Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Some 300 civilians may have died from the bombings: Amnesty urges US-led coalition to come clean about civilian deaths in Syria

The US-led international coalition forces should come clean about the extent of civilian deaths caused by their airstrikes in Syria by conducting thorough investigations and disclosing the findings, Amnesty International said Wednesday.

In a statement, the NGO said that 11 bombings by the international alliance appear to have killed some 300 civilians over the course of two years of bombing against the Islamic State in Syrian territory.

Amnesty stressed that until now US authorities have not responded to a report sent by the NGO to the Department of Defense on Sept. 28 in which the actions of the coalition forces in Syria are questioned.

Data collected and analyzed by the NGO from various sources about the attacks suggests that the US Central Command (CENTCOM), which leads the coalition operations in Syria, could have failed to adopt important precautions to avoid civilian casualties.

"We fear the US-led Coalition is significantly underestimating the harm caused to civilians in its operations in Syria," said Lynn Maalouf, deputy director for research at Amnesty International's Beirut regional office.

The group stressed that the evidence they have suggests that some of the attacks from the coalition might have been disproportionate, and even indiscriminate.

Amnesty added that according to information from local human rights organizations, media reports, eyewitnesses and satellite images, some 300 civilians may have died from the bombings.

This is a conservative estimate compared with tolls from other monitoring groups, which put the number of deaths from coalition bombings at 600 to 1,000.

One of the most recent bombings detailed in the Amnesty report is the attack on July 19 in the village of al-Tujar, on the outskirts of Manbech city, Aleppo province, where at least 73 civilians were killed and 30 wounded.

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