Over the last week, reports have been focused on the status of the fight against Islamic State (otherwise known as ISIS) in Mosul, Iraq, but not necessarily about the defeat of the terror group, so much as the air strike that killed an estimated 200 people. Blasting News published an article about the reports of the air strike and whether Iraqi or U.S. troops were at fault. Now, according to U.S. military officials, they confirmed on Saturday that it was their airstrikes that hit a building full of civilians.

The Blasting News report says that civilians were fleeing the neighborhood because of the Air Strikes and many of them entered the building for cover which was hit by American forces.

At the time, they claimed that they were unsure if the air strikes came from Iraqi troops as they also have air power over Mosul. Prior to this, Blasting News also reported on the fact that the Islamic State terror group has taken thousands of civilians as human shields against the U.S.-led coalition which makes the fight over Mosul even more difficult.

President Trump frustrates as much as President Obama

Military hawks from Washington expressed frustration over former President Obama's reluctance to send U.S. troops to combat ISIS in the Middle East. The majority of those hawks were among Republicans who publicly blamed Obama for not going after ISIS, even to the extent that he was blamed by Republicans for creating the group.

According to an article by the New York Times about the latest air strikes, the Iraqi government was also frustrated with the former president for likely not going as far as President Bush did to deal with the terror group. Now that President Trump is in office, there is new frustration over the deaths of these civilians.The Blasting News article about the latest casualties says that there is no indication that restrictions had been lifted on the rules of engagement which were put in place to prevent civilians from being killed.

However, in the latest report by the Times, they write: "Iraqi officials said that the Trump administration had appeared to loosen restrictions on the rules of engagement, making it easier for the Iraqis to call in airstrikes. The Iraqis had been frustrated by the Obama administration’s deliberate approach." But the report provides a response from Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis who denies that the rules of engagement had been loosened.

The article quoted from Davis' statement on his response to conducting air strike operations. “Coalition forces work diligently and deliberately to be precise in our airstrikes. Coalition forces comply with the Law of Armed Conflict and take all reasonable precautions during the planning and execution of airstrikes to reduce the risk of harm to civilians.”

Analysis and accountability

During the first months under the controversial Trump administration, many have taken the view that he would hold onto his promise of eliminating ISIS due to what many say is an Islamophobic view of Muslim-Americans. During the first week of his administration, he signed executive orders that banned travel of Muslims from different countries, showing that they have a hard line against even those with green cards which they were forced to adjust.

But even Trump has reportedly said that he preferred the first executive order that blocked green card holders too. When Trump was a candidate, he said that he wanted to bring back torture and also kill the families of suspected terrorists. It's for these reasons that people hold him accountable for situations such as his first operation in Yemen which killed a Navy SEAL as well as civilians, followed by other air strikes that reportedly killed more. The New York Times says that human rights groups have taken note of the casualties as well as the UN and that Iraqi commanders had been ordered to face the Iraqi parliament while they also investigate the deaths.

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