At least 100 civilians were killed in the last 48 hours of US-led air strikes targeting fighters in Raqqa, the de facto capital in Syria’s Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
Residents told Al Jazeera on Tuesday that at least 100 civilians have died since Sunday, with 55 civilians killed in al-Bedou and Sukhani’s eastern neighborhoods Monday.
Meanwhile, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) has put the number of dead on Monday at 42, including 19 children and 12 women, and said 27 people died on Sunday, for a total Of 69 people.
The killings occurred on the second day of a ferocious Raqaa bombing campaign, more than half of which was captured by Syrian-backed Democratic forces fighting the ISIL, also known as ISIS.
“The tolls are high because air strikes hit the outskirts of the city center, which are densely packed with civilians,” said Rami Abdel Rahman, director of SOHR, told AFP news agency.
“There are buildings full of civilians trying to get away from the front lines.” Coalition air strikes point to any building where movements are detected [ISIL]. “Earlier this month, the aid group Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) reported that the food and medicines needed to treat the wounded were insufficient.
“In the city of Raqqa, if they do not die of air attacks, they die by mortar fire, if not by mortars and snipers, if not by snipers, and then by an explosive device,” MSF quoted 41 – Fled Raqqa after losing seven members of the family in the fight.
“And if he lives, he is beset by hunger and thirst, because there is no food, no water, no electricity.” The US-led coalition, which operates in Syria and neighboring Iraq, says it is taking all possible steps to prevent civilian casualties.
In August, he acknowledged the deaths of 624 civilians in their attacks in Syria and Iraq since 2014, but defense groups say the number is much higher. The United Nations estimates that up to 25,000 civilians are trapped in the city, with short and prohibitive food and fuel.
Syrian humanitarian spokesman Jan Egeland said that ISIL-controlled territory in the city of Raqqa is now “the worst place” in the war-ravaged country. The Syrian conflict, which began with peaceful demonstrations in March 2011 against President Bashar Assad, has been stalled in a civil war in several parts. The death toll is estimated at more than 400,000 people, according to UN estimates.