WASHINGTON/Mosul - A review of past air and artillery strikes has found that another 119 civilians were killed by the US-led coalition in Iraq and Syria, pushing the total number of such deaths to 603.

In a statement Friday, the coalition said that in May it completed an analysis of 141 reports of civilian deaths dating back to when operations to defeat the Islamic State group got underway in late 2014.

“To date, based on information available, (the coalition) assesses that, it is more likely than not, at least 603 civilians have been unintentionally killed by coalition strikes” since the anti-IS campaign began, the statement read.

Aside from probing civilian death reports that came in from coalition pilots and through social media and other channels, military investigators also began wading their way through a huge backlog of hundreds of allegations reported by the website Airwars.org. The London-based collective of journalists and researchers has always had civilian death tolls that are wildly divergent from those acknowledged by the coalition.

According to the most recent Airwars tally, 4,354 civilians have been killed in coalition strikes.

Major Michael Burns, who compiled the coalition statement, told AFP that of the 80 Airwars reports it looked at in May, 10 were “credible” and 70 were “non-credible.” Among all the reports the coalition examined in May was an April 17 strike on an IS headquarters building that caused secondary explosions, killing 25 civilians in adjacent structures and wounded 40 more. And on January 21, near Mosul in Iraq, a strike on a suicide car bomb caused secondary explosions that killed 15 civilians.

Observers say the US-led coalition has been taking greater risks with civilian lives since President Donald Trump took office and gave the military greater leeway in how it conducts strikes, but officials insist the rules of engagement are unchanged.

“Although all feasible precautions were taken and the decision to strike complied with the law of armed conflict, unintended civilian casualties unfortunately occurred,” the statement read.

Meanwhile, the United States, Russia and regional countries have reached a ceasefire deal in southwestern Syria, one of the combat zones in a six-year civil war, a US official said on Friday.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was expected to provide more details of the deal to reporters in Hamburg later on Friday, the official said.

Russia and Iran are the main international backers of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad while Washington supports some of the rebel groups fighting for his ouster.

“Still a lot of work to be done,” the US official said.

Before leaving for Hamburg, Tillerson said the United States was prepared to discuss joint efforts with Russia to stabilize Syria, including no-fly zones, ceasefire observers and coordinated deliveries of humanitarian assistance.

Tillerson was present at a meeting in Hamburg between US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, along with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Moreover, two Iraqi television journalists were killed by the Islamic State group while a third was trapped on Friday in the same village south of Mosul.

IS infiltrated Imam Gharbi this week, seizing territory in the village and kidnapping civilians, prompting Iraqi forces to counterattack to try to oust the militants, officers said.

The attack by IS highlights what is likely to be a growing danger as the group loses more ground and increasingly returns to bombings and hit-and-run attacks that were its hallmark in past years.

“Colleague Harb Hazaa al-Dulaimi, correspondent for the Hona Salaheddin channel, and Sudad al-Duri, the cameraman for the same station, were martyred” in Imam Gharbi, the channel said.

Hona Salaheddin said that Mustafa Wahadi, another of its correspondents, was trapped in the village with the bodies of the two journalists who were killed.

Wahadi posted on his Facebook page - which lists his last name as Ajeeli - calling for security forces to rescue them, saying that none had arrived in the area so far.

“The situation around me is very dangerous” and “Daesh is very close,” he wrote, using an Arabic acronym for IS.

“This may be my last post, maybe I will be killed,” the journalist wrote.

Interior ministry spokesman Brigadier General Saad Maan confirmed two journalists were killed in the village and said that others were trapped in a house there along with police.

He said security forces were closing in but were slowed by IS snipers.

The deaths come after three journalists were killed and a fourth wounded by an explosion last month in Mosul, where they were covering the battle to retake the city from IS.

“Iraq is among the top three most deadly countries for the fourth year in a row,” the Committee to Protect Journalists said of 2016.

And Reporters Without Borders, another media rights watchdog, termed it “one of the world’s most dangerous countries for journalists”.

Imam Gharbi is more than 60 kilometres (40 miles) south of Mosul, and is located close to the Tigris River, near IS-held territory that was bypassed by Iraqi forces in their push north toward the country’s second city.

IS fighters crossed the river and infiltrated Imam Gharbi, an army brigadier general said on condition of anonymity.

“It is confirmed that there are more than 10 families kidnapped by Daesh members, among them women and children, and there are martyrs and wounded among the civilians and journalists and security forces,” the officer said.

After the police forces - with whom the journalists were apparently embedded - were surrounded, “military forces supported by army helicopters” were dispatched to Imam Gharbi, the brigadier general said.

“There are two local journalists and four police officers trapped” in Imam Gharbi, said Sheikh Marwan Jbara, the spokesman for tribes in Iraq’s Salaheddin, a province that begins south of the village. “They were going with a force from the Salaheddin police yesterday” to attack IS, Jbara said.

The sheikh said that 40 to 50 militants had infiltrated the village and kidnapped 10 families, parading them through an area across the river.

IS overran large areas north and west of Baghdad in 2014, but Iraqi forces backed by US-led air strikes have since regained much of the territory they lost.