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MOSCOW, May 26. /TASS/. Moscow is deeply worried over mass deaths of civilians in Iraq in ongoing bombing and shelling by the US-led coalition, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a commentary posted on the ministry’s website on Friday.
"Moscow is deeply worried over reports about mass deaths of civilians in Iraq in ongoing bombing and shelling by the United States and its Western allies in the anti-Islamic State coalition. The scale of casualties in shocking," she stressed.
Thus, according to "belated recognition" of the US military command, more than a hundred civilians in Mosul’s al-Jadida neighborhood were killed in a US airstrike at dwelling quarters on March 17, 2017, she noted. "A number of the mass media say the death toll reached 200," the Russian diplomat said. "It was yet another bloody episode of the non-contact warfare the Americans have unleashed in Iraq and neighboring Syria." The death of 35 civilians in Syria’s Mayadin not long ago was another such incident. "Like in Mosul, there were women and children among them," Zakharova added.
"On this background, the statistics of civilian casualties from the coalition’s use of heavy weapons in Iraq cited by the US military give ground for many questions," she pointed out, reminding that the US military reported the death of 352 Iraqi civilians. "But the real scope of casualties is much bigger," she said.
Thus, according to Zakharova, British monitoring group Airwars puts the number of civilian casualties at 3,100. "As we can see, it is eight times as much as recognized by the Americans who, along with their Western allies keep on ‘sugar-covering’ the bitter reality of the Iraqi developments," she underscored.
The Russian diplomat expressed condolences over civilian deaths in Iraq. "At the same time, we reiterate our solidarity with the leaders and the people of friendly Iraq in this hard time in the country’s history. We are ready to continue efficient support to Baghdad in its uncompromising effort against the terrorist threat wherever it might originate from," she pledged.