About 350 children and women were killed in the escalated airstrikes by the International Coalition in Al-Raqqah city since the start of their military operations
Al-Raqqah Province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: the International Coalition warplanes continue bombing areas in Al-Raqqah city, in conjunction with the continuation of clashes between the Syria Democratic Forces supported by US Special Forces; against members of the “Islamic State” organization in areas in the vicinity of the center of Al-Raqqah city, where “Euphrates Wrath” Operation Forces are trying to achieve more advancement in the area, and reduce size of areas controlled by the organization, and the International Coalition’s airstrikes on the city have caused the death and injury of tens of civilians, about 12 of them -including 2 children and 3 citizen women- were confirmed dead, and the death toll is expected to rise because there are some people in critical situation and due to the presence of missing persons, which raise to 801 at least, including an activist at the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, 202 children and 126 citizen women, the number of civilian persons who were killed and documented by the Syrian Observatory in Al-Raqqah city and its countryside from the 5th of June 2017 to the 24th of August 2017, and the casualties are 785 civilians including at least 197 children under the age of eighteen and 119 woman over the age of eighteen, they were killed in al-Raqqa city, in addition to 16 civilians including 3 children and 4 women who were killed in airstrikes in the village of Zur Shamar and another area at the southern banks of the Euphrates River in the eastern countryside of al-Raqqa. The aerial shelling left hundreds of the people injured of different severity, some of them had amputations and permanent disabilities, while some of them are still in serious conditions, which may increase the death toll, and dozens of houses and public facilities in the town have been destroyed, as a result of this intensive shelling, which targeted the city of al-Raqqa, its vicinity and its outskirts, while the SOHR received information about the presence of more civilians causalities which the SOHR couldn’t document.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights published yesterday that the ongoing military operation in the main stronghold of ISIS in Syria imposed the absence of calm and the presence of the sounds f explosions, bombings, shelling and the clashes in the city, which is witnessing since the 5th of June 2017 violent clashes between the SDF backed by the US Special Forces against members of ISIS in al-Raqqa city, and the clashes are concentrated in the old city, as the SDF managed to approach to the center of the city and encircle the center of the city of al-Raqqa from the eastern, northern and southern sides.
This advancement of the SDF and the decline of the organization in the city came with a cover and support of the International Coalition’s warplanes and the continued shelling of the “Euphrates Wrath” Operation forces on the organization-held areas in the city, in which tens of thousands of civilians still exist between the anvil of the organization and the hammer of the international coalition that killed hundreds of civilians and injured hundreds others, and caused material damage in the infrastructure, public facilities and the properties of the citizens. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned that the SDF managed, since the launch of the great battle of al-Raqqa on the 6th of June 2017 and until the 23rd of August, control an area of 60.1% of al-Raqqa city, which is estimated to be 17.6 square kilometers of the area of the city, while the organization controls about 39.9% of the area of the city, estimated at 11.7 square kilometers of the city of al-Raqqa, and the battles are ongoing in an attempt by the SDF to achieve an advancement in the city after controlling the whole neighborhoods of al-Sabahiya, al-Romania, Hutteen, Qadisiyah, Yarmouk and al-Karim in the west of the city, and the SDF completely controlled the neighborhoods of al-Mashlab, al-Batani, al-Senaúh in the east of the city, while they controlled the whole neighborhood of Hisham bin Abdul Malik and Nazlet Shehada in the southern part of the city and they controlled parts of the old city, and parts of the neighborhoods of al-Rawda, al-Rumeila, Hawd al-Furat Housing, Idekhar Housing and the northern parts of al-Daraia neighborhood, in addition to controlling the shrine of the Companion Ammar Ibn Yasser, and the shrine of the follower Owais al-Qurani.