Yesterday, US President Barack Obama and political leaders of the EU agreed on the importance of stabilizing the situation in Iraq's Mosul after its liberation from Daesh militants. "President thanked his colleagues for their significant contribution to the fight against terrorist group in Iraq and told them about the progress of operation on liberation of Mosul," White House's statement says.
Russia strongly welcomes the fight of Western coalition against terrorists of Daesh, but it is concerned about the fate of Mosul's population. "The situation is still far from a final settlement. And this despite the fact that significant forces and assets have been employed, including heavy weapons and aircraft of the US-led coalition. According to its spokesman, since the start of the operation, over 4,000 air-to-surface bombs have been dropped on ISIS-controlled areas in and around Mosul," Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said. "Meanwhile, life for Mosul residents, who have ended up between the “hammer” of coalition bombing attacks and the “anvil” of ISIS violence, is becoming increasingly dire, while the humanitarian situation is deteriorating. According to some sources, during the past month, about 56,000 people have fled the city and areas around it. Forecasts look even worse," she noted.
"It is hard not to agree that Western partners and the media resources they control continue to “polish” reality. Meanwhile, information about what is actually going on in Mosul, where over 1 million civilians remain, is simply being blocked by, among others, “respectable” media that are not in the same league with Russia Today. To all appearances, the West is too absorbed in the situation around Syria’s Aleppo. This is where its entire attention is focused along with its efforts to prevent the picture of suffering in Mosul from overshadowing the prescribed propaganda take on northern Syria," she said.
"The developments in Syria remain a source of serious concern. Militants of terrorist organisations – ISIS, Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (former Jabhat al-Nusra) and the like – continue committing acts of terror and intimidation in Syria, including with the use of toxic agents. On November 13, terrorists used rocket artillery against the positions of Syrian government troops in the area of Karim Jazmati in eastern Aleppo. As a result of the explosion of a shell with chlorine gas, about 30 army servicemen of the 415th battalion of the Republican Guards 115th division were poisoned with varying degrees of severity. Officers of the Research Centre of the Troops of Radiological, Chemical and Biological Defence of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation took samples from the accident site. Their analysis confirms that militants used chlorine as a toxic agent. Specialists of the Russian Defence Ministry also found unexploded munitions in western Aleppo. They are also highly likely to have been stuffed with chlorine and white phosphorus," Zakharova said during weekly briefing.
"Indicatively, Western politicians and what the US Department of State calls “respectable” media have been fairly slow to respond to these incidents. The evidence of the combat use of toxic agents by terrorists is black eye for those who want to present illegal armed formations in Syria, including with overt ties to terrorists as the “fighters for the righteous cause.” On November 14, armed terrorists dispersed a crowd in east Aleppo that was desperately trying to get to a food storage facility. Militants are disrupting humanitarian aid in the districts of east Aleppo that are controlled by radicals. Only a small portion of it gets to civilians. Terrorists are preventing civilians from leaving the areas under their control, placing mines in humanitarian corridors and using civilians as a human shield. All these facts testify to a humanitarian catastrophe. The militants fighting in east Aleppo are trying to conceal it and doing everything to lay the blame for it on the Syrian army," she noted.
"On November 15, militants from east Aleppo used multiple launch rocket systems to shell the industrial suburb of As-Safira located 30 km to the south-east of the city. In all, they launched over 15 rockets killing civilians. Government troops continue concentrating units by the town of Han-ash-Sheikh in the south-west of the Damascus Region, where a large group of Jabhat Fatah al-Sham militants are blocked. A network of underground tunnels with a total length of 700 metres was found near this town. Extremists transported weapons and reinforcements via these tunnels. The Syrian Army is curbing the attempts by terrorists to deliver besieged units," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman stressed.
On November 15, the Russian Aerospace Forces and Navy launched a massive attack on the facilities and fighters of ISIS and Jabhat Fatah al-Sham in the provinces of Idlib and Homs. Targets of these pin-point attacks are fixed on the basis of reliable reconnaissance data. "In this context I’d like to draw your attention to the unjustified and untrue statement by Spokesperson of the US Department of State Elizabeth Trudeau to the effect that the Russian military operation in Syria is allegedly “a violation of international law.” Needless to say, the US official did not specify what provisions of international law prevent the elimination of terrorists by agreement with the legitimate government of the country that came under terrorist attack," she said, noting that " this is the foreign policy office of the state that is using its Air Force on the sovereign territory of Syria without any coordination with its official legitimate authorities and in violation of all standards of international law."