Even a broken clock gives the right time twice a day. The United States-led coalition is “deeply in denial” in the number of civilian deaths it has inflicted in the northern city of Raqqa, Amnesty International said on Tuesday.
According to the organization, the bombings of the coalition led by Washington killed hundreds, while the coalition admits only 23 civilian deaths.
“The coalition’s instinctive reactions are powerful in rhetoric but with few details, they reveal how deeply the coalition’s leadership is in denial of its ability to protect civilians,” said senior NGO consultant Donatella Rovera.
The organization also said that the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the Kurdish-led anti-government alliance supporting the US-led coalition, cited “unsuccessful air strikes” that led to “huge human and material losses” in a letter sent to Amnesty.
“The tempestuous denials we have seen repeatedly and heard from senior coalition officials are contradicted by the reality of the hundreds of civilians we interviewed in our Raqqa and Mosul investigations, and they are even contradicted by their own partners in the field,” Rovera explained.
According to Amnesty International, more than 30,000 artillery attacks, along with thousands of air strikes, were conducted by the coalition in the then ISIS-held Raqqa from June to October 2017, leaving the city completely in ruins.
The United States and its allies have supposedly fought the ISIS terrorist group in Syria since 2014 without the approval of the Syrian government or a mandate from the UN Security Council, thus making their intervention in the country completely illegal.
The military campaign in Raqqa, which served as ISIS’ capital, was launched in June 2016 by the SDF and the US-led coalition . A year later, the campaign culminated in the Battle of Raqqa, which put the SDF in full control of the city.
According to estimates by the London-based NGO Airwars, the US-led coalition bombers in 2017 had resulted in at least 1,400 civilian deaths in Raqqa.