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Monitor: US Bombing Killing More Syrian Civilians than Assad Air Strikes

(Photo: Daily Times)

Recent US-led coalition air strikes have killed the highest number of Syrian civilians since the air campaign against Islamic State militants began — and more civilians than dictator Bashar al-Assad’s warplanes last month, a leading monitor reports.

The independent UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reports 225 Syrian civilians, including 36 women and 44 children, died in US-led bombings occurring between April 23 and May 23. Air strikes carried out by the Assad regime killed 146 civilians during the same period, SOHR said. The monitor also said that at least 122 IS militants and fighters loyal to Assad died in US-led air strikes during the four-week period.

“The past month of operations is the highest civilian toll since the coalition began bombing Syria,” SOHR director Rami Abdel Rahman told Agence France-Presse. “There has been a very big escalation.”

In the deadliest reported incident attributed to the US-led coalition, dozens of civilians, including at least 12 children, died in May 15 air strikes targeting Abu Kamal in Deir Ezzor province. Reuters reported at least 30 deaths, while Al Jazeera placed the death toll at 59 and blamed US-allied Iraqi warplanes for the attack. Monitor groups reported as many as 60-73 civilian deaths in the attack.

Also:

– Media and monitors reported between 12-30 civilians — mostly women — were killed in May 14 coalition air strikes on A’Keirshi village in Raqqa province. The victims were mostly cotton workers on their way to work, with Al Jazeera reporting 22 women killed in the attack.

– As many as 18 civilians, including three women and nine children ranging in age from six months to 15 years old, died in an April 24 coalition air strike targeting the car of a family trying to escape fierce fighting in the besieged city of Tabaqa, in Raqqa province. The Associated Press reported eight relatives died in the strike, while the independent U.K-based monitor group Airwars and the local monitor Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently (RBSS) posted the names of 17 people killed. RBSS posted photos of some of the youngest victims on its Facebook page.

– On May 7, the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) reported 18 civilians, including 11 children, died in a coalition air strike on Palestine Street in Tabaqa.

– At least 15 civilians were killed and dozens more injured in a May 21 coalition air strike on Kdeiran village, Raqqa province, media and monitors reported.

– Media and monitor groups reported 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 on May 11.

This is not an inclusive account of all civilian casualty incidents attributed to the US-led coalition, it only lists the deadliest reported attacks. According to Airwars, between 3,681 and 5,849 Iraqi and Syrian civilians have died in US-led or Iraqi government attacks since the start of the anti-IS campaign in 2014. The vast majority of the more than 400,000 Syrians killed during the country’s six-year civil war have died at the hands of government troops loyal to longtime dynastic dictator Bashar al-Assad, who is backed by Russia, Iran and the Shia militant group Hezbollah. However, more than 15 years of continuous US-led war against Islamist militants throughout the Middle East, South Asia and North Africa have killed far more innocents, with estimates of the number of civilians killed in the seven nations attacked by US and allied forces ranging from the low hundreds of thousands to over 1.3 million. There has been a surge in civilian deaths during the administration of Donald Trump, who infamously vowed to “bomb the shit” out of IS militants and “take out their families” — a war crime under the Geneva Convention.

Since the August 1945 nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, US military forces have killed more innocent foreign civilians than any other armed force in the world, by far.

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