U.S. Central Command has admitted that U.S. military did carry out an airstrike on Mosul. Allegations are also leveled that the strike led to large scale death of civilians which is in dispute. The military has clarified that warplanes did strike on March 17 but, they had targeted ISIS fighters and equipment and, not civilians. However, in view of allegations of Civilian Casualties, an investigation has been ordered. Another aspect of the investigation is whether additional airstrikes were conducted between March 16 and March 23 which may have led to civilian casualties.

What happened?

CNN reports that, as per claims of the social media, more than 200 civilians were killed in the airstrikes. There are possibilities that ISIS had placed civilians in these areas to act as human shields – hence, the high numbers. In view of the confusion, the US Central Command has ordered a formal probe "to determine the facts surrounding this strike and the validity of the allegation of civilian casualties."

The coalition has said that it respects human life and the United States is extending assistance to Iraq to free it from the clutches of ISIS with zero civilian casualties. However, ISIS is known to use inhuman tactics. These involve inciting terror among the civilians, or using them as human shields.

They even engage in warfare from protected sites that include schools, hospitals, religious sites and civilian neighborhoods. Hence, civilian casualties cannot be ruled out.

American and Iraqi forces are pulling out all the stops to regain control of Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, from ISIS which they had captured in 2014.

Iraq takes action

Information coming out of Mosul reveals that large number of civilians are trapped in areas that are under the control of ISIS in western Mosul. The United Nations has expressed concern over the high number of civilian casualties since most of them are children and women.

Therefore, to ensure safety of civilians, the Iraqi security forces have modifier their tactics.

The Iraqis want to recapture western Mosul from ISIS using a revised strategy. They want to use mortars on a smaller scale and target specific areas. Moreover, snipers and drones will be deployed with additional foot soldiers. Iraq is confident that such measures will help to reduce the death of civilians and. eliminate only those who have links with ISIS.