Coali­tion raid­sonSyria’s Raqa kill 29 civil­ians in 24 hours: Mon­i­tor

Muscat Daily - - NATION -

Beirut, Le­banon - US-led coali­tion raids on Raqa in north­ern Syria have killed 29 civil­ians over the past 24 hours as Amer­i­can­backed forces bat­tle the Is­lamic State group, a mon­i­tor said on Tues­day.

The Bri­tain-based Syr­ian Ob­ser­va­tory for Hu­man Rights said nine women and 14 chil­dren had been killed in coali­tion air raids on Raqa city since Mon­day evening.

It said 14 of the dead were mem­bers of one fam­ily. The toll could rise be­cause of the num­ber of crit­i­cally wounded, it added.

The Amer­i­can-led coali­tion bat­tling IS in Syria and Iraq on Tues­day en­tered its fourth year of op­er­a­tions.

It be­gan on Au­gust 8, 2014 in Iraq, mov­ing later to bat­tle the ex­trem­ists in neigh­bour­ing Syria.

The United States is back­ing an Arab-Kur­dish al­liance that is fight­ing to oust IS from Raqa, its main Syr­ian strong­hold, and the prov­ince of the same name.

The Ob­ser­va­tory, which re­lies on a net­work of sources in­side Syria for its in­for­ma­tion, has reg- ularly re­ported civil­ians killed by coali­tion strikes.

It says it de­ter­mines what air­craft car­ried out raids ac­cord­ing to their type, lo­ca­tion, flight pat­terns and the mu­ni­tions in­volved.

The United States has ad­mit- ted that its strikes caused the deaths of 624 civil­ians since 2014. Rights or­gan­i­sa­tions say the num­ber is far higher.

United Na­tions war crimes in­ves­ti­ga­tors in June ex­pressed alarm at the rise in civil­ian deaths in the fight for Raqa.

In­ten­si­fied airstrikes had caused ‘stag­ger­ing loss of civil­ian life’ and led to 160,000 civil­ians flee­ing their homes, Paulo Ser­gio Pin­heiro, head of the UN Com­mis­sion of In­quiry, told re­porters.

Cap­tured by the ex­trem­ists in 2014, Raqa be­came a sym­bol of atroc­i­ties by IS in its self-de­clared ‘caliphate’.

The Syr­ian Demo­cratic Forces al­liance be­gan a cam­paign to cap­ture the city last year, slowly en­cir­cling the city be­fore break­ing into it for the first time in June.

(AFP)

Syr­ian fam­i­lies who fled from the IS group’s strong­hold of Raqa ar­rive in the vil­lage of Hawi al Hawa, less than 2km west of the city, on Tues­day

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