Note how differently The New York Times prepares the American public for civilian casualties from the new U.S.-backed Iraqi government assault on the city of Mosul to free it from the Islamic State, compared to the unrelenting condemnation of the Russian-backed Syrian government assault on neighborhoods of east Aleppo held by Al Qaeda.
In the case of Mosul, the million-plus residents are not portrayed as likely victims of American airstrikes and Iraqi government ground assaults, though surely many will die during the offensive. Instead, the civilians are said to be eagerly awaiting liberation from the Islamic State terrorists and their head-chopping brutality.
“Mosul’s residents are hoarding food and furtively scrawling resistance slogans on walls,” writes Times’ veteran war correspondent Rod Nordland about this week’s launch of the U.S.-backed government offensive. “Those forces will fight to enter a city where for weeks the harsh authoritarian rule of the Islamic State … has sought to crack down on a population eager to either escape or rebel, according to interviews with roughly three dozen people from Mosul. …
“Just getting out of Mosul had become difficult and dangerous: Those who were caught faced million-dinar fines, unless they were former members of the Iraqi Army or police, in which case the punishment was beheading. … Graffiti and other displays of dissidence against the Islamic State were more common in recent weeks, as were executions when the vandals were caught.”
The Times article continues: “Mosul residents chafed under social codes banning smoking and calling for splashing acid on body tattoos, summary executions of perceived opponents, whippings of those who missed prayers or trimmed their beards, and destroying ‘un-Islamic’ historical monuments.”
I am extremely concerned for the safety of up to 1.5 million people living in Mosul who may be impacted by military operations to retake the city from ISIL. Families are at extreme risk of being caught in cross-fire or targeted by snipers. Tens of thousands of Iraqi girls, boys, women and men may be under siege or held as human shields. Thousands may be forcibly expelled or trapped between the fighting lines. Children, women, the elderly and disabled will be particularly vulnerable. Depending on the intensity and scope of the fighting, as many as one million people may be forced to flee their homes in a worst-case scenario.
–UNDER-SECRETARY-GENERAL FOR HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS AND EMERGENCY RELIEF COORDINATOR, STEPHEN O’BRIEN
Double standards dominate the West as it blames Russia for each and everything going wrong in this world. The best example is the West’s accusations of Russia allegedly committing “war crimes” in Aleppo. Despite the fact than the all measures to reduce the losses among civilians had been taken with timely warnings, escape corridors prepared, humanitarian aid rushed in and air strikes limited to targets of military value, Russia is blamed for not caring about civilian residents.
Now the operation conducted by US-led coalition to liberate Mosul from Islamic State (IS) is under way to threaten the lives of estimated 1,5 million civilians. The New York Times editorial on October 14 said the city must be liberated regardless of the human cost.
The battle may continue for weeks to threaten the lives of city residents as a result of aerial bombardments and artillery strikes, landmines and the fire snipers, as well as lack of water and food. According to The Huffington Post, the battle will almost certainly destroy the city, and pose serious humanitarian problems.