The liberation of Mosul from ISIS came at a high cost, with the death toll continuing to rise as piles of civilian and terrorist corpses are pulled from the rubble daily, RT has discovered on a visit to the destroyed city.
Mosul still reeks of death nearly six months after Iraqi forces aided US-led air strikes “liberated” the city from Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) in July. The source of the city-wide stench are bodies that are rotting under the rubble, RT’s Murad Gazdiev said.
Almost entirely obliterated as a result of eight months of continued air raids, the true magnitude of the disaster in Mosul has yet to be fully realized. Up to 11,000 people perished during the campaign to drive IS out of the city – a third of whom are estimated to have been killed by US-led coalition and Iraqi airstrikes, the findings of a latest AP investigation said. Local doctors, however, say the death toll is significantly higher.
A senior health official in the destroyed city showed the RT crew a book containing some of the casualty tallies. “This book alone contains 7000 dead bodies. I have four or five of these,” said the officer who refused to speak on camera. “Every day we got 2 or 3 more bodies – victims of new explosions.”
“These could be from anything: An ISIS booby-trap. An unexploded Iraqi shell. Or a bomb dropped by the US-led coalition during the battle months ago,” he added.
Mosul 360°: Rubble and ruins from Iraqi military op against ISIS
Visibly exhausted search teams, meanwhile, continue to dig through destroyed buildings looking for corpses. “They cleared away the bodies of civilians that they could see. But they haven’t been able to reach those under collapsed houses,” one of the rescuers told Gazdiev. “Three or four our neighbouring families came here thinking the area was clear – but there were very heavy air strikes. They’re now buried here,” another volunteer pointed.