US-led coalition strike kills 16 civilians near Raqa: monitor

By AFP
Published: November 9, 2016
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Smoke rises in the background as Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters stand near rubble of a destroyed building, north of Raqqa city, Syria November 7, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

Smoke rises in the background as Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters stand near rubble of a destroyed building, north of Raqqa city, Syria November 7, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

A US-led coalition air strike killed 16 civilians, including a child, overnight in a village near the Islamic State group’s Syrian stronghold of Raqa, a monitor said Wednesday.

US forces say airstrikes ‘very likely’ caused Afghan casualties

“At least 16 civilians, including six women and a child, were killed in raids carried out overnight by the international coalition targeting areas in the village of Al-Heisha,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The village is controlled by the Islamic State group and has been a target of a new assault by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces as it pushes to capture the jihadists’s Syrian bastion of Raqa. A spokeswoman for the Kurdish-Arab alliance dismissed the reports of civilian deaths.

“There is no such thing, and any such claims are IS news,” Jihan Sheikh Ahmed told AFP.

30 Afghan civilians killed in Kunduz NATO airstrike

The US-led coalition said it was checking on the reports. The SDF announced Sunday it had begun an operation to capture Raqa from IS, as the jihadist group also comes under pressure across the border in Iraq, where its bastion Mosul is under attack.

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