Monday, 24 September, 2018

23 civilians said to die as ISIS area in Syria hit

Airstrikes kill 23 in Islamic State-held territory in Syria Breaking: US goes to war in Syria
Faye Gross | 03 May, 2018, 10:18

The UK has acknowledged a civilian death in the war against ISIS for the first time in the near 4-year worldwide campaign against the terror group.

The MoD said the death took place in Syria's Euphrates Valley on 26 March when an RAF Reaper drone struck a "terrorist vehicle" with a Hellfire missile.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson described the "unintentional civilian fatality" on 26 March as "deeply regrettable".

"During a strike to engage three Daesh fighters, a civilian motorbike crossed into the strike area at the last moment and it is assessed that one civilian was unintentionally killed".

He told MEE: "UK drone strikes have hugely intensified in Syria since January".

The RAF has conducted more than 1,600 airstrikes in Iraq and Syria - second only to the US.

It has also has prompted a warning from Labour of the dangers of striking targets "with high levels of civilian activity nearby".

"We reached this conclusion after undertaking routine and detailed post-strike analysis of all available evidence", he said.

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The latest fighting has displaced around 5,000 civilians from Yarmouk into the neighboring area of Yalda, the United Nations said.

The source said it was "impossible" to carry out bombing campaigns in densely populated areas like Mosul and Raqqa with civilians being killed.

A year ago military commanders claimed victory against ISIS in Iraq, but the US-led coalition is continuing the battle against the militants in Syria. A monitoring group, Airwars, documented that between 1,066 and 1,579 civilians died in the nine-month fight for Mosul.

"Thousands of civilians have credibly been reported killed in Coalition actions to defeat so-called Islamic State - and air strikes remain the primary cause of death". The Department regrets that in the end of attack of the aircraft was destroyed by a civilian.

The Royal Air Force (RAF) airstrike targeted three ISIS fighters, though a civilian on a motorbike crossed into the strike zone "at the last minute".

That claim brought into doubt a previous statement by the Ministry of Defence that it had seen "no evidence" of its strikes in Iraq causing civilian casualties.

"We will work with our North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Turkey and our partners Israel, Jordan, Iraq, and Lebanon to secure their borders from ISIS".

"We do everything we can to minimize the risk to civilian life from the UK strikes through our rigorous targeting processes and the professionalism of UK Service personnel".

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