Hundreds of Civilian Casualties Reported after Coalition Airstrikes in Syria
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SYRIA (NSP) — Multiple reports of civilian casualties are flooding in from the town of Manbij in Northern Syria as the US trained Syrian Arab Coalition (SAC) attempts to liberate the ISIL-occupied territory, according to reports from watchdog groups.
The siege began on May 21 and the estimated 700,000 non-combatants have been caught between SAC forces, ISIL snipers and US led airstrikes. Watchdog group AirWars, which compiles information from local media activists, rebel groups and local journalists, estimates 190 civilians may have died from airstrikes.
The airstrikes are part of Operation Inherent Resolve, a Coalition led air campaign by the United States, which aims to defeat ISIL in Iraq and Syria.
Of the 190 alleged civilian casualties, 39 or more are suspected to be children and 23 are reported to be women. An additional 134 civilians were reported injured. Local monitor groups have been naming the victims including Leen Samer Yusuf Waik, 9, who was allegedly killed while with her grandfather in a July 9 incident.
11-year old Leen Samer Yusuf Waik among 3 named victims reported killed in Coalition strikes on Manbij centre July 9 pic.twitter.com/AOU7JT0wIu
— Airwars (@airwars_) July 11, 2016
July 11 through 18 has seen the greatest weekly number of claimed Coalition civilian casualty events, according to AirWars. A recent event Tuesday in the Syrian town of Tokhaz, claimed the lives of 59 civilians in what AirWars believes to be the largest alleged civilian casualty event since the start of the campaign two years ago.
Graphic photos have surfaced online of a mass grave in which the victims were buried.
Data and press releases by the Coalition have shown that there have been 450 airstrikes near the town of Manbij since the siege began in May. Almost every single airstrike was conducted by the United States, according to official data. Approximately 637 strikes have been conducted in Syria from May 22 to July 17; Coalition partners conducted only 13 of them.
CENTCOM provided a statement to the North Star Post stating: “We can confirm the Coalition conducted airstrikes near Manbij, Syria recently. We are aware of reports alleging civilian casualties in the area. As with any allegation we receive, we will review any information we have about the incident, including information provided by third parties, such as the proximity of the location to CJTF airstrikes, and any other relevant information presented. If the information supporting the allegation is determined to be credible, we will then determine the next appropriate step. We take all measures during the targeting process to avoid or minimize civilian casualties or collateral damage and to comply with the principles of the Law of Armed Conflict.”
Last month AirWars released a report stating they found likely civilian deaths in Syria for the past six months had increased by 38 percent.
The United States is the only nation of the 12-nation coalition that has admitted to civilian casualties despite more than 13,000 coalition strikes and 49,917 bombs and missiles dropped.
The United States is still the primary force behind the coalition, conducting 10,577 of the total 13,803 strikes conducted in Iraq and Syria, according to Department of Defense data.
As of May 15, 2016, the total cost of operations since August 8, 2014, is $7.5 billion and the average daily cost is $11.7 million, according to the DoD
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