42 civilians killed in US coalition air strike in Raqqa

Forty two civilians, including 19 children and 12 women, were killed by a US-led coalition air strikes in Raqqa on Monday, according to the AFP news agency.

The fatalities occurred as a consequence of the bombardment of heavily-populated neighbourhoods in Raqqa, which is controlled by ISIS.

Many activists are blaming the US-led coalition for the casualties among civilians and the loss of lives of young children and the trauma the survivors have to live with.

They say this is due the US-led coalition’s reliance on imprecise and disproportionately powerful ordnance in its campaign against ISIS which is exacting a significant toll on civilians. There are estimated to be about 25,000 civilians in Raqqa, almost half of whom are children. It’s being claimed that they are being used as human shields by ISIS.

According to US officials, in 2014 ISIS had 40,000 foreign fighters across Syria and Iraq. Now ISIS is losing territory they used to hold in those countries.

ISIS has also extensively mined neighbourhoods which effectively traps civilians trying to flee the city. The civilians are therefore stuck between two sides in a war-zone.

“Children must be able to leave Raqqa without fear of violence or death, or being forced to walk for days through minefields to reach safety” said Sonia Khush Country Director at Save the Children in Syria.

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