The Islamic State is packing civilians into buildings and baiting the United States into bombing them in order to maximize civilian casualties, a Department of Defense spokesman said.
“What you see now is not the use of civilians as human shields,” Colonel Joseph Scrocca said. “Now, it’s something much more sinister. ISIS is smuggling civilians into buildings so we won’t see them, trying to bait the coalition to attack, to take advantage of the public outcry and deter action in the future.”
There was a domestic and international outcry, to include accusations of ‘loosening the rules of engagement,’ after a building in Mosul was bombed on March 17th, resulting in the deaths of potentially hundreds of innocent people.
Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend, commander of Operation Inherent Resolve, has launched an official investigation into the event, citing the possibility that U.S. forces may have contributed to the loss of life in some capacity.
Colonel Scrocca says the Department of Defense now has a video record of ISIS rounding up and forcing civilians into a building to be used as human shields. The building was then used as a fighting position against Iraqi government forces.
The video is currently in the process of being declassified for public release.