First Published: 2017-05-17

US-led coalition denies deadly east Syria air strike
US-led coalition denies striking town in eastern Syria where monitors say 42 civilians were killed; reports of separate incident in Raqa province are being assessed.
Middle East Online

Rights groups say true number of civilians killed in coalition strikes is significantly higher than the 352 acknowledged by officials.

DAMASCUS - The US-led coalition against the Islamic State group said Wednesday it did not conduct strikes in the eastern Syrian town of Albu Kamal this week that reportedly killed dozens of civilians.

But it said it was assessing reports of civilian casualties in a strike it launched in Syria's Raqa province.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor says May 15 coalition air strikes on Albu Kamal in Deir Ezzor province killed 62 people, including 42 civilians.

The Britain-based monitor had previously said 30 people were killed in the strikes, but subsequently revised the toll upwards.

It said the dead in the town on the Syria-Iraq border included 11 children and 20 IS fighters.

In a statement to AFP news agency, the US-led coalition said its only strikes in the area on May 14 and 15 were carried out outside Albu Kamal.

"The open-source reports of civilian casualties referred to locations inside the city itself, where we did not conduct strikes during the time period of alleged civilian casualties," the coalition said.

"There were other non-Coalition nations conducting strikes in Abu Kamal on the 14th and morning of the 15th though," the statement added, without specifying which countries it was referring to.

Both Syria's government and its Russian ally have carried out strikes against IS in Deir Ezzor, and in February, Iraq's air force carried out strikes against IS fighters in the province for the first time, including on Albu Kamal.

The coalition added that it had carried out strikes on the village of Al-Akeryshi in Raqa province on May 14 and had "forwarded the allegations of civilian casualties to our team for assessment".

The Observatory says those strikes killed 14 people, including 12 women who were farmworkers travelling home in a convoy from the fields.

The US military said in May that coalition strikes in Syria and Iraq had "unintentionally" killed 352 civilians since it launched operations against IS in 2014.

But rights groups say the true number is significantly higher.

 

Britain probes jihadist network amid row with US intelligence

Trump gets rough ride in EU, NATO meeting

Qatari FM says country victim of smear campaign, particularly in US

Probe finds over 100 Mosul civilians killed in US air strike

Faz3a, a local NGO mobilising young people to help Mosul refugees

24 killed in attack on Egypt Christians

Turkey says over 4,000 judges, prosecutors dismissed since coup

US-led strikes kill 35 civilians in east Syria

Palestinian president says US should mediate hunger strike

Libya says working closely with Britain over concert attack

EU leaders, Erdogan meet in bid to ease tensions

Myanmar to deport Turkish family wanted for alleged coup links

Iran says it has built third underground missile factory

Saudi minister confident on oil output deal

Egyptians brace for austere Ramadan

Egypt blocks several media websites including Jazeera

IS suicide bomber kills five in Somalia

Israel uneasy over 'crazy' regional arms race

Algeria president replaces Prime Minister

16 civilians dead in coalition strikes near Raqa

4 arrested in Tunisia anti-corruption drive

German MPs call off Turkey visit as tensions fester

Palestinian hunger strike row draws solidarity, controversy

Britain raises terror alert, deploys troops after concert massacre

Qatar probes state news agency hack

At least 20 migrants killed in Mediterranean

Israeli joy at Trump visit lacks substance

Oman evacuates Australian man from Yemen

Bahrain police open fire on Shiite protest, kill five

Turkey arrests hunger strikers on terror charges

Jewish extremists ejected from Aqsa mosque compound

Prominent Egypt rights lawyer detained

Oil producers to extend output curbs at OPEC meeting

NATO aims to break Turkey-Austria partnership deadlock

Tunisia tensions simmer after protester's death

Terrorist bomb attack kills 22 at UK pop concert

Bahrain police raid Shiite sit-in killing one protester

Trump says Israelis, Palestinians ‘can make a deal’

Five dead in Syria car bomb attacks

Syria civilians suffer deadliest month of US-led strikes

US forces raid Al-Qaeda in Yemen, kill seven jihadists

Islamists to join Algeria cabinet despite poor results

Tunisia's 2.1% GDP growth marks economic upturn

Trump meets Palestinian leader in Bethlehem

Istanbul demolishes nightclub targeted in New Year attack