U.S.-supported Iraqi forces paused their fight to retake the Islamic State-occupied portion of the city of Mosul on Saturday in response to concerns about a high civilian casualty rate. "The recent high death toll among civilians inside the Old City forced us to halt operations to review our plans," said a representative of the Iraqi troops. "It's a time for weighing new offensive plans and tactics. No combat operations are to go on."
At least 200 people were reportedly killed in a single U.S. coalition airstrike in Mosul, news a United Nations official in Iraq condemned as a "terrible loss of life." The Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights counts an unconfirmed 700 civilian deaths attributable to coalition strikes and forces since the siege on the western half of the city began in mid-February.
A representative of the U.S. military said an investigation of the alleged casualties is underway, but cautioned the process "takes time ... especially when the date of the alleged strike is in question."