Thousands of civilians died during the 9-month long battle to liberate Mosul from ISIS, according to a report by the Associated Press. At least 3,200 civilians were killed by the US-led coalition’s forces and the Iraqi government.

Civilians in Mosul

Civilians in Mosul Photo Credit: Reuters/Israel News Company

Between 9,000 and 11,000 people lost their lives in the battle to liberate the city of Mosul, Iraq, from ISIS terrorists, according to a report published by the Associated Press on Wednesday. The number is ten times higher than what was previously estimated.

Most of the deaths during the 9-month long battle were not acknowledged by both the Iraqi government and the US-led coalition forces, but the city’s morgue workers and volunteers took to digging in the area and uncovered bodies that revealed the extent of the bloodbath. According to the AP, at least 3,200 civilians were killed by the US-led coalition’s airstrikes, artillery fire and mortar rounds from October 2016 until the city’s liberation in July 2017. The coalition acknowledged responsibility for only 326 of those deaths.

“It was the biggest assault on a city in a couple of generations, all told. And thousands died,” Chris Woods, head of the Airwars organization that documents strikes in Iraq and Syria, told the AP. “There doesn’t seem to be any disagreement about that, except from the federal government and the coalition. And understanding how those civilians died, and obviously ISIS played a big part in that as well, could help save a lot of lives the next time something like this has to happen. And the disinterest in any sort of investigation is very disheartening.”

The AP’s investigation found that around a third of the deaths can be attributed to the US-led coalition or Iraqi forces and another third to ISIS. The causes of the rest of the deaths remain undetermined. However, the findings reveal that as the Iraqi government and coalition forces increased their efforts in the area, more civilians died by their hands than by ISIS.