Some 1,873 civilians were killed and thousands were wounded in Raqqa city in artillery shelling by militias of the so-called US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and airstrikes by the international coalition, local activists said. The military operations ended with the expulsion of ISIS from the city earlier this month.
Spokesman for ‘Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently’ media campaign Mohammad Musarea told Smart News Network that the death toll is likely to rise as bodies of victims are still buried under the rubble of bombed buildings.
The media campaign relies on correspondents and medical staff operating in the city to document names of the victims, Musarea said. According to the campaign, airstrikes by the international anti-ISIS coalition killed 208 people and injured hundreds more during September.
According to figures compiled by the media campaign, which was launched following ISIS’s capture of Raqqa in late 2013, 65 percent of the victims were from Raqqa’s locals, while the remaining 35 percent were civilians who were displaced from different areas across Syria.
Activists said that the death toll included the full names of the victims who were killed in aerial bombardment and artillery shelling following declaration by SDF militias of the battle to capture Raqqa from ISIS in June until the SDF militias declared full control of the city in mid-October.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) voiced alarm at a surge in violence resulting in civilian casualties in the IDPs camps in recent weeks.
Earlier this week, the US-led coalition fighting the ISIS extremist group has confirmed another 51 “unintentional civilian deaths” caused by its airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, raising the number of civilians it has acknowledged killing since 2014 to at least 786.
As many as 17 Syrian rights groups and civil society organizations last week called on the US-led coalition forces to place respect for basic human rights at the top of their priorities as military operations in Deir Ezzor province continue to cause mounting civilian casualties. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Smart News Network)