BAGHDAD — The United Nations says destruction from the Iraqi military operation to retake western Mosul from the Islamic State group is two-and-a-half times greater than it was in eastern Mosul, retaken earlier this year.
Using satellite imagery and information from local researchers, the U.N. said in a news release Thursday it found more than 1,140 housing sites have been destroyed in western Mosul, even though only about half have been retaken by Iraqi forces.
Lise Grande, U.N. Iraq humanitarian co-ordinator , says: "The level of damage in western Mosul is already far greater than in the east, even before the battle to retake the Old City begins."
Analysts say Iraqi forces deployed in the west have less experience in urban battle and are trying to keep casualties down by relying on heavy firepower.
The Associated Press