The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Successive massacres leave 42 casualties, mostly children and women, increase the death toll in Al-Raqqah during the past 8 days to about 170

Airstrikes by the International Coalition warplanes continue to target ISIS-controlled areas in Al-Raqqah causing more casualties among civilians, tens of thousands of whom are besieged, trapped between the hammer of the “Islamic State” organization and the anvil of the International Coalition. The City has been witnessing escalated shelling for days, amid continued clashes between the SDF backed by the US Special Forces on one hand and ISIS on the other. Clashes are accompanied by an exchange of shelling and booby-trapped vehicles set up by ISIS at the contact lines.

The SOHR learned that such airstrikes left tens of dead and injured during the past 24 hours in addition to the destruction they inflicted on the infrastructure and the civilians’ properties in the city. The SOHR documented the death of 42 civilians, including 19 children below the age of 18 and 12 women above the age of 18, as a result of the massacres perpetrated by the International Coalition warplanes in Al-Sakhani and Al-Badw alleys and Al-Hadiqa Al-Baydaa’ area. Victims belong to around 5 different families and include some of the displaced. Thus, the death toll, documented by the SOHR since the afternoon of Monday, the 14th of August, till dawn today, the 22nd of August, rose to 167 including 59 children and 37 women. The death toll is still likely to rise because some of the injured are in a critical condition and some are still missing, whether they were killed or are still alive is unknown.

The city of Al-Raqqah is also witnessing a massive displacement from ISIS-controlled areas towards SDF-controlled areas. Tens of civilians managed to flee to areas far from shelling, killings and clashes. Such massacres only add to the deteriorating humanitarian situation of civilians in ISIS-controlled areas in Al-Raqqah city, where death became inevitable awaiting even those who try to flee along with their families to areas far from the doomed city. Such fear of death was also accompanied by the lack of a lot of food items and significant decrease in others. Reliable sources confirmed the absence of vegetables and fruits in the city market for weeks in addition to the significant shortage in medicines and drinking water and their surging prices. Thus, the civilians still residing in Al-Raqqah depend mainly on grains, rice and legumes, which have been stored by the city citizens or the shops. The SOHR published on Tuesday that hundreds of civilians managed to flee ISIS-controlled areas in Al-Raqqah city to SDF-controlled areas in the city, its outskirts and surroundings.