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Russian diplomat worried over situation in Mosul

The Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman says humanitarian situation in Iraqi Mosul is critical

MOSCOW, March 2./TASS/. The humanitarian situation in Iraqi Mosul is critical, it must be ignored, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.

The situation in Iraq remains difficult, she said. "It was only on February 19 that government forces supported by units of militias and Kurdish units began liberating from IS militants the western, right-bank part of Mosul," the diplomat said. "By the moment, 25 outer and close suburbs have been freed, including the Mosul airport," Zakharova added.

"An advance into city neighborhoods is hampered by IS defense in depth and restrained urban conditions," she said. "Counter-attacks by extremists with the use of suicide car bombings inflict heavy losses," she said.

"Despite all efforts of the Iraqi authorities, sizable territories in western provinces of the country remain under the control of IS," she noted. Zakharova also pointed to a flow of gunmen across the IS-controlled open border with the neighboring Syria.

"It is impossible to ignore any longer the seriousness of the situation facing civilians of Mosul," the diplomat said. "UN’s relevant agencies call the humanitarian situation in Mosul critical," she added.

"A growing shortage of food, drinking water, medicines, whose supplies to the blocked areas has fully stopped, is of special concern," she added.