Whether from ISIS shells or US-led coalition bombs, civilians suffering in Mosul

The fight for Mosul, Islamic State’s capital in Iraq, is taking a heavy toll on the city’s civilian population. RT recounts the horrifying stories of some of the victims.

While the US-led coalition claims it does everything possible to avoid “collateral damage” when conducting airstrikes on Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), in reality, civilians wounded in their attacks are suffering just the same as those hurt by the shells and snipers of the jihadists.

Here are some of the stories that victims told RT’s sister video agency, Ruptly, about the siege in Mosul.

Iraq: Severely injured 5-yo girl sole survivor of Mosul airstrike

Five-year-old Hawraa was severely injured on March 16, when an airstrike destroyed her family’s home in the Jadeda neighborhood, said her father Ala, who believes the bombs were intended for IS fighters manning a shooting position in a house nearby.

“There were four people in the house, only she survived,” he said. Hawraa’s mother was among those killed in the coalition airstrike.

Iraq: Civilians trapped under rubble after deadly airstrikes destroy Mosul homes *GRAPHIC*

When airstrikes destroyed several houses on Tal Alruman street on March 11, as many as 25 people were left trapped under the debris, and their neighbors and relatives were unable to get them out, Fath Ahmad Abdulla, whose brother was among the victims, told Ruptly.

“ISIS was fighting here, behind the house. They tried to run behind the school. Then the house was bombed by aircraft,” he explained.

Another resident, Abdulhamed Mahmud, said more than 100 houses had been hit by airstrikes in the neighborhood since the siege began.

Ibrahim Rfaee was burying his grandmother Khalas when Ruptly interviewed him on March 12. Khalas was killed by a stray bullet while fleeing Mosul’s Tal Alruman district, which has been subjected to what he called “random bombing” by the coalition.

“Daesh go on the rooftops of the houses and the families don’t know. Then the aircrafts come and bomb it,” he explained, referring to the terrorist group by its Arabic acronym. “We are asking the coalition planes to be specific when they bomb. They were bombing randomly,” he stressed.

Iraq: Victims of Iraqi forces and IS fighters treated at hospital in Kurdistan

On March 7, Ruptly interviewed several patients at West Erbil Emergency Hospital in Iraqi Kurdistan, who were being treated for injuries received during the Mosul siege.

“When the army entered our neighborhood, they started fighting with ISIS, and we were in the middle, on the receiving end of both sides,” one Mosul resident said.

“ISIS came and kicked us out of our house. We ran looking for a safe place, and suddenly there was an explosion,” said another. “My father was injured and my brother was killed. My younger brother and sister were hit on the head and I was hit on the shoulder.”

READ MORE: 360° car bomb: Death machine filmed by RT Ruptly in bombed-out Mosul house (VIDEO)

There are an estimated 600,000 civilians caught in the crossfire of the Mosul operation, with tens of thousands fleeing the violence over the past month. The number of civilian deaths is difficult to estimate, and it is even harder to attribute them to either IS attacks or US-coalition airstrikes.

The US has given a conservative figure of 200 for civilian deaths inflicted by coalition airstrikes in Mosul, but a UK-based monitoring group, Airwars, says the true number may be more than ten times higher.

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3 killed, 28 injured in militant shelling of govt-held Aleppo (GRAPHIC IMAGES)

Three people have been killed, including a seven-year-old girl, and 28 more injured after militants shelled residential areas of government-held West Aleppo, reports RT correspondent Murad Gazdiev, who is there and has spoken to those injured.

The attacks, which targeted West Aleppo’s Hamdaniya district and Salah-Eddin neighborhood, lasted for hours, Gazdiev said, citing his sources on the ground.

Today’s barrage began in the early hours of the morning, at dawn. It lasted through to midday. And that is perhaps the worst possible time, as hundreds of thousands of children and adults go to school and to work,” the RT reporter said. “The casualties at this time are always high,” he stressed.

@MuradGazdiev A morning in : rebel shelling has killed 3, injured 28 civilians. Over 15 explosions so far. And it's not even lunch time yet.

Following the devastating shelling, Gazdiev witnessed the wounded people brought to the hospital first hand. He managed to speak to a resident who was injured, but survived the attack.

@SANAEnOfficial SANA reporter: A child killed, 15 people injured in terrorists' rocket shells targeted Salah-Eddin neighborhood in Aleppo city.

I was in my stall talking to a customer. And I felt something hit my shoulder and neck. I saw all the people dive down and fall… There was a scream, I don’t know from where. The next moment I’m at the hospital,” he told RT.

According to the man, one of the shells hit a “vegetable and fruit market.”

Militants and terrorists standing their ground in East Aleppo have been repeatedly shelling the western part of the city, which is currently under government control. On October 18, at least three people were killed and dozens injured when the Jamiliya neighborhood was shelled.

Two days later, Russia and Syria initiated a three day humanitarian pause to give civilians and militants that wanted to leave East Aleppo safe passage out. Both Damascus and Moscow had halted their anti-terrorist airstrikes earlier. However, not a single civilian managed to get out of the besieged areas during the pause, which ended on October 22.

Gazdiev, who was at one of the special corridors created by the Syrian government and the Russian Reconciliation center, said no civilians had been let through. The same applied for the rest of the corridors, according to the UN. Instead, the “militants and terrorists shelled the crossings,” where ambulances and buses were waiting for anyone coming out of East Aleppo, Gazdiev said.

Last week, an RT crew managed to speak to people with relatives still trapped in the militant-held part of Aleppo. A woman, whose three children are living with their grandmother there, said “they are doing very badly.”

They do not have food or drink – nothing,” she said.

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