Airstrikes in Syria Kills 84 Civilians, Including Children

Airstrikes in Syria Kills 84 Civilians, Including Children”

Russian air strikes on northwest Syria's mainly jihadist-controlled province of Idlib on Monday killed at least 37 civilians including 12 children, a Britain-based monitor said. "Some of the airstrikes caused significant destruction of civilian property and infrastructure, as Human Rights Watch observed on the ground, and residents said that strikes that killed civilians instilled fear and pushed many to flee, adding to Syria's displaced population".

The rights group investigated coalition attacks on a school near Raqqa as well as three other attacks in the area that resulted in significant civilian casualties.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it was the highest civilian death toll in Idlib since the region was designated in May as one of Syria's "de-escalation" zones under an accord between regime allies Russian Federation and Iran, and rebel backer Turkey.

"The coalition should conduct thorough, prompt, and impartial investigations of the attacks, do everything feasible to prevent similar attacks, and provide compensation or condolence payments to people who suffered losses due to the coalition's operations", according to HRW.

It said witnesses acknowledged IS fighters had been present at both sites, but that large number of civilians were also there. A local HRW activist confirmed the names of 145 civilians, including 38 women and 58 children, whom he says were killed in airstrikes in the town of Tabqa between 19 March and 10 May.

The organization said the air strikes hit two locations: a schoolhouse housing homeless families in Mansourah Township, and a market and bakery in Tabqa Township.

The Public Affairs Office of the Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) told Sputnik that the US-led coalition in Iraq and Syria is looking into a report by an global watchdog about civilian deaths as a result of the two airstrikes.

But rights groups say the real figure is much higher, and HRW criticised the coalition's methodology for assessing civilian casualties.

Human Rights Watch has documented previous coalition attacks on civilians in Syria, including a March 16, 2017 U.S. airstrike on a mosque near al-Jinah, west of Aleppo, that killed dozens of civilians.

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