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Published: Fri, April 07, 2017
World | By Tasha Manning

Iraqi state-run TV says Islamic State's second-in-command killed in airstrike

Iraqi state-run TV says Islamic State's second-in-command killed in airstrike

The worries about civilian casualties have grown as Iraqi forces push to take western Mosul from the Islamic State with the help of US and allied air power, rockets and artillery.

"The terrorists have used every possible wicked way to inflict casualties on civilians".

The numbers are expected to rise after the Pentagon's review of the March 17 airstrike in support of Iraqi Security Forces' advance on the city of Mosul, the website noted. Attention has focused on one particularly deadly strike on March 17.

Donald Trump administration has stopped disclosing significant information about the size and nature of the USA commitment, including the number of military personnel deployed in either country.

During his campaign (and for years before) President Trump repeatedly criticized Obama for this policy, and though he is in no way a military expert, Trump emphasized his belief that the "element of surprise" is crucial in military action.

Although the loss of Mosul would effectively end Islamic State's territorial rule in Iraq, U.S. and Iraqi officials are preparing for the group to go underground and fight an insurgency like the one that followed the U.S. -led invasion.

During the presidential campaign, Trump talked fast and loose about bombing ISIL, killing not just the terrorists but also their families, and reviving torture, even though it is illegal under American and worldwide law.

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"We have to be able to positively identify the valid military target [and] positively identify the combatant", as well assess the potential collateral damage of a strike, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Nonetheless, Trump has given Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and top military commanders, who complained of micromanagement by the Obama White House, more freedom to maneuver.

"Because we struck in that area, I think there's a fair chance that we did it".

The information provided by the video could have compelled the commanders to call off the airstrike but it didn't.

The statement didn't say when the strikes happened and officials were not available to offer more details.

Hundreds of thousands more civilians are still trapped inside west Mosul after Iraqi forces and the US-coalition recaptured the city's east from ISIL in January.

Earlier, the UNAMI said a total of 6,878 civilians were killed and 12,388 wounded in 2016, adding that the figures did not include the civilian casualty figures for Anbar Province for the months of May, July, August and December.

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