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U.S.-led air strike kills 33 civilians in Syria: report

Less than two weeks after President Donald Trump sent Marines into Syria, the American military’s campaign there has again entered the spotlight. This time, it is the result of a reported air attack that left 33 civilians dead.

The reports indicate that a U.S.-led coalition conducted an airstrike in northern Syria and hit a school that was serving as a temporary shelter for displaced families, according to AFP. The school was located between two cities in northern Syria that are currently controlled by ISIS: Raqa and Tabqa.

“We can now confirm that 33 people were killed, and they were displaced civilians from Raqa, Aleppo and Homs. Only two people were pulled out alive,” said Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The Observatory announced that the airstrikes had happened on Tuesday identified that it occurred near the town of Al-Mansura. A Pentagon spokesman later said that the coalition would investigate the incident.

“Since we have conducted several strikes near Raqa we will provide this information to our civilian casualty team for further investigation,” the Pentagon said.

Human rights groups that monitor America’s military campaign in Syria have fiercely disagreed with the military about both the tactics being used and their ultimate human cost. Although American military sources claimed earlier this month that only 220 civilians had been killed since 2014, the monitoring group Airwars puts the number as high as 2,463 civilians — perhaps even higher.

In its statement placing the number at a super-low 220, the military wrote “although the coalition takes extraordinary efforts to strike military targets in a manner that minimizes the risk of civilian casualties, in some incidents casualties are unavoidable.”

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a breaking news writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and his work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

Matthew Rozsa.

Source: Salon: in-depth news, politics, business, technology & culture > Politics

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