A top Russian general claimed Tuesday a United States airstrike hit a girls’ school in Mosul Friday, killing 60 people and injuring 200 more, as part of air support for Iraqi forces attempting to retake Iraq's second largest city from the Islamic State terrorist group, Sputnik International reported.
Lt. Gen. Sergei Rudskoi, the chief of the Russian General Staff, said the strike occurred in southern Mosul, one of ISIS' last remaining strongholds in the Middle East. He also said the U.S. had conducted airstrikes in residential areas over the last three days.
"There is an ample evidence of the U.S.-led coalition's airstrikes on residential areas, schools and other civilian infrastructure in Mosul and other inhabited localities in the Nineveh province,” Rudskoi said. “Over 60 people, including children, died as a result of these actions over the last three days. More than 200 were wounded."
International Business Times reached out to the Pentagon for a comment and a spokesperson called the claim “dubious.”
"Rubbish. Russian propaganda intended to deflect attention from their indiscriminate killing of civilians in Aleppo. We've seen several instances like this recently, as Russia reacts to the growing international consensus that their actions in Aleppo are indefensible," a spokesperson for Operation Inherent Resolve’s Combined Joint Task Force told IBTimes in an email.
The accusation comes on the heels of the U.S. and Russia’s rising tensions over their roles in the Middle East region. The U.S. has repeatedly claimed Russia is pummeling residential areas in Aleppo, Syria, in support of the government of President Bashar al-Assad, who is fending off a five-year-long civil war.
The major offensive in Mosul, largely underway by Iraqi security forces and Kurdish militias with U.S. help from the air, began on Oct. 17 and many reports have said the mission has gone well ahead of schedule as Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi attempts to rid ISIS from his country.
Kurdish Peshmerga forces and Iraqi forces reportedly made “advances” Monday on several fronts while ISIS has conducted counterattacks and taken control of the town of Rutba, located in the Anbar province and some 700 kilometers (435 miles) from Mosul, Al-Jazeera reported.
Inherent Resolve's official Twitter account said Tuesday airstrikes had successfully destroyed eight ISIS vehicles in Mosul.
— Inherent Resolve (@CJTFOIR) October 25, 2016