At least 56 civilians have lost their lives in northern Syria due to air strikes by the US-led coalition purportedly targeting Daesh terrorists operating in the violence-wracked Middle Eastern country, says a UK-based monitoring group.
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said 11 children were among the victims of the coalition’s Tuesday air raids near the Syrian village of al-Tukhar, situated close the Daesh-held city of Manbij near the Turkish border.
SOHR director Rami Abdel Rahman said the aerial assaults left dozens of civilians injured, including “some in critical condition.”
According to the monitoring group, the civilians were hit as they were fleeing fighting in Tukhar.
On Monday, the observatory said 21 civilians had been killed in the coalition raids in the area, 15 of them in a northern district of Manbij and another six in Tukhar.
Manbij, situated in Syria’s Aleppo Province, is a key point along Daesh’s main supply line from the Turkish frontier to its Syrian stronghold of Raqqah.
Since May 31, the city has been the target of a US-backed offensive by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a coalition of Kurdish and Arab forces.
A member of the Syria Democratic Forces (SDF) walks in the silos and mills of Manbij after the SDF took control of the city in Aleppo Province, Syria, July 1, 2016. ©Reuters
In June, the SDF broke into western districts of Manbij, but its advance has been slowed in the past month because of bombings and landmines planted by the extremists.
The so-called multinational task force against Daesh started its controversial mission in Iraq in late 2014 after Daesh seized control over territories west and north of the country. The air campaign was later expanded to cover areas in northern Syria despite criticism from the Syrian government that the attacks violate the sovereignty of the Arab country.
However, analysts say the air strikes have failed to cripple the extremists, who are engaged in crimes against humanity in the areas under their control.