Fri Feb 17, 2017 02:04PM
This picture, taken on October 9, 2015, shows a Rafale fighter jet on the tarmac of an undisclosed air base purportedly used for raids against Daesh Takfiri militants in Syria. (Photo by AP)
This picture, taken on October 9, 2015, shows a Rafale fighter jet on the tarmac of an undisclosed air base purportedly used for raids against Daesh Takfiri militants in Syria. (Photo by AP)

A monitoring group says nearly a dozen civilians have lost their lives when the US-led coalition purportedly fighting Daesh in Syria carried out airstrikes near the country’s Daesh-held northern city of al-Raqqah.

The strike targeted Tishrin farmland, which lies approximately 20 kilometers west of the provincial capital city of al-Raqqah, on Friday, the Britain-based so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.

The observatory said nine people were killed and several others injured in the aerial attack, noting that the death toll could rise as some of those injured in the airstrike are in critical condition. There is a child among the deceased.

Additionally, a woman and her child were killed as US-led military aircraft struck an area in the city of al-Thawrah, also known as al-Tabqah and situated approximately 55 kilometers west of Raqqah.

Raqqah, on the northern bank of the Euphrates River, was overrun by the Takfiri terrorists in March 2013, and was proclaimed the center for most of the terrorists’ administrative and control tasks the next year.

The attack is not the first US-led airstrikes to result in civilian casualties.

At least eight civilians lost their lives on January 6, when coalition fighter jets pounded the village of Suwaydiyah al-Kabirah, which is situated approximately 55 kilometers west of Raqqah.

Nearly 20 civilians were killed in a US-led strike targeting al-Msheirfeh region north of Raqqah on December 8 last year. Several people also sustained injuries in the blitz. 

Moreover, the so-called anti-Daesh US-led coalition carried out an airstrike against a purported militant position near Raqqah on December 7, claiming the lives of seven civilians.

The US-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes against what are said to be the Daesh terrorists inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from the Damascus government or a UN mandate. 

The coalition has repeatedly been accused of targeting and killing civilians. It has also been largely incapable of fulfilling its declared aim of destroying Daesh.

Syria writes to UN, Security Council against Turkish strikes

Meanwhile, Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates has strongly condemned Turkey’s repeated violations of the Damascus government’s sovereignty and its deadly aerial attacks against Syrian people.

The ministry, in two identical letters to the UN Secretary-General António Guterres and President of the UN Security Council Volodymyr Yelchenko, asked the council to shoulder its responsibilities concerning international peace and security, and put an end to the violations.

This file picture shows a view of the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates building in the capital, Damascus.

These attacks are part of the Turkish government’s aggression against Syria over the past nearly six years, which include providing various forms of military and logistic support to terrorist organizations and facilitating entry of foreign militants into Syria, the letters read.

On August 24, 2016, the Turkish Air Force and special ground forces kicked off Operation Euphrates Shield inside Syria in a declared bid to support the Free Syrian Army militants and rid the border area of Daesh terrorists and fighters from the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and Democratic Union Party (PYD).

The offensive was launched in coordination with the US-led military coalition.

The incursion was the first major Turkish military intervention in Syria, which drew strong condemnation from the Syrian government for violating the Arab country's sovereignty.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on November 29, 2016 that the Turkish army had marched into Syria to end the rule of President Bashar al-Assad, whom he accused of terrorism and causing the deaths of thousands.

The Turkish leader however backtracked on the comments two days later, asserting that the offensives there were aimed only at terrorists.