians) collected there by the enemy? We nevertheless have some assessments to do,” Lieutenant Standard Steve Townsend explained to a Pentagon information briefing, talking from Iraq.
“I would say this, that it sure appears to be like they were.”
Conflicting accounts have emerged due to the fact the March seventeen explosion in al-Jadida district in west Mosul, where by Iraqi forces backed by U.S.-led coalition air strikes are battling to very clear Islamic State militants from Iraq’s 2nd town.
Investigators are in Mosul to establish regardless of whether a U.S.-led coalition strike or Islamic State-rigged explosives induced a blast that destroyed buildings and may perhaps have killed far more than 200 men and women.
“My preliminary impression is the enemy had a hand in this. And there is also a truthful chance that our strike had some role in it,” Townsend claimed. “I consider it can be likely going to engage in out to be some type of combination. But you know what, I can not really say for sure and we just have to let the investigation engage in out.”
(Reporting by Phil Stewart and Idrees Ali Editing by James Dalgleish)