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Coalition Targets Islamic State Fighters in Mosul Hospital


An Iraqi soldier from the 9th Infantry Division carries a machine gun while heading to the front line in Mosul, Iraq, Dec. 6, 2016. On Wednesday, Iraqi forces ask for U.S. air support after taking fire from Islamic State fighters inside a hospital complex.

The U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State extremists in Iraq and Syria intentionally struck a hospital in Mosul Wednesday to protect Iraqi forces from Islamic State fighters inside the building.

The coalition said Iraqi forces requested “immediate support” after receiving heavy machine gun fire and rocket-propelled grenade fire from IS forces in a building at the Al Salem hospital complex.

It is unclear how many casualties resulted from the strike.

Islamic State had been using the hospital as a command and control headquarters, according to the coalition. The strike was specifically targeted to the location where IS fighters were firing on Iraqi forces.

The coalition said it “complies with the Law of Armed Conflict and takes all feasible precautions during the planning and execution of airstrikes to reduce the risk of harm to non-combatants.”

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    Carla Babb

    Carla is VOA's Pentagon correspondent covering defense and international security issues. Her datelines include Ukraine, Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Korea.

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