Over 1,300 Civilians Killed since Start of Raqqa Battle, 200,000 More Displaced
More than 1,300 civilians have so far been killed in Raqqa city as battles to capture the city from ISIS have intensified. According to the United Nations, at least 200,000 people have fled the city since April 1.
Local activists said that over 40 people were killed on Thursday after international anti-ISIS coalition jets carried out multiple airstrikes on central Raqqa. Civilian homes inside the city have been subjected to shelling by heavy artillery and guided missiles by the militias of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
Moreover, at least 36 civilians were killed on Wednesday by heavy international coalition airstrikes and artillery fire by SDF targeting the city.
Raqqa city has come under constant bombardment for nearly 50 days by the International coalition and the SDF militia. According to figures compiled by the Syrian Coalition’s media office, a total of 1,342 civilians have so far been killed while hundreds more, half of them women and children, have been injured as a result of the heavy bombardment.
Meanwhile, the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Ursula Mueller told the UN Security Council in a video briefing from Amman, Jordan on Thursday that more than 200,000 civilians have fled their homes in Syria around Raqqa city since April 1. The number included over 30,000 who were displaced in July, Mueller added.
In a press conference held on Friday, the Syrian Coalition strongly condemned attacks on civilians, saying that it deeply regretted the death of civilians at the hands of the International anti-ISIS Coalition.
The Coalition called for an end to attacks on civilians, launching transparent investigations into attacks that have led to the deaths of hundreds and possibly thousands of civilians, including women, children, and entire families.
The Coalition underscored that residents of Raqqa must be allowed to fully administer their province through an elected local council under the supervision of the Syrian Coalition and the Syrian Interim Government (SIG) and with the participation of civil society. It stressed that the city should be administered independently from foreign interference and the influence of extremist forces that do not adhere to the guiding principles of the Syrian revolution and its goals. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)