Air strikes kill at least 13 civilians in eastern Syria

The U.S.-led coalition continues to target ISIS with air strikes in Syria and Iraq The U.S.-led coalition continues to target ISIS with air strikes in Syria and Iraq Matthew Bruch/AFP/Getty Images

31 January 2018

Syrian state media have reported at least 13 dead, blaming the U.S. coalition in their fight against ISIS.

Local sources and Syrian state media have reported that at least 13 civilians were killed in air strikes in the eastern Syrian village of Shafah on 23 January. They, along with the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said the air strikes were carried out by the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS.

According to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), seven women were among the civilians killed in the airstrike, which occurred in Shafah, a village east of the Euphrates River in Syria’s Deir al-Zor province. ISIS’s Amaq news agency also reported the civilian casualties. The U.S.-led coalition has not confirmed whether it carried out the strike, but it did say that coalition air strikes targeting an ISIS command center near the village had killed an estimated 150 militants on 20 January. ISIS has not confirmed this.

The reported civilian deaths in Shafah are among a growing list of casualties from airstrikes. Since Donald Trump became president, there have been more than 10,000 coalition airstrikes in Syria and Iraq; the coalition has admitted to causing 800 deaths in Syria and Iraq since 2014. Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) reported over 15,000 civilians killed worldwide from explosive ordnance in 2017, a 42 per cent jump from 2016. AOAV also reports that in 2017, for the first time since it began collecting data, states were responsible for the majority of civilian deaths.

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