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MOSCOW, March 16. /TASS/. The global media have been hushing up the scale of the humanitarian crisis in Iraq’s Mosul, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.
"In my opinion, it is obvious that the situation in Mosul is being distorted in one way or another. TV channels and newspapers are under direct influence, they are politically biased without a doubt."
"The articles that we read completely ignore the predicament of the local residents and the reasons which led to this tragedy. Such one-sided and limited coverage of the Mosul military operation is completely different from what we saw during the Syrian army’s offensive aimed at liberating Aleppo from terrorists and militants," Zakharova stressed.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry will soon publish a number of possible headlines that the foreign media could use to describe the situation in Mosul. This step aims at encouraging the media to be impartial while covering the situation there, Zakharova said. "We are planning to take an unusual step. We have made up some headlines for the leading global media to use when covering the Mosul operation. We have dubbed this project ‘This what headlines would have been like if they were based on facts’," Zakharova said.
"We are not trolling anyone, we are just trying to reach the media, their editors and correspondents, who, albeit undeliberately, have been ignoring the actual situation in Mosul thus distorting the truth," she added.
The operation to free Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, was launched on October 17, 2016. Over this period, the country’s authorities have managed to regain control over eastern Mosul and drive the extremists out of some of the western quarters. Islamic State (outlawed in Russia) terrorists were smoked out of the eastern part of the city in late January. On February 19, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi launched an offensive against the western part of Mosul.
On Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the humanitarian situation in Mosul caused concern as the number of refugees fleeing the city had exceeded that of people leaving eastern Aleppo during the Syrian army’s offensive. Lavrov called upon the reporters covering the situation in Mosul to show responsibility while performing their professional duties.