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Friday, March 17, 2017
Contrasting Tales of Two Besieged Cities: Mosul & Aleppo
During the Syrian army’s offensive to retake the eastern part of Aleppo from the insurgent opposition, the Western media portrayed the assault as if Russia and Syria were carrying out a campaign primarily aimed at killing and harming civilians. The humanitarian crisis dominated headlines while key facts, such as Al Qaeda’s domination of the opposition forcesand the way in which the militants had brutally conquered the city’s civilians, were marginalized or not reported at all.
A similar military offensive being carried out by the U.S. and its allies in the Iraqi city of Mosul reveals the hypocritical nature of Western news outlets, which portray their own countries’ actions as targeting only Islamic State terrorists and scrupulously avoiding harm to civilians.
There is no doubt that the siege in eastern Aleppo resulted in a humanitarian crisis for the civilian population trapped within the warzone. As the Washington Institute’s Fabrice Balanche described: “What the United Nations is describing [about] the humanitarian situation is correct: hospitals destroyed, people living in shelters, women and children trapped in the rubble, and so on.”
Yet in reality the destruction waged upon Aleppo was hardly different from what is now being done in Mosul as the U.S.-led coalition carries out a similar campaign of counterinsurgency and siege warfare.