Iraq, US Investigate Mass Civilian Deaths in Mosul
The U.S. led coalition in Iraq says it is investigating reports that coalition airstrikes killed as many as 100 civilians in western Mosul this month.
Military officials called the death of civilians in Iraq's northern city of Mosul "a terrible tragedy."
The U.S. Defense Department has said an early examination showed coalition warplanes attacked at the place where civilians reportedly were killed on March 17.
Iraqi forces, with coalition air support, are working to capture western Mosul from Islamic State fighters. The Islamic State group has controlled the area since 2014.
The head of U.S. Central Command said Sunday that coalition forces will continue taking what he called "extraordinary measures to avoid harming civilians."
General Joseph Votel said, "While Iraq's security forces are making measurable progress, the fight in Mosul is a difficult one, and particularly because the enemy operates amongst the civilian population."
The Iraqi military has suggested that Islamic State fighters were responsible for the deaths on March 17. It said new evidence suggests that Islamic State fighters placed explosives at the site.
The Iraqi military's Joint Command said, "All of the building's walls were rigged with bombs and there is no hole or signs that it was an airstrike target."
More than 500,000 civilians are believed to be living in Islamic State-held areas of Mosul. Reports say Islamic State extremists use civilians as human shields against Iraqi forces.
VOA spoke Sunday to 28-year-old Ammar Hazzim who had just arrived at a refugee camp near Mosul.
He said, "We tried to run the day before yesterday, but Islamic State militants executed 21 people that day for fleeing, including women. Today, we decided we had to go."
Hazzim said there had been much violence in his neighborhood, called New Mosul, in the past month. He said an airstrike there 40 days ago killed his brother and his brother's three children.
Hazzim's family said the airstrikes, car bombings, executions and suicide attacks have turned the area into a disaster zone. Other families fleeing western Mosul this week agree.
Hazzim's brother Lazem added, "The militants gather families into small areas. The families hide in the basements and the airplanes don't see them. They are hidden."
"In western Mosul, there is no place to strike without hitting families," he said.
1.as many as 多达；和...一样多
She gets as many as eight thousand letters a month.
2.car bombing 汽车炸弹
In northern Iraq, officials say a car bombing killed at least one Kurdish soldier and wounded 10 others.
3.suicide attacks 自杀式袭击
These groups are at the forefront of sponsoring suicide attacks against Israel.
4.airstrike target 恐袭目标
Local officials said the school was the airstriketargeton Tuesday evening.
1.The Iraqi military has suggested that Islamic State fighters were responsible for the deaths on March 17.
be responsible for 对...负责
We are all entirely responsible for our actions, and for our reactions.
I feel partly responsible for the problems we're in.
2.Hazzim's family said the airstrikes, car bombings, executions and suicide attacks have turned the area into a disaster zone.
turn into 转变
We think he'll turn into a top-class player.
It could well turn into some kind of a media circus.
在美国联军的空军支援下，伊拉克武装正努力搜捕摩苏尔西部的“伊斯兰国”武装分子 。2014年起，“伊斯兰国”组织控制了该地区 。
约瑟夫·付特尔（Joseph Votel）将军称，“虽然伊拉克安全部队的反击进程取得重大进展，但摩苏尔地区的战况依旧胶着，尤其是敌军隐匿在平民聚集区 。”
伊拉克军方认为，伊斯兰武装分子才是3月17日发生的平民伤亡事件的罪魁祸首 。新证据表明，伊斯兰武装分子该地区安置了炸药 。
受“伊斯兰国”掌控的摩苏尔地区人口约50多万 。有报道称，伊斯兰极端分子利用平民为人体盾牌抵抗伊拉克军队 。
周日，VOA连线了刚抵达摩苏尔附近难民营的年仅28岁的阿玛尔·哈泽姆（Ammar Hazzim） 。
他称，“前天我们曾试图逃跑，可是伊斯兰激进分子那天处决了试图逃跑的21名难民（包括妇女） 。因此，我们决定今天必须离开 。”
哈泽姆称，过去的一个月里，摩苏尔地区的战火愈演愈烈 。他还说，40天前，哥哥和他的3个孩子均死于空袭 。
哈泽姆的家人表示，空袭、汽车炸弹、死刑和自杀式袭击将这里变成了地狱 。本周其他逃离西摩苏尔的家庭对此深有同感 。
哈泽姆的弟弟拉泽姆说，“激进分子把他们的家人安置在狭小的区域里 。他们藏身于地下室，飞机难以侦测 。他们藏得十分隐蔽 。”