Russia says 16 US service members killed in Mosul, claims US is hiding deaths

An American soldier takes a selfie at the U.S. army base in Qayyara, south of Mosul October 25, 2016.

A state-run Russian news agency reports 16 U.S. service members have been killed and 27 wounded since the start of the offensive against ISIS near Mosul.

The TASS news agency claims the service members were killed as a result of land minds, indirect fire and friendly airstrikes.

“For the first two weeks of ground military operations taking Mosul killed 16 US servicemen, another 27 were wounded Most deaths and injuries are the result of undermining the troops on land mines, artillery and mortar attacks,” a military source told TASS.

The source claims that two US Special Forces soldiers were killed by a US Air Force B-52H during an airstrike near Mosul.

The Department of Defense has not confirmed these reports, only claiming one death since the operation to liberate Mosul from ISIS began.

“We are unaware of these reports but can confirm that one US Service member was killed Thursday, Oct. 20. Chief Petty Officer Jason Finan was advising the Peshmerga behind the forward line of troops when he was killed by an IED blast, CJTF–OIR’s public affairs office said in an e-mail to RT.

The Pentagon has continuously reinforced the point that the U.S military position in the offensive is that of support, not a combat role.

Some have questioned whether the Pentagon has been completely truthful about the U.S. military’s role as reports and videos have surfaced, disputing military official’s claims.

“If it is true, the US would have to reveal the truth sooner or later. It might cover it up for a couple of days until the election passes, but eventually it will have to come up with the facts,” Daoud Khairallah, professor of international law at Georgetown University, said to RT.

The source claims the White House could be responsible for not releasing news of the deaths because it could have impacted the election for the Democratic Party.

“The capture of Mosul is considered, leaving the White House, the representatives of the Democratic Party as a trump card in the election political game on the line which is the victory of the candidate of Democrat Hillary Clinton.” the source said, according to TASS.

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