A report by Amnesty International said there is strong evidence the US-led coalition fighting the ISIS extremist group in Raqqa violated international law and may have committed war crimes.
In new report released on Tuesday, Amnesty said the US-led coalition had not taken precautions to minimize civilian casualties during the campaign to dislodge ISIS from Raqqa.
The rights group said that many airstrikes by the international coalition killed and injured civilians and destroyed homes and infrastructure, adding that these attacks are part of a wider pattern and provide a strong prima facie case that they violated international humanitarian law.
Amnesty said that its researchers visited 42 US-led coalition airstrike sites across the ruined city and interviewed 112 civilian residents who had survived the carnage and lost loved ones.
Amnesty’s report detailed four emblematic cases of civilian families who were brutally impacted by the relentless aerial bombardment. Between them, they lost 90 relatives and neighbors – 39 from a single family – almost all of them killed by the international coalition airstrikes.
“Witnesses reported that there were no fighters in the vicinity at the time of the attacks. Such attacks could be either direct attacks on civilians or civilian objects or indiscriminate attacks,” the report said of the four cases studied.
The report highlighted other war crime against civilians as leaked videos showed PYD militiamen executing unarmed civilians by shooting them in the streets or in front of their homes.
Amnesty urged the international coalition members to investigate impartially and thoroughly allegations of violations and civilian casualties, and to publicly acknowledge the scale and gravity of the loss of civilian lives and destruction of civilian property in Raqqa. It added that they must also disclose the findings of their investigations and ensure justice and reparation for victims of violations. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)