Storming Mosul’s residential areas will likely result in mass casualties, Russian MoD warns

Members of an Iraqi special forces police unit fire their weapons at Islamic State fighters in al-Shura, south of Mosul, Iraq October 29, 2016. © Goran Tomasevic
The plans of coalition forces and the Iraqi army to carry out an assault in residential areas of Mosul will likely result in mass civilian casualties, Russia’s Defense Ministry said, while noting there are no humanitarian corridors in the Iraqi city.

We are hearing reports about an upcoming storming of residential areas populated by civilians that are murky, but extremely alarming, given the mass casualties that could result,” Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said.

He added that the US’ plans for the military operation give the impression that the city of more than a million residents "is only populated by terrorists.

The Russian military released the statement following remarks made by the US State Department concerning the anti-terrorist operations in the Iraqi city and Aleppo in Syria, in which it maintained that the situations in Mosul and Aleppo are completely different. State Department's spokesman John Kirby claimed that only the US-led coalition’s offensive in Iraq was being carried out in accordance with international humanitarian law.

There are in fact some radical differences” between the situations in the two war-torn cities, Konashenkov said.

The Defense Ministry’s statement pointed out that, while the Russian and Syrian Air Forces have not been operating in Aleppo for more than two weeks, Mosul “is being bombed on a daily basis” by American strategic bombers, as well as naval bombers from the US USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and France’s Charles de Gaulle warships in the region.

In the course of just the past 24 hours, the US-led coalition has conducted 25 sorties, and carried out 21 strikes on the Iraqi city and neighboring areas, the military official reported.

Unlike in Aleppo, where Russian and Syrian government forces established humanitarian corridors through which both civilians and militants could leave the area, in Mosul the US-led coalition has reportedly created an “iron circle” aimed at destroying all of the terrorists in the city, he added.

READ MORE: 60 civilians killed, 200 injured as US-led coalition strikes Mosul residential areas – Russian MoD 

Given that so many journalists and representatives of humanitarian organizations have been working in Aleppo, the Russian Defense Ministry said it found it “strange” that there appear to be no human rights activists or reporters in Mosul. This means the western media is only able to provide “censored” enthusiastic reports about the coalition’s successes in the region that are put out by the coalition itself and are not supported by any “real” evidence, the ministry’s statement said.