international coalition acknowledges killing 61 civilians in syria
Last Updated : GMT 06:49:16
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Last Updated : GMT 06:49:16
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As ISIS killed 13 SDF militants in Raqqa

International Coalition acknowledges killing 61 civilians in Syria

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Arab Today, arab today International Coalition acknowledges killing 61 civilians in Syria

he U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State
Damascus - Noura Khowam

The U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State militants said on Friday it had confirmed another 61 likely civilian deaths caused by its strikes in Iraq and Syria, raising to 685 the number of civilians it has acknowledged killing since the conflict began.

The coalition said in a statement that during July, it had investigated 37 reports of civilian casualties. It found that only 13 of the reports were credible and there were an estimated 61 unintentional civilian deaths.

The coalition is investigating another 455 reports of civilian casualties caused by its artillery or air strikes, the statement said. It has now acknowledged at least 685 civilian deaths due to its air and artillery strikes since the conflict began in August 2014.

The deadliest incident investigated in July was a March 14 strike near Mosul, in which the coalition attacked an Islamic State position where fighters were firing at coalition allies. That strike is believed to have killed 27 civilians in an adjacent structure, the statement said.

In the same context, The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights informed, on Thursday, that 13 members of the Syrian Democratic Forces were killed, in battles with the Islamic State (ISIS) militants, in the city of Raqqa and countryside of Hasakah.

The observatory reported that ongoing battles are taking place between the Syrian Democratic Forces militias and the Islamic State militants, in the countryside of Raqqa, where the SDF militias managed to capture the Panorama Garden, west of the city.

Furthermore, the observatory added that the US-led international coalition conducted an aerial landing operation in the countryside of Deir Ezzor City, in addition to another landing operation in al-Ma’mel area, near the city.

A convoy of ISIS fighters and their families being evacuated into another ISIS-held territory in east Syria remained in government-held areas of Syria on Friday, US-led forces said.

According to Reuters, there are about 300 fighters and about 300 civilians in the convoy, which the Syrian army and Lebanon’s Iran-backed militia group, Hezbollah, gave safe passage to after they surrendered their enclave on Syria’s border with Lebanon.

“It has not managed to link up with any other ISIS elements in eastern Syria,” Colonel Ryan Dillon, spokesman for the US-led coalition fighting ISIS said.

But the coalition against ISIS has used air strikes to block the convoy from crossing into the group’s main territory straddling Syria’s eastern border with Iraq.

The ISIS fighters in the border pocket accepted a truce and evacuation deal after simultaneous but separate offensives by the Lebanese army on one front and the Syrian army and Hezbollah on the other.
It angered both the coalition, which does not want the fighters bussed to a battlefront in which it is active, and Iraq, which is fighting ISIS across the border.

“We are continuing to monitor that convoy and will continue to disrupt its movement east to link up with any other ISIS element and we will continue to strike any other ISIS elements that try to move towards it,” Dillon said.

The departure of ISIS and other groups from the Western Qalamoun district means the border with Lebanon is Syria’s first to be controlled entirely by its army since early in the conflict.

Qara is only a few miles from the mountains delineating the frontier with Lebanon, in which ISIS and other militant groups held territory until August.

Part of an agreed exchange under the truce went ahead on Thursday as wounded ISIS fighters were swapped for the bodies of pro-government forces. But the fate of the main part of the convoy is uncertain.
“It was moving this morning and then they had stopped. I don’t know if they stopped for a break or were trying to figure out what to do,” Dillon said.

 

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international coalition acknowledges killing 61 civilians in syria international coalition acknowledges killing 61 civilians in syria

 



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