ISIS command center ‘destroyed’ in Mosul, ISIS says civilians killed

A security personnel walks past shops that were destroyed during clashes with ISIS militants (File Photo: Reuters/Muhammad Hamed)

The US-led military coalition on Saturday said its forces destroyed a building in the main medical complex of western Mosul, suspected to house an ISIS command center.

The militant group disputed the assertion, saying in an online statement that Friday’s strike killed 18 people, mostly women and children, and wounded 47.

Independent media have no access to western Mosul or other areas under ISIS control in Iraq and Syria.

The militants are essentially under siege in western Mosul, along with an estimated 650,000 civilians, after US-backed forces surrounding the city dislodged them from the east in the first phase of an offensive that concluded last month.

The coalition accused ISIS of using the five-story building as a military command and control facility.

“The coalition was able to determine through intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance efforts that ISIS did not use the building for any medical purposes and that civilians were no longer accessing the site,” a coalition statement said, using an acronym for ISIS.

The strike followed reports that the militants are dug in among civilians on the western side of Mosul and storing weapons in hospitals, schools, mosques and churches as a tactic to avoid targeting.

The offensive to dislodge ISIS from Mosul, its last major city stronghold in Iraq, started in October. The hardline Sunni group declared in 2014 a self-styled caliphate that also spans parts of Syria.

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Last Update: 06:48 KSA 09:48 - GMT 06:48
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