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  Syrian Opposition calls for end to US-led airstrikes

Syrian Opposition calls for end to US-led airstrikes

REUTERS
Published : Jul 22, 2016, 7:07 am IST
Updated : Jul 22, 2016, 7:07 am IST

The head of the Opposition Syrian National Coalition called for a suspension of the US-led air campaign against Islamic State in Syria while reports of dozens of civilian deaths from airstrikes around

The head of the Opposition Syrian National Coalition called for a suspension of the US-led air campaign against Islamic State in Syria while reports of dozens of civilian deaths from airstrikes around the northern city of Manbij are investigated.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 56 civilians were killed in air strikes north of Manbij on Tuesday, a day after it said 21 civilians were killed in a northern district of the besieged, Islamic State-held city.

 

SNC president Anas al-Abdah said the strikes should be halted while the incidents were investigated, and warned that the killing of civilians by US-led aircraft would “prove to be a recruitment tool for terrorist organisations”.

“It is essential that such investigation not only result in revised rules of procedure for future operations, but also inform accountability for those responsible for such major violations,” Mr Abdah wrote in a letter to foreign ministers of countries in the anti-Islamic State alliance.

US defence secretary Ash Carter said on Wednesday the US-led force would look into the reports of civilian casualties around Manbij.

 

The observatory said the dead from Tuesday’s air strike included 11 children. The United Nations children’s agency Unicef said it had been told that families were preparing to flee when the villages they were in came under air attack.

“Unicef estimates that 35,000 children are trapped in and around Manbij with nowhere safe to go,” the agency’s representative in Syria, Hanaa Singer, said.

The Syrian foreign ministry said Tuesday’s air strike on the village of Toukhar north of Manbij was carried out by French forces, while Monday’s strike was by US jets.

“(Syria) condemns, with the strongest terms, the two bloody massacres perpetrated by the French and US warplanes and those affiliated to the international coalition which send their missiles and bombs to the civilians instead of directing them to the terrorist gangs,” it said in a letter sent to the UN this week.

 

Location: Lebanon, Beirut