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Russian top diplomat believes US-led coalition should take steps to liberate Mosul

March 27, 2017, 13:46 UTC+3

The Russian foreign minister stresses Moscow stands for the liberation of Iraq’s Mosul

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© AP Photo/Felipe Dana

MOSCOW, March 27. /TASS/. Moscow stands for the liberation of Iraq’s Mosul but the US-led coalition should take calibrated steps, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday.

"First, we have been watching the Mosul operation since the very beginning, because we remember the pressure our western counterparts exerted on us during the operation to free eastern Aleppo," Lavrov noted. "While Mosul is much larger than eastern Aleppo."

"In the past month, we have been drawing the United Nations Security Council’s attention to the Mosul operation, since our expectations proved to be true and the number of civilian deaths has been growing," the Russian top diplomat said. "The tragedy that occurred in Mosul on March 17, when over 200 civilians were killed, stands aside as bombardment lasted several hours."

"If it takes you hours to understand that you are hitting wrong targets, then I am very surprised at the US military’s actions for it has all the necessary equipment," Lavrov added.

Moscow, in his words, is interested in Mosul’s liberation from terrorists. "However, the coalition needs take more calibrated steps," Lavrov added. "In eastern Aleppo, we to set up humanitarian corridors so that militants, even members of terror groups, could leave the city. That helped save many lives as a large number of them took advantage of this opportunity so there was no need to employ force on a large-scale to liberate that part of Aleppo."

"We expect the coalition to adopt the same careful and responsible approach during the Mosul operation," the Russian foreign minister said.

UN Security Council’s special briefing

Moscow has requested the UN Security Council to hold a special briefing in light of reports on civilians killed in an air raid on Iraq’s Mosul, Sergey Lavrov said.

"Today, we have requested the United Nations Security Council to hold a special briefing," he said. "I don’t think the UN Security Council will be able to adopt a unanimous stance on what happened but nevertheless, we will ask some questions and voice our proposals.".

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