Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Xinhua News – 2017-08-07 20:28:24
US Airstrikes Kill at Least 43 Civilians in Syria’s Raqqa
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com
RAQQA, Syria (August 6, 2017) â€“ New reports out of the ISIS capital city of Raqqa say US airstrikes hit a number of residential districts in the city over the course of Saturday, killing at least 43 civilians and wounding an unknown, but substantial number of others.
There was no obvious specific target for the strikes, though the US has been generally targeting ISIS forces within the city to try to back the Kurdish-led invasion. The casualties in this case, however, appear to be overwhelmingly civilians.
Dina Asa’ad, a Raqqa-based Red Crescent official, was also quoted saying that US coalition airstrikes had targeted the National Hospital in Raqqa just days ago, saying the bombs damaged the electricity generator and forced the closure of damaged wards.
Though the Syrian government had broadly been fine with the Kurdish YPG invading ISIS territory, they have complained to the UN Security Council about the US airstrikes, saying they are excessively targeting civilians and basic infrastructure
43 Civilians Killed in US-led Airstrikes in Syria’s Raqqa
DAMASCUS, (August 6, 2017) — At least 43 civilians were killed Saturday by a fresh round of US-led airstrikes on the northern city of Raqqa, state news agency SANA reported.
SANA said the victims lost their lives when the US-led warplanes carried out several air raids at noon Saturday, targeting residential areas in Raqqa.
This comes hours after seven children were killed in Raqqa overnight Friday.
SANA said the US coalition went on a spree of airstrikes targeting the residential areas in the city.
Meanwhile, Dina Asa’ad, a Raqqa-based official in the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC), said the coalition carried out an attack on Thursday evening on Raqqa with white phosphorous.
In remarks carried by SANA, Asa’ad said the white phosphorous bombs struck the National Hospital in Raqqa.
“Over 20 bombs struck the hospital, which damaged the electricity generators, ambulances and several wards inside the hospital,” she was quoted as saying.
The hospital serves over 100,000 people in the city, she noted.
Asa’ad pointed out that there is no presence of the IS militants in the hospital, adding that what Raqqa is subject to cannot be fighting terrorism, but destruction.
“The attacks targeted schools and bakeries. Even the government institutions have been completely destroyed as well as the water wells in the city,” she said.
Fawaz Assaf, the head of SARC in Raqqa, said the US-led coalition and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which are jointly fighting IS in Raqqa, are implementing the “scorched land” tactic.
Over 65 governmental institutions and buildings have been completely obliterated, he said, adding that the sugar factory is the most important of those destroyed establishments.
He added that the shelling and airstrikes hit the schools, banks, marketplaces, and bakeries, noting that the streets have become empty of buyers.
Two months ago, the SDF, with help of the US, unleashed a wide-scale offensive to drive out IS from Raqqa, seizing control of 45 percent of the city.
But the Syrian government has countlessly complained to the UN Security Council about what it described as “the crimes of the coalition” in targeting civilians and destroying infrastructure.
The Syria Foreign Ministry has urged the UN to dissolve the US-led coalition, which started its operations in Syria in 2014.
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