MOSCOW, (Xinhua) — The U.S. coalition does not care about the safety of civilians during operations to liberate the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, a Russian diplomat said here on Friday.
“During anti-terrorist operations, the issue of civilians’ security should be taken into account, otherwise the escape of civilians will increase,” the Russian newspaper Izvestiya quoted Konstantin Dolgov, Russian Foreign Ministry’s commissioner for human rights, democracy and the rule of law, as saying.
He said there will be increasing damage to the civilian population if the U.S. coalition does not care about their safety.
On Oct. 17, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the start of the offensive to retake Mosul, the country’s second largest city.
Located about 400 km north of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, Mosul has been under the control of the Islamic State (IS) terror group since June 2014, when Iraqi government forces abandoned their weapons and fled, enabling IS militants to take control of parts of Iraq’s northern and western regions.