On the situation in Mosul
The situation in Mosul raises serious concerns in light of the incoming information about the death of the civilian population as a result of airstrikes by the international coalition.
One of the most tragic incidents occurred on 17 March when bombings that lasted for several hours resulted in death of more than 200 civilians according to different assessments. Such ill-targeting could have been avoided taking into account the precise and other advanced technology possessed by the coalition. We stress that disregard for the international humanitarian law while carrying out such operations is unacceptable.
Unfortunately counter-terrorist operation in Mosul in many Western media is covered in a surprisingly calm way if compared to the hysteria that was surrounding the liberation of Eastern Aleppo at the end of last year. Everyday tragedies of Mosul are straightly concealed by the international media and NGOs though the number of people staying in Western Mosul (around 600 000) makes the scale of the situation more catastrophic than in Aleppo. We stress the necessity to lay aside double-standards and cover impartially the situation in Mosul, in Syria and elsewhere.
We remind that during operation in Eastern Aleppo an initiative was brought up that allowed to save many lives. An exit corridor was opened for the militants including those who belonged to terrorist groups. As a result it gave an opportunity to lower the necessity of the use of force to liberate this part of the city. We hope that such a proper, cautious and responsible approach will be demonstrated by the coalition including in its further actions in Mosul.
The task of fighting terrorism is the priority. At the same time we believe that without forming wide antiterrorist front the threat of terror can’t be eliminated not only in the Middle East and North Africa but also in the whole world.
We will continue to closely monitor the operation in Mosul and depending on the development of the situation will make decisions on our future actions including in the UN Security Council.