Middle East, News

SOHR: At least 200 civilians killed in US-led air strikes in Syria

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According to a report released by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) on Monday, more than 206 civilians, half of them women and children, have been killed in air strikes launched by the US-led coalition in Syria since September.

The Britain-based SOHR also said that 65 children and 39 women have been killed since September while hundreds of others wounded, according to estimates that the NGO reached through sources on the ground.

From Sept. 23, 2014, to Aug. 23, 2015, more than 3,414 people have been killed in the US-led air strikes. Around 3,061 of those were ISIS fighters in Aleppo, Homs, Hasakah, Raqqa and Deir al Zor.

On April 4, 2015, at least 64 civilians – including 31 children and 19 women – were killed in raids conducted by coalition warplanes which targeted the village of Bir Mahli located near the town of Serin south of the city of Kobani in Aleppo province.

The SOHR said that at least 136 Al Qaeda affiliated Nusra Front members were killed in the coalition air strikes, including prominent leaders.

The civil war in Syria started in 2011 following a brutal crackdown on anti-government demonstrations and later developed into a multi sided conflict between five main factions – the Syrian regime, opposition groups, the Nusra Front, ISIS, and the Kurdish YPG militia.

Most civilians in Syria are suffering from a humanitarian crisis involving shortages of water as well as power failures lasting for weeks in both regime-held and opposition-held regions of the country. Several schools in opposition-held areas have been closed due to the spread of infectious diseases amid a lack of interest in their plight from the international community.

The UN’s newly appointed humanitarian chief, Stephen O’Brien, said in his first briefing to the UN Security Council at the end of July that Syria is the “most acute, unrelenting and shameful blot on world’s humanitarian conscience.”

The top relief official said a political solution to the Syrian crisis is more urgent than ever to end the “gargantuan levels of suffering” in the country.

“We must show the people of Syria that the world has not forgotten them or the plight of their country,” O’Brien said.

“I urge the Security Council to consider its options through their eyes, the eyes of the beleaguered, now long-suffering Syrian people,” he added. He also stressed the “tragic milestone” of the number of registered Syrian refugees, which reached 4 million in early July. This is the largest refugee population from a single conflict worldwide during the last quarter of a century

According to the UN, the four-year-long war in Syria has left more than 220,000 people dead and 6.7 million internally displaced, while at least 5.4 million have fled the country.

Resource: Euro Asia News, August 25, 2015

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