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Strikes by US-led coalition killed 224 civilians in Raqqa since June

Beirut: US-led coalition air strikes have killed at least 224 civilians since the Syrian forces it backs entered Islamic State group bastion Raqqa a month ago, a monitor said on Thursday.

Arab and Kurdish fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) broke into Raqqa on 6 June after a month's-long operation to encircle the northern city.

Representational image. AP

Representational image. AP

"At least 224 civilians, including 38 children and 28 women, have been killed in air strikes by the global coalition on Raqqa since the SDF entered it," said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The Britain-based Observatory said it did not have a toll for civilians killed in other ways, including by other military operations, mines, or while trying to flee the city.

Tens of thousands of civilians are believed to be trapped inside Raqqa, with warnings that the jihadists are using them as human shields.

Many Raqqa residents who have managed to escape say Islamic State snipers are targeting anyone trying to leave the city.

The Observatory said clashes and air strikes in Raqqa had killed 311 Islamic State jihadists and 106 SDF militiamen since 6 June.

The US-backed coalition is providing the SDF's campaign on Raqqa with heavy air support, as well as special forces advisers, weapons, and equipment.

Since Islamic State captured Raqqa in early 2014, it has served as the de facto capital of the jihadist group's Syrian territory.

Published Date: Jul 06, 2017 16:11 PM | Updated Date: Jul 06, 2017 16:11 PM

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