US, UK and France 'Inflicted Worst Destruction in Decades on Raqqa'

Cockburn, Patrick

Publisher:  Unz Review
Year Published:  2018  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX22646

Amnesty International reports that air and artillery strikes by the US and allies inflicted devastating loss of life on civilians in the Isis-held city of Raqqa. It is a report that contradicts claims by the US, Britain and France, that they precisely targeted Isis fighters and positions during the four month siege.



The air and artillery strikes by the US and its allies killed many civilians – the number is unknown because so many bodies are buried under the ruins - during the four-month-long siege, beginning on 6 June and ending on 17 October last year according to the report. Citing the testimony of survivors, it contradicts assertions by the US-led coalition that it took care to avoid targeting buildings where civilians might be present. Witnesses say that again and again their houses were destroyed although there were no Isis fighters in them or nearby.

"Those who stayed died and those who tried to run away died. We couldn’t afford to pay the smugglers: we were trapped," says Munira Hashish. Her family lost 18 members, of whom nine were killed in a coalition airstrike, seven as they tried to escape down a road mined by Isis, and two were hit by a mortar round, probably fired by an Syrian Democratic Forces unit. She says that she and her children only escaped "by walking over the blood of those who were blown up as they tried to flee ahead of us".

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