US-led coalition turned Mosul op into ‘medieval slaughter’– Russian FM spokeswoman
“The anti-terrorist operation carried out by the major powers of the 21st century has turned into a medieval slaughter, in which the civilian population is primarily affected,” Zakharova wrote on her Facebook page.
“The population of Mosul is killed en masse by both terrorists and by the coalition forces,” she added.
Iraqi troops, backed by the US-led coalition’s aviation, artillery and Special Forces, started the campaign to retake Mosul from Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) on October 17.
Zakharova slammed the US-led coalition for disregarding the lives of civilians in the northern Iraqi city, which has been IS’s main stronghold in the country since 2014.
“It turned out that no fundamental plan to rescue the civilians has been developed. There’s no such thing as humanitarian corridors. There is no consistency in the evacuation of the people,” she said.
“One thing is clear, the coalition treats the Iraqi civilians in Mosul a lot worse than the militants in Aleppo,” the spokeswoman added.
The US and is allies severely criticize Moscow for its assistance to the Syrian forces in retaking the strategic city of Aleppo, from al-Qaeda affiliate, Jabhat al-Nusra, and other terror groups.
The West has accused Russia of war crimes, also saying that the country’s humanitarian efforts in Aleppo were futile.
Russia, for its part, blasted the US for sheltering the terrorists due to its failure to fulfill an agreement to separate Jabhat al-Nusra militants from the so-called “moderate opposition.”
Returning to Mosul, Zakharova attracted attention to the “absolute information blockade by the [US-led] coalition” on information about its operation in the city.
The West “provides no credible information on what’s happening there. There is no clarity on their achievements – are the coalition forces advancing or retreating; how effective are their tactics; what the losses have they suffered; of hand, how many combat flights there were missions and who carried them out,” she said.
“There is a feeling that there was an order to abort all the information support of the coalition’s operations,” the spokeswoman added.
On Friday, the UN said that Islamic State has executed 400 people around Mosul, including 50 of its own deserters, and transported many others into the city to use as human shields.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said on Sunday that 34,000 Iraqis had left their homes since the start of the operation to retake Mosul three weeks ago, adding that most of those people were put in temporary shelters. However, over 1 million civilians are believed to remain trapped in Mosul as the terrorists kill anybody who attempts to flee.
Earlier this week, Russia’s Defense Ministry accused the US-led coalition warplanes of hitting residential areas in and around the besieged city.
In late October, an alleged coalition airstrike on the village of Fadhiliya near Mosul killed eight members of the same family.
“There’s always a concern that there’s not enough being done for civilians,” Alvhild Stromme, media adviser for Norwegian Refugee Council, told RT when asked about the situation in Mosul.
Stromme echoed Zakharova by also pointing out the need for humanitarian corridors for civilians to be created in the city.
“We’ve been calling for a safe corridor, which means a safe escape from the city for the civilians inside. We’re calling for this. Again, this hasn’t been established,” she said.
She confirmed that people are being trapped in Mosul as only a few of the city’s residents have managed to make it to the camps of the Norwegian Refugee Council in Iraq.