‘US-led coalition killed many civilians in Raqqa’

            By Ali Murat Alhas</p>  <p>  <p>ANKARA (AA) – The U.S.-led coalition in Syria killed more than 1,600 civilians in the city of Raqqa during its military campaign against the Daesh terror group in 2017, Amnesty International and a watchdog group said Thursday.</p>  <p>  <p>An interactive website developed by the human rights group and Airwars, a London-based group that monitors the impact of the U.S.-led campaign against Daesh, urged the U.S.-led coalition to take responsibility for the killing of large numbers of civilians who were trapped between Daesh snipers and landmines and coalition attacks.</p>  <p>  <p>The website, called &quot;Rhetoric Versus Reality: How the Most Precise Air Campaign In History Left Raqqa The Most Destroyed City In Modern Times,&quot; said that between June and October 2017, the coalition launched thousands of air and artillery strikes to support the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which are closely affiliated with the YPG/PKK terror group.</p>  <p>  <p>Stressing that the coalition claimed to have taken all necessary measures to spare civilians, the website said this rhetoric was &quot;a far cry from reality&quot;, as it did not coincide with the facts on the ground for the civilians who were slaughtered during the military campaign.</p>  <p>  <p>According to the website, the coalition conducted indiscriminate strikes in residential neighborhoods of the city, whereas former U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis defined the anti-Daesh alliance as &quot;good guys&quot; who took many chances to avoid civilian casualties &quot;at all costs&quot;.</p>  <p>  <p>The website pointed out that the coalition strikes led to the decimation of entire families, referring to one tragic incident where four families sheltering in the basement of a five-story building were hit by airstrikes, leaving at least 32 dead, including 20 children.</p>  <p>  <p>&quot;I've lost everyone who was dear to me. My four children, my husband, my mother, my sister, my whole family,&quot; said Ayat Mohammed Jasem, a survivor of the airstrike.</p>  <p>  <p>The website stated that the coalition admitted killing 159 civilians in Raqqa – barely 10% of the real number, noting it must take responsibility for the deaths of all civilians.</p>  <p>  <p>Amnesty and Airwars urged the coalition to make public all relevant information, set up an independent and impartial mechanism to investigate the matter and create a fund to help the families of the deceased.

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