A London-based non-governmental organization focused on human rights with over 7 million members and supporters around the world, the Amnesty International, released a report on numerous civilian deaths during US-led international coalition’s Raqqa campaign.
The report said that hundreds of civilians were killed under the bombardment by western air power that accompanied a ground attack by its local allies, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Meanwhile, the representatives of the International Coalition deny Amnesty International‘s accusations of indiscriminate bombing of the facilities in Syria and Iraq. Despite the number of casualties among civilians, the Coalition states that all the air strikes had been reconciled.
The four-month military operation to oust the armed group calling itself Islamic State (IS) from Raqqa, its self-declared capital in Syria, killed hundreds of civilians, injured many more and laid waste to the city between June and August 2017. Residents were trapped as fighting raged on Raqqa’s streets while a constant barrage of air bombardments and artillery strikes rocked the city day and night. With IS mines and snipers blocking escape routes out of the city, civilians desperately fled from place to place in search of safety. Some were killed in their homes; some in the very places where they had sought refuge, and others as they tried to flee.
The claim provoked an unusually strong response from the coalition’s spokesman, Colonel Sean Ryan. He challenged Amnesty’s integrity and said Kate Allen, its UK director, should go to Syria to see the lengths to which the coalition went to avoid civilian casualties.
Shortly before the start of the military campaign, US Defense Secretary James Mattis promised a “war of annihilation” against IS. Nevertheless, The impact on civilians was devastating and Amnesty International’s reports are quite questionsult for US DoD. It can be said without exaggeration that Badran family’s story described in the report is one of hundreds of thousands of others.