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Russian diplomat says Mosul is on verge of humanitarian disaster

November 24, 2016, 16:24 UTC+3

Zakharova says the most terrifying thing is that no one knows what going to happen next

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© AP Photo/Felipe Dana

MOSCOW, November 24. /TASS/. The situation in Iraq’s Mosul is on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharov said on Thursday.

"The situation around Iraq’s Mosul demonstrates no signs of improvement," she said. "The Iraqi troops continue to taper the zone of control. They report about extermination of 2,000 extremists. The progress of the army in Mosul proceeds with great difficulty. Coalition strikes come at a high cost for civilians."

"The humanitarian situation continues to degrade. According to the United Nations’ estimates, up to 70,000 people have fled the city and its environs," she said. "People are running out of foods. And the most terrifying thing is that no one knows what is to be further. The situation is on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe."

The Western partners however "are still out of touch with reality," she added.

A ground operation to liberate Mosul from terrorists of Islamic State began on October 17. It involves the Iraqi troops, Kurdish units and the US-led coalition. Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city with a population of 1.3 million, has been controlled by Islamic State (a terrorist organization outlawed in Russia) for over two years. According to the Iraqi military, from 5,000 to 6,000 militants are holding the city. On October 31, Iraqi’s forces began assaulting the city.

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