teleSURtv & The Empire Files – 2016-08-11 23:10:05
Over 1,500 Civilians Killed by US Coalition in Iraq and Syria
(August 8, 2016) — Monitoring group Airwars said the US-led coalition against the Islamic State group has killed more than 1,500 people as the operation turns two.
More than 1,500 people have been killed by the US-led coalition against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, London-based Airwars monitoring group said in a report released on the second anniversary of the beginning of the airstrikes against the extremist group.
“To August 8th 2016 — the second anniversary of the air war — an overall total of between 3,462 and 4,736 civilian non-combatant fatalities had been alleged from 527 separate reported incidents, in both Iraq and Syria,” Airwars said in a report.
“Of these, Airwars presently estimates that a minimum of 1,568 civilians are likely to have died in Coalition actions.”
The monitoring group said the coalition carried out more than 14,300 strikes defined as any raid in which one or more munitions are dropped. Also the coalition increased its attacks against the Islamic State group in the second year by 39 percent.
The group added that “at least 441 children and 245 women are reported to be among those killed in confirmed and likely events, along with 1,355 or more civilians reportedly injured.” The group added that the US-coalition has only admitted to killing less than 50 civilians.
Most of those strikes, 95 percent of them according to Airwars, have been carried out by the US military. While the coalition includes 12 countries including the U.K., France and Saudi Arabia, Washington is responsible for rules of engagement for the entire coalition,
The news comes a few weeks after a US airstrike killed at least 56 civilians near the Syrian town of Manbij during battles between the anti-Syrian government group, the Syria Democratic Forces and the Islamic State group.
Also Airwars told Middle East Eye last month that the US-led coalition “appears to have loosened its rules of engagement in Syria and is putting civilian lives at greater risk.”
The US says that after two years of airstrikes the extremist group’s territory shrunk by 40 percent in Iraq, and between 10 and 20 percent in Syria.
However, the large death toll casts doubts on foreign interventions in Syria by a range of countries and groups as they battle the extremist group at the expense of the local population.
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US Makes ‘Mistake’ Again,
Kills 56 Civilians in Syria Strike
(July 19, 2016) — A monitoring group said the US-led coalition hit people fleeing fighting around Manbij city, bringing the number of civilians killed since June to 164.
An airstrike by the United States-led coalition killed at least 56 civilians Tuesday north of the besieged Islamic State group-held city of Manbij in northern Syria, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in a report.
The group said the strike, which killed at least 11 children, targeted a group of civilians who were fleeing the fighting around the city between the multi-ethnic Syria Democratic Forces, or SDF, an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters, and fighters with the extremist group.
The SDF had launched an offensive to retake Manbij city late May with backing by the US coalition. So far, the SDF has surrounded and fought their way into parts of the city, but the Islamic State group attacks still occur in some areas of the surrounding countryside.
The monitoring group said the US coalition planes may have “mistaken” the civilians for fighters of the Islamic State group.
Also Monday, 21 people were killed in raids believed to have been conducted by US-led coalition aircraft on Manbij’s northern Hazawneh quarter.
The Observatory said at least 160 civilians have died from airstrikes since the start of the Manbij offensive in late May.
Colonel Chris Garver, a spokesman for the US coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, refused to admit the killings by his aircrafts and added that he was looking into reports of civilian deaths but was being “extraordinarily careful to make sure” airstrikes were killing extremists fighters.
Meanwhile, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights recently voiced concern for the roughly 70,000 civilians believed to be trapped between warring parties in Manbij.
“Civilians have … reportedly been killed if they leave their homes or attempt to flee. Families are unable to access local cemeteries to bury their relatives who have died or been killed, and are burying them in their gardens or keeping the corpses in bunkers,” Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said.
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