Middle East Coalition, Iraqi forces main goal to minimize civilian casualties: new coalition spokesperson

Coalition, Iraqi forces main goal to minimize civilian casualties: new coalition spokesperson
The spokesperson of the US-led coalition Ryan Dillon during a Skype interview with Kurdistan24 in Baghdad, Iraq, May 12, 2017. (Photo: Kurdistan24)

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – Iraqi forces are making steady progress in the fight agaisnt the Islamic State (IS) in Mosul and is focused on rescuing civilians, said the new US-led coalition spokesperson Ryan Dillon on Friday.

In his first interview with media, Dillon told Kurdistan24 the primary goal for coalition warplanes and Iraqi forces is to minimize civilian casualties while advancing in the fight to liberate the self-proclaimed capital of IS, Mosul.

He mentioned the coalition seriously considers all allegations of civilian casualties it receives.

“We have a detailed process that we go through to identify where, when and with what ammunition we conduct our strikes. We are very capable and able to tell with a high degree of accuracy whether or not the air strikes that we conduct are hitting their targets,” Dillon said.

“This campaign is the most accurate and most precise campaign in the history of warfare,” he added.

The spokesperson noted that the brutal tactics of IS in Mosul and the use of civilians as human shields must be taken into considerations, stating the coalition will continue to cooperate and support the Iraqi forces as they clear the remaining IS-held areas.

Dillon said that the US has been arming the Syrian Arab coalition before and that Washington has now decided to broaden its support to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is a Kurdish-led forces working with Arab fighters.

The timing and the types of weapons have not been revealed yet, “but we will make sure the SDF has everything it needs in order to defeat ISIS [IS] in Raqqa.”

He also highlighted Turkey’s role in the fight against IS, stating Turkey will remain a partner in defeating the jihadist group.


Editing by G. H. Renaud