The Islamic State lured the U.S.-led forces into conducting an airstrike in March that killed over 100 civilians in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, a top American military official said Thursday.
An investigation into the March bombing found that the terror groups rigged a house with over 1,000 pounds of explosives, put civilians in the basement, and employed two ISIS snipers on the roof to bait the U.S.-led coalition to attack.
U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Matthew Isler, the investigating officer for US Central Command, told Pentagon reporters that the bomb used by the American jet, a GBU-38 (500-lb bomb), would not have caused the type of damage associated with the destruction of the building.
The probe found that the U.S. bomb triggered secondary explosions from devices clandestinely planted in the lower floors of the concrete building, Isler said. He said neither the Iraqi troops nor the Americans who authorized and conducted the airstrike knew civilians were in the building or that the explosive materials were present.
Isler added that the home’s 30-inch concrete walls were “completely pulverized,” but the GBU-38, which has a 192-pound warhead, could not have caused such destruction. The GBU-38 is designed to take out enemy combatants on roof tops, not collapse entire structures.