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Russia calls on media to focus on Mosul’s children killed during US-led coalition strikes

October 26, 2016, 17:14 UTC+3 MOSCOW

A Russian diplomat stresses a great amount of factors that deteriorate the situation in the Middle East remain off-screen

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© Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, October 26. /TASS/. Russia calls on the foreign media to focus attention on civilian deaths in Iraq caused by the US-led coalition airstrikes, Russian Foreign Ministry’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law Konstantin Dolgov said in an interview with TASS.

"There are children among the killed. Why does the foreign media refrain from showing it while they show different footage often mixing up countries and years? Perhaps, this footage is not shown because some Western capitals prefer to keep silent about it," Dolgov noted. "In the past it was called collateral damage, then they stopped using this expression since the collateral damage had significantly increased."

"It did not start in Syria but in Yugoslavia where civilians were killed by NATO’s bombings. Later Afghanistan’s turn came and after that Iraq and Libya’s. In Afghanistan, they still bomb weddings and funerals from time to time. Sometimes they say sorry, sometimes they don’t, but nobody ever gets punished," the Russian diplomat elaborated.

Dolgov emphasized that the Western media did not call for the investigation of civilian deaths after such attacks.

"What is the reason for such a selective approach? If you protect human rights, then protect them everywhere, without any exceptions," he added.

On Tuesday, chief of the Russian General Staff Main Operational Directorate Lieutenant General Sergei Rudskoi said that over 60 civilians, including children, died over the past three days in the US-led coalition airstrikes on Mosul and neighboring settlements while more than 200 were wounded. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, on October 21, a US war plane delivered an airstrike on the al-Hajj Yunus school for girls in southern Mosul. The next day civilian dwelling areas in the town of Qaraqosh 20 kilometers east of Mosul and Hazna 15 kilometers east of Mosul came under massive bombing raids. In addition, on October 23, the US Air Force bombarded the al-Shura settlement 34 kilometers south of Mosul which resulted in many social agencies’ buildings being ruined.

Biased reporting on Syria

The diplomat has urged mass media outlets to avoid biased news reporting on the Syrian crisis.

"We face a massive campaign defaming Russia’s actions, we are accused of all deadly sins, we hear allegations not confirmed by any proof that Russian military aircraft destroy on purpose civilians, infrastructure and allegedly bomb hospitals, schools, kindergartens and so on, jointly with Syrian jets," Dolgov told a roundtable at the Union of Journalists in Moscow. "We ask to give examples, to give us proof but we are not given this evidence and these examples," he said.

"They keep bombarding with the allegations on many TV channels, every morning when we switch on news channels, the BBC and others, we hear and see almost the same things," the diplomat added. 

Meanwhile, a great amount of factors that deteriorate the situation in Syria and the reasons behind this humanitarian crisis remain off-screen, Dolgov said.

"The situation in Syria is grave. Yes, indeed, large numbers of civilians die in Syria but it is absolutely wrong and frankly speaking, unprofessional, to try to accuse Moscow and Damascus of this and not to speak about who really kills civilians in huge amounts in Syria."

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