US releases video allegedly showing IS using human shields in Mosul

US Central Command on Friday released drone footage of the Islamic State (IS) group allegedly using civilian human shields in Iraq’s Mosul.

The video was taken on 29 March during heavy clashes with the extremist group in western Mosul. IS militants are seen leading a group of people, including women and children into a building.

“Our Iraqi partners and CJTF have seen the tactic of ISIS intentionally placing civilians in harm’s way,” said Col. John J. Thomas, U.S. Central Command spokesman, in a statement released Friday. “While the video cannot portray intent, it does show actions, including knowingly establishing firing positions while civilians were present.”

The US-led anti-IS coalition first referenced the video after 130 civilians were killed in coalition airstrikes on 17 March.

On March 30, Colonel Joe Scrocca, a coalition spokesman had told reporters that IS was “smuggling civilians into buildings so we won’t see them and trying to bait the coalition to attack to take advantage of the public outcry and deter action in the future.”

The operation to capture the west of Mosul from the jihadist group has slowed down after civilian deaths.