When Russia and Syria killed civilians in driving Al Qaeda forces out of Aleppo, U.S. officials and media shouted “war crimes.” But the U.S.-led bombardment of Iraq’s Mosul got a different response, notes Nicolas J S Davies.
The catastrophic number of civilian casualties in Mosul is receiving little attention internationally from politicians and journalists. This is in sharp contrast to the outrage expressed worldwide over the bombardment of east Aleppo by Syrian government and Russian forces at the end of 2016.
The battle for Mosul is all but completed, and any question about the strategic significance of its conclusion has yet to be answered by military leaders. That being so, it is time to start asking the difficult questions, such as why the current administration—which ran and won on the promise to change American foreign policy—continues to follow the path of its two previous predecessors in embarking on tactical combat missions that do not contribute to U.S. national security nor the accomplishment of strategic objectives?
On July 9, Mosul was declared liberated from the Islamic State (IS). Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi arrived in the city to announce the mission's success. After nine months of fierce and grueling fighting and human suffering, the terrorists lost the city, which has been their stronghold for the last three years. Around 915,000 residents have fled Mosul since the start of the battle for the city last October.