The U.S. military has acknowledged the U.S.-led coalition probably had a role in the March 17 explosion but said Islamic State also could be to blame. Local officials and eyewitnesses say as many as 240 people may have been killed in the Al-Jadida district when a huge blast caused a building to collapse, burying families inside. When asked in a congressional hearing about the standards used by the U.S. military to avoid civilian casualties, General Joseph Votel said it would be difficult to apply those standards in the narrow, crowded streets of the Old City in west Mosul.
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Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is a Managing Editor for OpEd News, and a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites.