An Iraqi soldier carries a child separated from his family following Thursday's deadly air strikes in Mosul.
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region—Head of the Nineveh Provincial Council Bashar Kiki confirmed to Rudaw on Friday evening the death of more than 200 civilians in air strikes in Mosul, adding in the meantime that international aid was needed to retrieve the bodies from under the rubble.
Kiki said that only 132 bodies had been retrieved so far.
The air strikes took place in Mosul’s Jadida neighborhood on the west side of the city on Thursday.
Kiki said reports that the number of the dead could be as high as 500 were probably not true, “But even if it is one person, it is still too many, because it is innocent civilian life.”
The head of the provincial council said 31 dead bodies were retrieved on Friday alone by Mosul police and a special team of 40 sent from Baghdad.
“Civilians should not be involved in this war,” Kiki said.
“I think the life of a human being is more valuable than liberating a neighborhood,” Kiki lamented.
“More than 80 percent of Mosul is free and so a better and detailed and careful planning should be made for the remaining 20 percent,”
Kiki said what happened will play into the hands of ISIS.
He thought that Iraqi and coalition jets could be behind the incident.
“Whether it was Iraqi or coalition forces this should never happen again,” he urged. “I don’t want to speak for the Sunni Arabs, but we don’t want that side of Mosul to become a second Aleppo.”
Tens of thousands of have fled the western side and it could increase and “this means that area is devastated when you see so many people flee to elsewhere,”
Kiki said the bleak humanitarian situation “has diminished the happiness people had for the military operation to liberate their city.”