A large number of bodies, many of them women and children, are still buried under the rubble in Mosul after the months-long operation to retake the city. RT’s Murad Gazdiev saw the gruesome aftermath of the battle declared a major success by the US-led coalition.
Multiple corpses of suspected Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) militants – but also civilians – are still lying under the rubble in the sweltering August heat.
Rescuers are working to retrieve corpses buried under collapsed houses, with many buildings literally reduced to ashes – possibly in the aftermath of bombings or artillery strikes. Parts of Mosul that were once residential areas are now ruins.
While the scenes of devastated streets still leave a grim impression, there is another harrowing feature that cannot be seen on television – the sickly odor of decomposing bodies, Gazdiev said.
“You’ve probably heard of thousands killed, the civilian suffering,” he says, standing among the Mosul ruins. “What you likely haven’t heard of is the smell. It’s nauseating, repulsive, and it’s everywhere – the smell of rotting bodies.”
As the RT team walks through the Old City, the camera captures the picture of destruction in what was once Iraq’s second-largest city. Burnt-out vehicles littered along the roadside, damaged walls and empty windows depict the heavy price that civilians paid for the Iraqi and US-led coalition’s Mosul victory.
“Under the rubble there are hundreds and hundreds of corpses – jihadists as well as civilians and families,” Gazdiev reported. Two women and two children have been pulled out just this morning, he said, adding that there’s no end in sight for those whose work is to recover the bodies.