Marine Corps General and Chairman to the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joe Dunford spoke to reporters while flying home from Iraq about the ongoing effort to root ISIS out of the Arab nation, and the tragic events of March 17th, 2017 that left as many as a hundred civilians dead.

According to the general, Iraqi Security Forces, and in particular, their elite counterterrorism service, have made “tremendous” progress in the fight against the Islamic State in Mosul, and that they will continue to learn and adjust in the face of their opponent.

The general made it clear that the fight in Western Mosul is quite different from that experienced by Iraqi forces in the Eastern portions of the city, and that they will continue to need to learn and adapt to keep the pressure on the terrorist organization.  He also explained that, although the investigation is pending, it’s important that the Iraqi military and coalition learn from March 17th’s air strike and the damage that seems to have resulted from the detonation of an ISIS car bomb located nearby.

“West Mosul is much more crowded,” Dunford said. “It appears that ISIS is herding civilians into buildings and so forth and using them as human shields. Knowing that, Iraqis are looking at making modifications in current operations to mitigate the risk of civilian casualties and allow them to continue to make progress against ISIS.”