Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Luis Martinez / ABC News – 2017-04-22 01:20:09
Pentagon Releases Video of
ISIS Moving Civilians as Human Shields
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com
(April 21, 2017) — Continuing to try to shift the narrative on some US airstrikes that led to particularly large civilian death tolls, the Pentagon today released a video captured by a drone which they say shows ISIS was moving civilians around within the densely populated western half of Mosul to use as “human shields.”
The video showed two small groups of civilians being led into a building that ISIS was using to fire on Iraqi forces. Col. Joe Scrocca, a US spokesman, claimed ISIS was trying to “deter” US strikes with the presence of human shields at locations they are operating from.
This doesn’t appear to be working very well for ISIS, as the US has been attacking the buildings irrespective of the large civilian presences. The mid-March incident, in which the US killed over 200 civilians in leveling three buildings, reportedly had similar pre-strike surveillance videos showing ISIS forcing civilians into those buildings.
It’s noteworthy that this isn’t the video that got released, but rather a much smaller incident at a random building, but the fact that the US attacked the buildings anyhow makes the existence of such a video even more damning, as it would suggest the US knowingly attacked a site full of civilians.
Attempts to shift talk away from the civilian toll and toward the use of human shields doesn’t appear to really get the US out of responsibility for the killings at any rate, and if anything underscores that the use of human shields isn’t an effective policy against the Pentagon, which seems to just use it as a license to kill civilians en masse.
Drone Video Shows ISIS Moving
Civilians into Home as Human Shields
Luis Martinez / ABC News
(April 21, 2017) — US Central Command released drone surveillance video today it says shows ISIS fighters forcibly moving civilians into a west Mosul home to be used as human shields.
The video shows the ISIS combatants firing at Iraqi security forces from the home in an apparent attempt to provoke a US airstrike.
The video was taken on March 29 at the height of the Iraqi military’s difficult push to retake the western half of Iraq’s second largest city from ISIS.
“Our Iraqi partners and CJTF have seen the tactic of ISIS intentionally placing civilians in harm’s way,” said Col. John J. Thomas, US 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 video was first referenced by US military officials in the days following the announcement of an investigation into an airstrike in west Mosul that had allegedly killed as many as 200 civilians.
On March 30, Colonel Joe Scrocca, a coalition spokesman told reporters that ISIS 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.”
“For the first time we caught this on video yesterday as armed ISIS fighters forced civilians into a building killed one who resisted and then used the building as a fighting position against the CTS,” Scrocca said. CTS is the elite Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service.
The video released by US Central Command compresses hours of overhead surveillance into a two minute clip that shows armed ISIS fighters at the compound before they fired at Iraqi forces.
The ISIS fighters are seen leading two small groups of women and children into a building.
After the movement of civilians the ISIS fighters began firing at Iraqi forces.
“The Coalition, through full motion video and real-time surveillance, observed the civilians and therefore did not respond with an airstrike against the position,” said Thomas. The Iraqi government previously released a portion of this video on social media.
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