Belgium probes Mosul air strikes that killed civilians

Smoke rises from the old city during a battle against Islamic State militants in Mosul Iraq

REUTERS Youssef Boudlal'Fair Chance US Ops Contributed to Civilian Deaths in Mosul- CENTCOM Commander

The current mission, launched previous year, saw the Liberal government withdraw Canadian fighter jets from the US -led bombing campaign against ISIL, but triple the number of special forces in northern Iraq.

A spokesman for the US-led coalition against ISIL could not immediately be reached for comment.

Jaafari highlighted the issue of reconstruction in talks with Guterres - a major challenge in areas that have been devastated by heavy fighting to retake them from ISIS.

The United States has begun a formal investigation into the March 17 strike and other air attacks in that neighborhood where civilians were injured or killed. "We recognized what we were stepping into", Gen. Joseph L. Votel, commander of U.S. Central Command, said in an interview Wednesday.

Belgium has opened an investigation into the suspected involvement of Belgian fighter planes in air strikes in west Mosul that killed dozens of civilians, prosecutors said today.

The hope is that the battle for Mosul will be over by then, at which point the government will have a better handle on the long-term needs in Iraq and change Canada's contribution as required.

Officials reported details of yesterday's strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports. Later, they said, civilians were seen being freed from the building.

Abadi, for his part, said Iraqi forces were doing their "utmost" to protect civilians and lashed out at the terrorists for intentionally putting civilians at risk while also "intensifying their propaganda machine to spread rumors".

Iraqi forces have won back control of most cities that fell to the group and the militants have been dislodged from almost three quarters of Mosul but remain in control of its center.

"We conduct scans" - including surveillance videos such as the ones he shared - "to determine that there are no civilians in the area", Uribe said.

Townsend has delegated the right to approve bombings further down the hierarchy to allow a quick response to help Iraqi troops.

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