World Bulletin / News Desk
“Those who have fled the combat areas are reporting high civilian casualties,” Army Brigadier-General Thaer al-Mosawi said.
Al-Mosawi also said that nearby displacement camps and field hospitals had received more than 22,000 injured Mosul residents since the start of the army campaign almost six weeks ago.
In terms of material damage, the army officer said that more than 10,000 residential homes in western Mosul had been destroyed over the same period.
He went on to assert that Iraqi forces had so far driven ISIL militants from slightly more than half of western Mosul.
On Wednesday, an Iraqi army officer in western Mosul -- preferring anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to media -- said that as many as 43 civilians were believed to have been killed in an attack launched “in error” by a U.S.-led air coalition.
On the same day, Iraqi officials announced that the bodies of some 80 dead civilians had been pulled from the rubble of destroyed buildings in both sides of the city.
In mid-February, Iraqi ground forces -- backed by U.S.-led coalition air power -- began fresh operations aimed at ousting ISIL militants from western Mosul, the extremist group’s last bastion in northern Iraq.
The offensive is part of a wider campaign launched last October to retake the entire city, which ISIL overran in mid-2014.