September 11, 2017
Dozens of civilians were killed and wounded in airstrikes by the Russian occupation forces on Sunday on eastern rural Deir Ezzor. The airstrikes targeted civilians while they were crossing the Euphrates River to escape the intense bombardment.
The Coalition condemns this crime which is added to an endless litany of war crimes by the Russian invaders against the Syrian people amid complete international silence.
More crimes are also being committed against civilians in the neighborhoods of Raqqa where ISIS fighters are holed up. At least 17 civilians were killed in artillery shelling by militias of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which are backed by the US-led international coalition forces, on Raqqa on Sunday.
Moreover, at least 15 people were reportedly killed in airstrikes by the international anti-ISIS coalition on an ISIS-run prison near the town of Albu Kamal in rural Deir Ezzor.
The Coalition reiterates its condemnation of the relentless shelling on Raqqa by the SDF militias. It is imperative that the international community shoulder its responsibilities to stop the ongoing crimes and massacres against civilians trapped in the city. The international anti-ISIS coalition bears responsibility for the support it provides to the SDF militias.
The Coalition also reaffirms condemnation of the death of civilians by the international coalition forces as it calls for an end to these attacks and the opening of a transparent investigation into these attacks. Measures also need to be taken to ensure accountability for these attacks and more needs to be done than making of bald statements while waiting for time to pass by.
The fight against ISIS cannot be done by killing civilians nor by supporting the Assad regime or other terrorist militias. Terrorism and extremism cannot be defeated once and for all unless the international community takes a firm position towards the source of terrorism, namely the Assad regime which bears the primary responsibility for the spread of terrorism in Syria and the region.
We reaffirm the Coalition’s clear position of the fight terrorism and the importance of liberating Raqqa and all Syria from the ISIS extremist group through supporting the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and showing full commitment to the protection and safety of civilians.