Rabat - As the U.S.-backed forces moved on the Daesh stronghold in Raqqa, intensified airstrikes have led to at least 300 civilian deaths since March 21, according to war crimes investigators from the United Nations.
Rabat – As the U.S.-backed forces moved on the Daesh stronghold in Raqqa, intensified airstrikes have led to at least 300 civilian deaths since March 21, according to war crimes investigators from the United Nations.
Since the beginning of the conflict in Syria, the UN has been documenting and releasing reports on the ongoing war. The panel, officially the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, released its latest statementthat documents the loss of civilian life caused by recent airstrikes.These strikes are a key component of the strategy used thus far by the US supported militia, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to recapture Raqqa which has been held by Daesh since 2014.
The leader of the UN Panel, Brazilian diplomat Paulo SérgioPinheiro, explained in a report, “We note in particular that the intensification of airstrikes, which have paved the ground for an S.D.F. advance in Raqqa, has resulted not only in staggering loss of civilian life, but has also led to 160,000 civilians fleeing their homes.”
According to another member of the panel, American commissioner Karen Abuzayd, most of the 300 documented deaths occurred in a single strike that hit the village of al-Mansoura. That attack hit a school that was sheltering families that had fled violence elsewhere.
The statement is the latest evidence of the toll of the ongoing war in Syria on civilians. Even as coalition forces gain ground on Daesh, which will ultimately free the thousands of people trapped in Raqqa, advances have often claimed civilian lives. Pinheiro reiterated that “the imperative to fight terrorism must not, however, be undertaken at the expense of civilians who unwilling find themselves living in areas where ISIL is present.”
The statement emphasized that “ultimately, the only way to end civilian suffering is to end this war” adding that, “the Council stands as the voice of conscience in the face of atrocities, reminding Member States with influence over the warring parties that only a durable political solution will bring an end to this conflict.”