The Telegraph – 2017-07-06 16:58:59
US Coalition Air Strike Kills 33 Civilians At Syrian School
(March 22, 2017) — A suspected US air strike on a school being used as a shelter by families displaced from the ISIL-held Syrian city of Raqqa killed at least 33 people on Tuesday, in the latest high civilian casualty raid by the coalition.
A school being used by some 50 families in Mansoura, 15 miles from the capital of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)’s so-called caliphate, was leveled by airstrikes on Tuesday morning.
The death toll is expected to rise, according to local activists, who said bodies were still being pulled from the rubble and many families were unaccounted for.
The nearest ISIL installation to the site of the air strike was a religious school two miles away, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
“All remaining hospitals in the countryside have been rendered inoperable,” said one activist from the anti-ISIL group Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently.
“The international coalition indiscriminately bombs the city, civilians expect their death coming down from the sky.”
A coalition raid on a mosque outside the city of Aleppo last Thursday evening left as many as 46 dead, making it the deadliest for civilians alleged against the coalition since it began its campaign against ISIL two years ago.
They said the mosque had not been their target, saying they had intended to hit a building nearby which was being used as a meeting place for al-Qaeda-linked rebel fighters.
Earlier this month, the coalition said its raids in Syria and Iraq and unintentionally killed at least 220 civilians. But other monitors say the number is far higher. Airwars, a UK-based organization, which monitors international air strikes against ISIL, suggested as many as 370 civilian deaths could be attributed to coalition raids in the first week of March alone.
The White House is considering lifting rules of engagement enacted by the Obama administration that sought to avoid civilian deaths.
The coalition has stepped up its air campaign in recent months as it prepares for a ground assault to retake the strategic Syrian city from the jihadists.
Top officials from the 68-nation alliance fighting ISIL are set to meet in Washington later today to hear more about US President Donald Trump’s plan to destroy the jihadists’ remaining strongholds in Iraq and Syria.
Since taking office, Mr Trump has increased the number of US advisers on the ground in Syria as part of his promise to eradicate Islamist terror in the war-torn country.
Copyright The Telegraph Media Group
Airstrike on Mosque
Near Aleppo in Syria ‘Kills 42’
The Telegraph, Foreign Staff
(March 17, 2017) — Warplanes struck a mosque in the rebel-held village of al-Jina, in northwest Syria, killing at least 42 people and wounding dozens, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said on Thursday.
The jets struck the village, southwest of Atarib near Aleppo, as the mosque was full of worshippers at evening prayer, said the Observatory, which monitors the Syrian war via a network of contacts across the country.
The US military said it carried out an air strike on Thursday against al-Qaeda militants, killing several, at a meeting location in Idlib province, but it was unclear if it was referring to the attack on Al-Jina.
It said in a statement that Idlib had been a significant safe haven for Al Qaeda in recent years. The US has struck dozens of locations in northwestern Syria in the past, targeting al-Qaeda-linked militants.
Syrian and Russian military have also carried out many air strikes in Idlib and Aleppo provinces during the war.
Al-Jina is located in one of the main rebel-held parts of Syria, the northwest that includes Idlib province and the western parts of Aleppo province, and its population has been swollen by refugees, UN agencies have said.
Rebels in northwest Syria fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad also include groups supported by Turkey, the United States and Gulf monarchies.
The airstrike on the mosque came a day after suicide attacks in the capital, Damascus, killed at least 30 people on the sixth anniversary of the start of the Syrian conflict.
The civil war has killed about 400,000 people, wounded more than a million and displaced half the country’s population. Meanwhile, anti-aircraft missiles launched were from Syria into Israeli-controlled territory early on Friday following a series of Israeli airstrikes in Syria, the Israeli military said.
The military said its warplanes struck several targets in Syria and were back in Israeli-controlled airspace when several anti-aircraft missiles were launched from Syria toward the Israeli jets.
Israeli aerial defence systems intercepted one of the missiles, the army said. It would not say whether any other missiles struck Israeli-held territory, but it said the safety of Israeli civilians and the safety of the Israeli aircraft “were not compromised.”
The army said the incident was the cause of sirens that wailed in Jewish settlement communities in the Jordan Valley area of the West Bank. The military would not immediately comment on media reports that explosions were heard in the area.
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