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.

 

UN Security Council warns against holding Iraqi Kurd vote

Syria Kurds vote to cement federal push

Rouhani vows Iran will boost missiles despite US criticism

Yemen leader promises UN to open entire country to aid

Gemstone purchase essential for Najaf pilgrims

Police charge teenager over London Underground attack

Nigerian official to meet Turkish counterpart over illegal guns

Thousands feared trapped in Raqa as IS mounts last stand

Iraqi forces achieve first step in new offensive on IS

Migrant boat sinks off Turkish Black Sea coast leaving four dead, 20 missing

Trump praises 'friend' Erdogan

Russia clashes with EU over Syria

UN sets up probe of IS war crimes in Iraq

US, Iranian top diplomats confront each other for first time

Air strikes kill 22 civilians in northwest Syria in 48 hours

Iranian supreme leader lashes out at Trump UN speech

Thousands of Huthi supporters mark 3 years since Sanaa takeover

Iraq attacks all remaining IS territory at once

Moscow accuses US of hitting Syrian regime forces

Turkey jails lawyers representing hunger striking teachers

Turkey, Iran and Iraq make joint threat against Kurd vote

Syrian Kurds to hold first local elections in federal push

Qatari expats lauded as statesmen by Arab critics

Shipwreck off Libyan coast leaves over 100 migrants missing

Will Turkey’s opposition to Kurdish state translate into action?

US ups the ante on Iraq Kurds

Macron: Iran nuclear deal no longer enough

Trump’s mind made up on Iran but refuses to divulge

Scores of Iraqis missing during war against ISIS

Netanyahu rejects calls for mixed gender worship at Western Wall

Russia accuses US of missile treaty breach

Iran TV translator mocked for watering down Trump speech

Saudi Arabia hopes Kurdish referendum will not take place

Saudi invites women to sports stadium for first time

Saudi set to create $2.7 billion investment company

Humanitarian disaster grips Yemen three years since Houthi takeover

What will become of Iraq’s Hawija after ISIS?

Multi-ethnic Kirkuk tense ahead of referendum

UN awaits Iran’s defence against Trump nuclear deal threats

US-backed SDF seizes 90% of Syria's Raqa

Man hanged in Iran for rape, murder of child

Saudi to lift ban on internet phone calls

Sisi calls for peace, co-existence in Mideast

Erdogan demands Iraqi Kurds call off referendum

US looking to revisit Iran nuclear deal