An 18-month-long long investigation has revealed that the US-led coalition killed more than 1,600 civilians during its campaign to capture the Syrian city of Raqqa, rights watchdog Amnesty International said in a press release on Thursday.
The investigation, conducted by Amnesty and Airwars, “gives a brutally vivid account of more than 1,600 civilian lives lost as a direct result of thousands of US, UK and French air strikes and tens of thousands of US artillery strikes in the Coalition’s military campaign in Raqqa from June to October 2017,” the release said.
The two groups said their investigation documented incidents that amount to violations of international humanitarian law. They also called on the coalition to compensate families and fully investigate what went wrong in Raqqa to avoid repeating the same mistakes in any future military operations.
In turn, Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve (JTF-OIR) said that US-led forces have killed at least 1,291 civilians while battling the Daesh terrorist group in Syria and Iraq over the last four and a half years.
The United States and its allies have been fighting Daesh* in Syria since 2014 without the approval of the Syrian government or a mandate from the UN Security Council.
The city of Raqqa first fell into the hands of Syrian opposition forces in 2013 and was then captured by the Daesh terrorist group, which declared the city its capital.
The military campaign to recapture Raqqa was launched in June 2016 by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) backed by the US-led coalition. The operation culminated in the 2017 Battle of Raqqa, which eventually allowed the SDF to gain control over the city.