Dozens of civilians, including women and children, have been killed after the US-led coalition purportedly fighting the terrorist Takfiri Daesh group carried out a series of aerial assaults in Syria’s troubled eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr.
Local sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Syria’s official news agency SANA that 50 people were killed and scores of others injured on Monday when US-led warplanes targeted families fleeing the last vestiges of Daesh’s territorial rule in the besieged village of Baghouz near the Iraqi border.
The sources added that the death toll was expected to rise as some of the wounded were in critical condition.
The development came a few days after US-led coalition warplanes dropped white phosphorus bombs on Baghouz, leaving a number of citizens, mostly women and children, dead.
The US-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes and operations against what are said to be Daesh targets inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from the Damascus government or a United Nations mandate.
The military alliance has repeatedly been accused of targeting and killing civilians. It has also been largely incapable of achieving its declared goal of destroying Daesh.
On February 12, the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, in two separate letters addressed to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and the former rotating president of the Security Council, Anatolio Ndong Mba, denounced the coalition strikes conducted against Baghouz a day earlier, saying the US-led warplanes had pounded a refugee camp.
Local sources told the state-run Ikhbariyah Syria television news network that 16 civilians, including seven children, were killed as a result of the raid.
“This new crime is in line with the series of war crimes and crimes against humanity, which the US-led coalition has perpetrated against Syrian people, its continued support for terrorism, and its use of terrorists and separatist militia forces to advance its fiendish plots aimed at Syria’s sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity,” said the letters.
The ministry also called on the UN Security Council to stand up against such attacks and crimes.
It also demanded that the UN body assume its responsibilities regarding the establishment of international peace and security, conduct an international probe into these criminal acts, condemn them, and put an immediate halt to such air raids as well as the “aggressive” presence of American and other foreign military forces in Syria.