Amnesty International urged the forces of the US-led international anti-ISIS coalition carrying out airstrikes in Syria to redouble efforts to prevent civilian deaths and investigate possible violations of international humanitarian law.
Local activists said that the coalition forces have committed a horrific massacre in the village of Altoukhar near the town of Manbij northeast of Aleppo where over 125 civilians were killed in airstrikes by the coalition forces on 17-18 July.
President of the Syrian Coalition Anas Alabdah on Wednesday sent an urgent letter to the foreign ministers of the international anti-ISIS coalition in the wake of the massacres. Alabdah demanded an immediate suspension of military operations by the international anti-ISIS coalition in Syria to allow for a thorough investigation of these incidents.
“It is essential that such an investigation not only results in revised rules of procedure for future operations, but also informs accountability for those responsible for such major violations,” the letter said.
Magdalena Mughrabi, interim Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa Program at Amnesty International, said: “The bombing of al-Tukhar may have resulted in the largest loss of civilian life by coalition operations in Syria. There must be a prompt, independent and transparent investigation to determine what happened, who was responsible, and how to avoid further needless loss of civilian life.”
“Anyone responsible for violations of international humanitarian law must be brought to justice and victims and their families should receive full reparation,” Mughrabi stressed.
Amnesty International said it had reviewed available information on dozens of suspected coalition airstrikes and found that in the majority of cases in which civilian casualties have been credibly reported, the coalition has dismissed the claims. (Source: Syrian Coalition)