May 2, 2015
US Coalition ‘Massacres’ Civilians in Syria Airstrike
Fifty two civilians were killed in an airstrike carried out by a U.S.-led coalition Saturday, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).
“We in SOHR condemn in the strongest terms this massacre committed by the U.S led coalition under the pretext of targeting the IS in the village, and we call the coalition countries to refer who committed this massacre to the courts,” SOHR stated.
Seven children are among the dead, after coalition airstrikes bombarded the village of Bermahli in northern Syria according to the monitoring group. SOHR said the death toll is “likely” to rise, stating at least 13 civilians are still missing.
Bermahli sits near the Islamic State group’s frontlines with Kurdish militias, though SOHR stated there are no militant positions within the village itself.
“Bermahli is only civilians, with no (Islamic State group) positions and no clashes,” SOHR head Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.
The monitoring group added that “all parties” in Syria’s civil war must refrain from targeting civilian areas.
The U.S.-led coalition has been bombarding the Islamic State group in Syria since September 2014. Syria’s president Bashar Assad initially opposed any Western interference in Syria’s civil war, but in late August 2014, his government announced it was willing to accept U.S. airstrikes against the Islamic State group. The sudden change came just hours after the Islamic State group overran the government’s last military outpost in Raqqa province. The defeat was a major loss for Assad’s forces and cemented the Islamic State group’s control over the province. The provincial capital of Raqqa city is now the de facto capital of the Islamic State group’s self declared caliphate, and one of the main targets of U.S. -led airstrikes.