‘No proper precautions’: US-led coalition airstrikes near Raqqa killed 84 civilians, HRW says

The US-led coalition fighting ISIS in Syria killed at least 84 civilians, 30 children among them, when it carried out two lethal airstrikes near Raqqa in March, HRW said, adding that “no precautions” to minimize civilian losses were taken.

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A general view of destroyed houses on the front line in the Al Dariya neighborhood in western Raqqa, Syria, 24 July 2017. © Morukc Umnaber / Global Look Press

“In the two deadliest attacks, the US-led coalition struck a school and a market killing at least 84 civilians,” including 30 children, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a 42-page report released on Monday, adding that the coalition did not take adequate precautions to minimize civilian casualties.

“Although ISIS [Islamic State] fighters were also at these sites, the high civilian death toll raises concerns that military forces of the US-led coalition failed to take necessary precautions to avoid and minimize civilian casualties, a requirement under international humanitarian law,” it added.

The rights group said that the conclusions of the report, entitled ‘All Feasible Precautions? Civilian Casualties in Anti-ISIS Coalition Airstrikes in Syria,’ are based on an on-the-ground investigation into the attacks.

“The coalition should conduct thorough, prompt, and impartial investigations of the attacks, do everything feasible to prevent similar attacks, and provide compensation or condolence payments to people who suffered losses due to the coalition’s operations,” according to HRW.

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