SOUTHWEST ASIA, Jan. 1, 2017 —
At the request of Iraqi forces, the coalition struck a mortar tube operated by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists who were firing on Iraqi forces in east Mosul today, according to a Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve news release.
A precision guided artillery round hit the mortar tube, which was located between two empty school buildings. No civilians were in the area and minimal damage was reported to the buildings, the release noted.
ISIL is known to use facilities such as mosques, hospitals and schools -- which are all protected under the rules of international law -- as weapons storage facilities, fighting positions and bases for its terrorist operations, the release said. CJTF-OIR officials said in the release that they have seen this tactic used in ever greater numbers as Iraqi forces successfully push further into Mosul.
While the coalition takes extraordinary efforts to protect civilians and strike appropriate military targets, the release said, the coalition will continue to strike ISIL wherever and whenever its partners’ lives are in danger, in accordance with the Law of Armed Conflict.
All coalition strikes are coordinated with and approved by the government of Iraq, the release said. ISIL's days in Mosul are coming to an end, CJTF-OIR officials said, adding that with the support of the coalition, the Iraqis will soon liberate their city and return it to the people of Iraq.