Mosul rescue workers recount horror of devastating air raid
On Thursday, a likely US-led military coalition air raid struck three homes in the west Mosul suburb of al-Jadida killing scores of civilians, as Iraqi forces attempt to drive out the Islamic State group [IS] from the city.
At the site of strike rescue worker Muhammad Wadi, who at first refused to speak on the record, opened up to The New Arab correspondent Ahmad al-Jamili.
"Mention me by name and pass on my message... some animals are more compassionate than people," Wadi said.
"This child could have been saved. I hope he didn't cry a lot before he took his last breath," Wadi said as he stood next to the rubble of the destroyed residential buildings.
He compared the treatment of the last surviving animals of Mosul zoo, who last month had experts flown in to save them, with Mosul civilians who he said have been left to fend for themselves amid the ongoing carnage.
|US officials said they were investigating the incident [TNA]|
On Friday, US officials said they were investigating the incident to determine whether it was the result of an air raid or a bomb or booby trap placed by IS.
Safaa Jawad, head of the Civil Defence's special rescue teams, told The New Arab that after a few hours of work his men had to stop exhuming bodies because the damage to the buildings was so severe it required heavy machinery for work to go on.
"We managed to retrieve a large number of children and women, who were in the basement of one of the bombed home. There are still many other bodies trapped," Jawad said.
The UN released a statement on Saturday expressing concern about the attack in the densely populated neighbourhood.
"We are stunned by this terrible loss of life… international humanitarian law is clear. Parties to the conflict – all parties – are obliged to do everything possible to protect civilians," the statement read.
As many as 3,864 civilians have been killed in western Mosul since mid-February, when the Iraqi army began the wide-ranging campaign to take back the area, an Iraqi general said on Friday.
The UN has warned that about 600,000 people remain in the areas of west Mosul held by IS, including 400,000 who are "trapped" in the Old City under siege-like conditions.