Department of Media and Communications
January 4, 2019
At least 13 civilians, mostly children, were killed in airstrikes by the international anti-ISIS coalition on the town of Al-Shaafa in eastern rural Deir Ezzor on Thursday. The airstrikes came as parts of attempts by the international coalition to finish off the last remaining redoubts of the ISIS extremist group in Syria before the completion of the US withdrawal from Syria. The international coalition forces have recently intensified airstrikes on the ISIS-held areas in Deir Ezzor province.
The Syrian Coalition condemns this massacre and all other attacks causing civilian casualties as it stresses its rejection of justifications for the massacres resulting from airstrikes by the international coalition. It underscores the need for the launch of a thorough investigation into all attacks by the international coalition causing civilian casualties and to hold accountable officials and compensate the victims.
Military operations targeting ISIS-held areas, especially at this critical juncture, must be carried out with the utmost precision, coordination and organization. It is unacceptable that civilians are paying a heavy price as a result of hastiness and recklessness amounting to showing disregard for the lives of innocent civilians. The international anti-ISIS coalition must assume its responsibilities in case civilian casualties took place.
The Syrian Coalition is closely following the operations of the international anti-ISIS coalition in Syria. The Free Syrian Army, in coordination with the Turkish side, is developing plans to prevent any unintended consequences that may result from the vacuum that may result from the withdrawal of US forces from Syria, especially if this withdrawal takes place without adequate coordination.