Airstrikes by a U.S.-led coalition killed over 100 civilians, including 47 children, on May 25 and 26 in Al Mayadeen, Syria, according to a new report (video below).
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that the airstrikes struck the families of ISIS fighters, reports Democracy Now!.
The U.S.-led coalition has confirmed the airstrikes, while Secretary of Defense James Mattis told "Face The Nation" on May 28 that the U.S. is engaging in "annihilation tactics."
According to Airwars, a journalist-led transparency organization, the U.S.-led coalition has killed between a minimum of 3,817 to 6,025 civilians in Iraq and Syria between Aug. 8, 2014, and May 24, 2017; there have been an estimated "10,331 and 15,233 civilian non-combatant fatalities."
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Airwars head Chris Woods told The Intercept how frequent civilian casualties are around Raqqa, Syria:
Rarely a day goes by now when we don’t see three or four civilian casualty incidents attributed to coalition airstrikes around Raqqa. All of the local monitoring groups are now reporting that the coalition is killing more civilians than Russia on a regular basis.
We have been killing a lot of civilians in and around Raqqa for quite some time now, yet these incidents are rarely admitted by the coalition and there is almost no interest from international media. We have to question where the empathy is for the local population.
According to Foreign Policy, the U.S. will no longer confirm which civilian casualties were caused by which coalition partner. This new policy also means that the U.S. will no longer confirm which civilian deaths the U.S. is responsible for. This new secrecy by the Trump administration will likely make it difficult for victims’ families to get justice or financial compensation.
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The Intercept reports that as many as 200,000 civilians are likely trapped in Raqqa, which is a major battleground between ISIS and U.S.-led coalition forces.
Kinda Haddad, an analyst with Airwars, told the news site that U.S.-led coalition airstrikes on civilians have gone up since since January.
"A lot of the civilians left in ISIS territories are the most desperate," Haddad said. "Anyone with money and means has already left, while the ones who have remained until today had no other option."
Jay Morse, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel judge advocate who is now an adviser at the Center for Civilians in Conflict, said that bombing cities usually means more civilian casualties:
Anytime you have urban military operations, avoiding civilian casualties inevitably becomes harder. You have to operate under the assumption that there are civilians everywhere in the city, especially in an operation where the ultimate goal is to liberate these civilians from ISIS.
Civilian harm and the damage that these types of conflicts cause is always underreported and is always underemphasized. But these are the people who are suffering the most, frankly from both sides.