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Civilian death toll continue to rise from US-led airstrikes against ISIS

Civilian death toll continue to rise from US-led airstrikes against ISIS
Belongings lie amid a damaged house which activists said belonged to Nusra Front and was destroyed by an apparent Syrian army air strike is pictured in south Salqin, Idlib March 6, 2015. Al Qaeda's Syrian branch was left reeling on Friday after its military chief was killed in an apparent army air strike, adding to confusion over the future path of the most powerful group opposing both President Bashar al-Assad and Islamic State. Abu Humam al-Shami, who trained in Afghanistan alongside plotters of the Sept. 11 2001 attacks on the United States and whose Nusra Front controls wide parts of northwestern Syria, was killed by an explosion at a meeting of commanders on Thursday in Idlib province. REUTERS/Mohamad Bayoush (SYRIA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT)

London: Activists and rights groups have warned that civilian casualties from airstrikes by the US-led coalition fighting ISIS have spiked in the past two months.

Recently, the US also said it was investigating a village bombing that appears to be one of the deadliest single air attacks on civilians of the entire war.

A single attack on a village last week killed at least 74 named civilians, mostly women and children, and potentially more than 50 others, according to multiple observers. That makes the bombing one of the deadliest single air assaults on civilians of the entire war.

The US military has launched a formal investigation into the bombing, but has not said how many deaths it is investigating, reports the Guardian.

It said on Thursday that Manbij had been hit by another airstrike that “may have resulted in civilian casualties” in the previous 24 hours.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has said 28 civilians had been killed.

According to Washington, its bombs have caused 55 civilian deaths since the coalition air strikes were launched two years ago. But campaign groups that keep a tally of the war’s civilian toll , including Amnesty and Airwars, say the real total is at least 10 times that number.

The Violations Documentation Centre, which keeps a detailed public database of civilian deaths in the conflict, says 513 Syrian civilians have been killed by international coalition attacks since their aircraft joined the conflict.

Overall Russian and regime air attacks have killed many more civilians than the coalition and they have also been accused of intentionally targeting homes and key infrastructure such as hospitals.

Moscow has, however, not admitted a single civilian death caused by its actions in Syria.

“Levels of civilian killings from the coalition are so high now, we are edging towards the 1,000 figure, and they don’t disclose it, they are covering it up,” said Amnesty’s researcher for the region, Neil Sammonds, adding that there had probably been more than 200 civilians killed during the fight for Manbij alone.

The US should be making sure strict measures are in place to protect people on the ground during complex battles, said Syrian Network for Human Rights spokesman Wael Aleji.

He added that some of the armed parties deliberately operate within residential areas, which makes civilians vulnerable. (ANI)