The Battle for Mosul: Data on the Victims Differs by 8 Times

More than 40,000 civilians were killed in the battle for Iraqi Mosul. The official figures, presented by the command of the Iraqi Army and the leadership of the so-called international coalition, are understated, at least, by 8 times. This was stated by the former Minister of Economy and Foreign Affairs of the Republic in an interview with The Independent. Alyona Pivkina will tell about the discrepancies in the data and the situation in the city.

5,000 people. This is how international media approximately estimate the losses among the peaceful population of Mosul, referring to different sources. But other figures have been obtained. According to the information of the former Minister of Economy and Foreign Affairs of Iraq, Hoshyar Zebari, received from the Kurds, there are 8 times more killed, about 40,000 people. I saw a bigger number, 60,000 dead. At the same time, one must understand that, as I can say, the structure of losses among civilians in Mosul is rather multifactorial.

First, a lot of people died, indeed, from direct combat actions: from bombing, gunshot wounds, under ruins. 80% of the buildings in the city are destroyed, and about 40% of them, as they say, can’t be restored. Let me remind you that the so-called coalition, led by the USA, had been trying to free Mosul from terrorists since last year. But the operation was delayed. Moreover, even now, when it’s already been announced that the militants in the city were defeated, one can talk neither about the liquidation of ISIS in Iraq nor about the beginning of the stabilization of the situation in the country.

There is still a large number of so-called sleeping cells in the city. They’ve already attacked Iraqi troops several times. And it can’t be said that the fighting has stopped altogether, and the final victory has been achieved. In early July, the coalition stated that Mosul was completely freed from the terrorists of the banned ISIS group.

But now, a few citizens of once densely populated city can’t make a step without fearing for their lives. We clear the city from explosive devices every day, so there is constant rumble and noise. People are afraid. They think that these are militant attacks. But we keep the destruction of explosives under control. But it’s not possible to keep the militants under control.

According to the same American intelligence, the terrorists are massively fleeing to the mountain regions in the north of the country, and from there — to neighboring Syria, endangering the peace initiatives of Moscow and Damascus — the return of peaceful life to Aleppo and the work of the center for the reconciliation of the warring parties.

However, there isn’t a word about this in the Western press. But, as if carbon-copied, there are bone-chilling stories about mass deaths of civilians, allegedly under the bombs of the government troops. To give a clear illustration, there are a lot of videos about suffering children. Sometimes the same ones, rescued several times, in different parts of the country. Let’s recall the sensational story with Bana Al-Abed from Aleppo.


A 7-year-old girl, through her Twitter account, without a single mistake in English, described the lack of food, water, and drugs, but she had high-speed Internet, which is noteworthy. However, in the West, they didn’t speak about the humanitarian catastrophe in Mosul, only about military successes, but not a word about failures. There were other examples when strikes were inflicted by mistake and against civilians. There were no militants there.

According to erroneous intelligence, there should have been militants, and attacks were initiated, but only civilians suffered. And these are also facts. This is, so to speak, the manner of combat conduct by the international coalition. Recently, international organization, Amnesty International, has published a report, accusing the coalition of violating the norms of humanitarian law and committing war crimes in Mosul. The coalition didn’t find anything in its defense better than calling the report of the human rights defenders irresponsible.

The UN has already assessed how much it will cost to restore Mosul. By the most conservative estimates: a billion dollars. Everything is destroyed, from sewage to power lines. The United Nations has said that the situation in the Iraqi city is neither more nor less than a real humanitarian catastrophe.