Published On: Wed, Sep 24th, 2014

Syrians Say at Least 24 Civilians Killed in Tuesday’s US Airstrikes

Operation Allied Force

Sources in Syria are saying as many as 24 civilians were killed in the U.S. Air Force attack that began Monday night, the LA Times reported.

A video said to have been shot Tuesday in northwestern Syria shows local residents going through the debris of their collapsed homes. An anti-Assad rebel narrator says the video documents “mass destruction of the civilian homes as a result of the strikes of the Western alliance on the civilians in the western Idlib suburbs… Look, it is all civilian homes.”

The U.S. is facing a challenge in Syria that’s very similar to that of the IDF in Gaza this summer. Since the enemy locates its combat units and equipment in the midst of a civilian population, there’s no way to avoid civilian deaths.

Since Monday night, the U.S. Air Force carried airstrikes on the city of Raqqa, the ISIS headquarters, where a reported 30 Islamist fighters died. But, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the strikes targeted residential buildings in Aleppo, used by Al-Nusra Front. And so, non-combatants were killed as well.

“There is an exodus out of Raqqa as we speak. It started in the early hours of the day after the strikes. People are fleeing towards the countryside, ” a Raqqa resident told Reuters.

According to the LA Times, even as officials in Washington are releasing photographic evidence of the destruction of Islamists’ training camps and headquarters, “a more complex picture of the damage caused by the first rounds of U.S.-led airstrikes in Syria” is emerging on social media.

A statement released this week by a unit in the Free Syrian Army, which has received American weapons and CIA training, claimed: “The only beneficiary of external intervention in Syria is the Assad regime, especially in the absence of any true strategy to bring him down. Mercy upon the martyrs.”

“We are unaware of any civilian casualties, ” director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff Lt. Gen. William Mayville said in a Pentagon news briefing, promising that “if any reports of civilian casualties emerge, we will fully investigate.”

A rebel source said one of five missiles that struck Idlib provincefell in a residential neighborhood in the village of Kafar Daryan. The Syrian Network for Human Rights said 12 people were killed in the village, including four children in one family.

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