Alwaght- The US-led military in Syria reportedly has killed more than 1,600 civilians in Raqqa in 2017 during months of airstrikes purportedly aimed at destroying ISIS terrorists.
Amnesty International (AI) and the monitoring group Airwars declared in a joint statement on Thursday that " Collating almost two years of investigations, it gives a brutally vivid account of more than 1,600 civilian lives lost as a direct result of thousands of US, UK and French air strikes and tens of thousands of US artillery strikes in the Coalition’s military campaign in Raqqa from June to October 2017".
The findings were compiled after months of field research and extensive data analysis, including via a project that saw 3,000 digital activists scan satellite imagery online.
This figure is 10 times what the coalition has acknowledged, according to the report. The US-led military force claimed last month that only 1,257 civilians were killed in their bombardments of ISIS targets over four years in both Syria and Iraq.
A rival, US-backed Syrian militant group captured Raqqa in October 2017 after a four-month battle.
Meanwhile, the United Nations estimates that more than 10,000 buildings, or 80 percent of the city, were destroyed during the campaign.
"Coalition forces razed Raqqa, but they cannot erase the truth. Amnesty International and Airwars call upon the Coalition forces to end their denial about the shocking scale of civilian deaths and destruction caused by their offensive in Raqqa," the two groups said in their latest statement.
Amnesty said last year that there was evidence coalition air and artillery strikes in Raqqa had broken international law by endangering the lives of civilians, but until now had not given an estimate of the death toll during the battle.
The London-based rights group also criticized the extensive use of artillery in the battle of Raqqa.
"With a margin of error of more than 100 meters, unguided artillery is notoriously imprecise and its use in populated areas constitutes indiscriminate attacks," it said.