The Iraqi army has denied media reports that white phosphorus was used in military operations in Mosul city, where fighting continues between Iraq government forces and Islamic State’s (ISIS) militants.
Following the reports, live broadcasting footage of the Mosul operation was banned by the Iraqi authorities.
“On 3 June, specifically near the Jamhouri Hospital on the right bank (Western Mosul), a large number of citizens escaped toward our security forces and in order to protect them from Daesh’s snipers who were located on the hospital’s floors,” Joint Operations Command of the Iraqi army said.
“We asked the Coalition Forces to direct smoke shells to create a visual cover that obscures Daesh’s snipers from seeing fleeing civilians,” it said, using an Arabic acronym for ISIS.
“This gave the civilians the opportunity to reach our security forces, and this was successful,” the Iraqi army said.
“We also emphasize that these smoke strikes have already been used in some areas of the left bank [of Mosul] as well as on the right bank areas. The purpose of smoke strikes is to protect civilians from Daesh terrorist gangs,” the operation command said.
Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg | Source: ARA News
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