Aerial attacks by the US-led coalition near Raqqa killed at least 84 civilians, including 30 children in March, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report released Monday. The conclusions were based on an on-the-ground investigation into the attacks.
The 42-page report, “All Feasible Precautions? Civilian Casualties in Anti-ISIS Coalition Airstrikes in Syria,” documented coalition attacks in March on a school housing displaced families in the town of Mansourah and a market and a bakery in the town of Tabqa west of Raqqa city.
“These attacks killed dozens of civilians, including children, who had sought shelter in a school or were lining up buy bread at a bakery,” said Ole Solvang, deputy emergencies director at Human Rights Watch.
“If coalition forces did not know that there were civilians at these sites, they need to take a long, hard look at the intelligence they are using to verify its targets because it clearly was not good enough,” Solvang added.
HRW said the first of the two strikes was on March 20, and killed at least 40 people including 16 children at the Badia school in Mansourah. The second was on March 22 and killed at least 44 people including 14 children at the Tabqa market and bakery.
In August, the US-led anti-ISIS coalition acknowledged the deaths of 624 civilians in its strikes in Syria and Iraq since 2014.
The US-led coalition has been carrying out airstrikes against ISIS targets in Syria since September 2014 in coordination with the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
The Syrian Coalition earlier condemned the airstrikes against civilians in Raqqa and called for an urgent investigation into these crimes and for holding those responsible accountable. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)