Alwaght- The UN voiced “deep concerns” over the rising number of civilian casualties caused by US-led coalitions' airstrikes in ISIS-held Raqqa.
“Our humanitarian colleagues tell us they are deeply concerned by unconfirmed reports of a high number of civilians killed by airstrikes in Raqqa city over the last 24 hours,” said Stéphane Dujarric, the spokesman for the UN secretary general.
“In recent days and weeks scores of civilians have reportedly been killed and injured in Raqqa due to airstrikes and shelling and up to 25 thousand people remain trapped in the city,” Dujarric told reporters at a daily briefing Tuesday as the toll of non-combatant deaths in the past week has passed 170.
The UN's warning came at the same time when Syria's official news agency, SANA, reported 78 civilians were killed only on Tuesday after US-led jets targeted at al-Sakhani and al-Bado alleys and al-Tawasuaeh neighborhood in the city, located about 455 kilometers (283 miles) northeast of the capital Damascus.
“The UN condemns any attack that is directed against civilians or civilian infrastructure. We urge all parties fighting in Raqqa and across Syria to take every possible measure to spare and protect civilians and civilian infrastructure as in line with obligations under international humanitarian law,” stressed the UN official.
The US-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes against what are said to be ISIS targets inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from the Damascus government or a UN mandate.
The military alliance has repeatedly been accused of targeting and killing civilians. It has also been largely incapable of fulfilling its declared aim of destroying ISIS.