(SANA via AP)

U.S.-led coalition airstrike kills 33 civilians in Syria: report

Early reports suggest that the air raid was conducted by an American-led coalition force

Matthew Rozsa
March 22, 2017 10:15PM (UTC)

Less than two weeks after President Donald Trump sent Marines into Syria, the participation of the U.S. military in a coalition campaign inside that embattled country has entered the spotlight. A human rights group has reported a U.S.-led air attack that left 33 civilians dead.

The report indicated that U.S.-led coalition forces conducted an airstrike in northern Syria and hit a school that had been serving as a temporary shelter for displaced families, according to Agence France Presse. The school was located between two cities in northern Syria — Raqqa and Tabqa — that are currently controlled by ISIS.


"We can now confirm that 33 people were killed, and they were displaced civilians from [Raqqa], Aleppo and Homs. Only two people were pulled out alive," said Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The human rights group said the airstrikes had happened on Tuesday near the town of Al-Mansura. A Pentagon spokesman later said that the coalition would investigate the incident.

"Since we have conducted several strikes near [Raqqa] we will provide this information to our civilian casualty team for further investigation," the Pentagon said.

Human rights groups that monitor the U.S.-led military coalition campaign in Syria have fiercely disagreed with the tactics being used and their ultimate human cost. Although U.S. military sources claimed earlier this month that only 220 civilians had been killed by the coalition since 2014, the monitoring group Airwars put the number as high as 2,463 civilians — and perhaps even higher. In its statement, the military wrote "although the Coalition takes extraordinary efforts to strike military targets in a manner that minimizes the risk of civilian casualties, in some incidents casualties are unavoidable."


Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a breaking news writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

MORE FROM Matthew Rozsa

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Donald Trump Administration Pentagon Syria

Fearless journalism
in your inbox every day

Sign up for our free newsletter

• • •