Syria war: 'Dozens of civilians killed' in Raqqa air strikes

Cheryl Sanders
August 23, 2017

The US has been heavily backing the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in their push to capture Raqqa from the IS.

Nine women and 11 children were among the victims, mostly from bombing by the US-led coalition on Friday and Saturday, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group.

The latest figures for Monday's raids take to 167 the number of civilians killed in coalition strikes since August 14, after the Observatory said at least 27 were killed on Sunday.

Last month, the Syrian Network for Human Rights documented the death of 1,400 civilians, including 308 children and 203 women, in Raqqah in the past eight months.

"The tolls are high because the air strikes are hitting neighbourhoods in the city centre that are densely packed with civilians", SOHR director Rami Abdel Rahman told the AFP news agency.

In the most recent monthly civilian casualty report released by US Central Command on August 4, the military admitted to 624 "likely" civilian casualties since the beginning of Operation Inherent Resolve more than three years ago.

The SDF is heavily backed by the US-led coalition, which has regularly launched air strikes against the extremists that have reportedly killed scores of civilians.

As the battle rages in Raqqa, thousands of people flee to the fringes of the city before enduring lack of clean water and insufficient medical services in camps.

An estimated 18,000 to 25,000 civilians remain trapped in the city and are increasingly exposed to hostilities.

The UN condemns attacks directed against civilians and civilian infrastructure.

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