Activists: Coalition strike kills 20 in ISIS-held part of Syria
BEIRUT — Syrian activists are blaming the U.S.led coalition for an early morning airstrike Wednesday that killed at least 20 civilians in a part of Syria held by the Islamic State group.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 20 people were killed and about 30 wounded in the strike on the village of Heisha. The village is north of the extremist group’s de facto capital, Raqqa.
U.S. Col. John Dorrian, a spokesman for the U.S.-led forces, said the coalition had conducted strikes in the area but could not confirm whether there were civilian casualties.
The international force is flying dozens of sorties in the region in support of a U.S.-backed push by Syrian Kurdish forces on Raqqa.
Meanwhile, the U.S. military says 64 civilians were killed and eight were injured in 24 coalition airstrikes in Iraq and Syria over the past year, based on newly completed investigations.
U.S. Central Command says the latest totals bring the number of civilians killed in airstrikes in the fight against the Islamic State group to 119, with an additional 37 injured.
Col. John Thomas, Central Command spokesman, says the investigations concluded that the proper military process was followed in each incident.
The cases announced Wednesday include strikes f rom l ast November through September. They don’t include a July airstrike that may have killed 56 civilians near Manbij, Syria, and a September attack.
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