U.S. General: Probe Into Mosul Blast Moves To Formal Investigation

U.S. General: Probe Into Mosul Blast Moves To Formal Investigation

 A probe into an explosion on March 17 in the Iraqi city of Mosul believed to have killed scores of civilians has moved from an assessment to a more formal investigation, the head of the U.S. Central Command said on Wednesday (March 29).

"It will be a more formalized approach to really look into the details of this as much as we can to establish what happened, establish what the facts are, identify accountability and then certainly identify the lessons learned out of that," Army General Joseph Votel said during a House Armed Services Committee hearing.

On Tuesday the senior U.S. commander in Iraq acknowledged that the U.S.-led coalition probably had a role in the explosion, but said the Islamic State (ISIS) could also be to blame.

U.S. Army Chief of Staff, General Mark Milley, confirmed the U.S.-led coalition has carried out air strikes in the same areas where the civilians were killed, but said it is possible ISIS blew the building up to blame it on the coalition to delay the offensive carried out by the Iraqi forces backed by the U.S.-led coalition in western Mosul.

The Pentagon, facing accusations over the air strike said on Monday it was not loosening its rules of engagement in the fight against ISIS but that resources to investigate claims were limited.