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Monitors: US-Led Air Strikes Kill At Least 50 More Syrian Civilians

Children killed in a reported May 9 US-led air strike on al-Salhiya village north of the de facto Islamic State capital of Raqqa, Syria. (Photo: Amaq News screen grab)

US-led coalition air strikes have killed dozens more Syrian civilians in and around the de facto Islamic State (IS) capital of Raqqa in recent days, local media and human rights monitors report.

On Wednesday, Moral Low Ground reported between 53 and 76 Syrian civilians were killed, and another 60-95 injured, in US-led bombing during the first week of May, according to figures compiled from local and international media as well as independent monitors including Airwars, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) and Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently (RBSS).

From May 8 through May 11, at least 50 and as many as 70 more Syrian men, women and children died in US or coalition strikes, with another 43-133 wounded casualties, according to media and monitor sources. The following incidents were reported:

May 8: Airwars, SOHR and local media reported between seven and 10 civilians died, and at least a dozen others were injured, in what Step News Agency said was an attack on a bus in a convoy transporting displaced civilians from the countryside of Homs and eastern Hama. The attack occurred on the outskirts of Raqqa city.

May 8: The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR), RBSS, SOHR and others reported three members of a family, including two brothers — 22-year-old Khaled Ahmad Al Jassem al Kinno, 20-year-old Uday Ahmad al Jassem al Kinno and Hassan Ali Mohammad al Kinno, 25 —  were killed in a coalition air strike on al-Jalaa farm north of Raqqa city.

May 9: Syrian Human Rights Committee (SHRC) and others reported seven civilians including one child died and as many as eight others were wounded in al-Mansoura village, Raqqa province when warplanes believed to belong to the US-led coalition bombed a house there. Five-year-old Jihad Mahmoud al Yatim was killed in the strike.

May 9: Media and monitors reported 12 civilians — including seven or eight women and four children — were killed and as many as two dozen others wounded in a coalition air strike on a home in al-Salhiya village north of Raqqa city. According to reports, when village residents rushed to the bombing site in an attempt to rescue people buried under the rubble, warplanes returned twice to attack them. The IS-linked Amaq News Agency published video of some of the victims.

WARNING: THE FOLLOWING VIDEO CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES OF DEAD AND WOUNDED CIVILIANS, INCLUDING CHILDREN — 

May 9: Turkey-based SMART News Agency reported five members of a family were killed, and three others injured, in a coalition air strike in the al-Thani neighborhood of Tabaqa, Raqqa province.

May 10: Human rights groups reported four civilians, including a woman and two children, died in a coalition air strike in Shanina village north of Raqqa city.

May 11: Media and monitor groups said between 12 and 15 civilians from one family, including four women and eight children, died when US-led warplanes bombed a home in the al-Hashem area north of Raqqa.

Additionally, it is unclear whether US-led coalition, Syrian government or Russian forces were responsible for May 10 air strikes that killed between seven and 14 civilians, including four children, and wounded as many as two dozen others in al-Soor, north east of Deir Ezzor. Five sources blamed the coalition for the attack, three said Russia was responsible and one outlet reported Syrian government forces carried out the strike, according to Airwars.

Longtime dynastic dictator Bashar al-Assad’s forces — backed by Russia, Iran and Hezbollah —  are responsible for the majority of the more than 400,000 Syrians killed during that country’s six-year civil war. However, US-led coalition warplanes from nations including many of America’s NATO allies, Jordan, Turkey and Australia, have carried out thousands of air strikes since intervening in Syria’s civil war in 2014. Airwars claims between 3,294 and 5,281 Iraqi and Syrian civilians have died in nearly 1,300 separate coalition bombing incidents during the anti-IS campaign. SNHR claimed that in March, coalition air strikes killed more Syrian civilians than either IS or Russia. The group said US-led bombing killed 260 civilians, including 34 women and 70 children, in March, compared to 224 killed by Russia and 119 by IS. Only Assad’s forces killed more innocent men, women and children, with 417 civilians, including 46 women and 61 children, dying in March.

More than 15 years of continuous US-led war against Islamist militants in the Middle East, South Asia and North Africa have taken a heavy toll on civilians. Estimates of the number of innocent people killed range from the low hundreds of thousands to over 1.3 million. There has been a dramatic increase in civilian deaths since President Donald Trump — who promised to “bomb the shit out of” IS and kill militants’ innocent families — took office. Since the 1945 nuclear bombings of Japan that ended World War II, US military forces have killed more foreign civilians than any other armed force in the world, by far.

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