At least 1,800 civilians were killed in the offensive by the US-backed militias of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to dislodge the ISIS extremist group from Raqqa city, a monitoring group said.
In a report released on Thursday, the London-based non-profit Airwars.org said that at least 700 victims have so far been locally named. Some were hit in their homes, some as they fled or reportedly tried to retrieve bodies.
The monitoring group pointed out that several thousands of civilians managed to flee Raqqa during the last week of fighting, following an agreement that also saw the surrender and evacuation of around 275 ISIS fighters.
Fadel Abdul Ghany, Director of the Syrian Network for Human Rights, said his researchers estimated the civilian death toll in Raqqa since June at 1,854, of which 1,058 were the responsibility of Coalition forces. According to the Network’s estimates, ISIS was responsible for 311 deaths, and SDF militias for 191 civilian fatalities.
Save the Children charity group on Tuesday warned that “some 270,000 people who have fled the Raqqa fighting are still in critical need of aid, and camps are bursting at the seams.”
The Syrian Coalition earlier condemned the indiscriminate bombardment of civilians in Raqqa, calling for the opening of an investigation into the death of civilians and ensuring that those responsible are held accountable. The Coalition urged the United Nations to open safe corridors for civilians and the delivery of humanitarian aid to those in need. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)