The United States has denied a report that dozens of civilians were killed by US airstrikes in northern Syria last week, saying those killed were ISIL terrorists.
At least 52 civilians, including seven children, were killed in the airstrikes overnight Thursday into Friday on the village of Birmahle in Aleppo province, said the UK-based so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor director Rami Abdel Rahman.
US Central Command spokesman Major Curt Kellogg, however, claimed that there is “no indication that any civilians were killed in these strikes.”
“US Central Command can confirm that Coalition forces conducted airstrikes in the vicinity of Birmahle, Syria, on April 30, destroying several ISIL fighting positions and striking more than 50 ISIL fighters,” he said in a statement.
Rahman told AFP that the civilian death toll could even rise as rescuers were striving to save 13 other people trapped in the rubble.
He had indicated that there are only civilians living in the village with no presence of ISIL terrorists.
Rahman said not a single ISIL terrorist was killed in the strikes on the village.
“Prior to the airstrikes, Kurdish forces, who held the town before leaving after being attacked by ISIL, reported there were no civilians present in that location and that there had not been any civilians present for two weeks prior to the Coalition airstrikes,” Kellogg said.
A total of 66 civilians, including 10 children, have been killed in the US-led coalition airstrikes in Syria since September last year, the Observatory documented.
According to a report released by the US Central Command, US-led forces carried out 11 airstrikes in Syria, targeting ISIL positions at al-Hasakah, Der Ezzor and near Kobani.
After more than 100 days of fierce fighting with the ISIL, Kurdish fighters managed to drove ISIL terrorists out of Kobani on January 26.
Syria has been grappling with a deadly crisis since March 2011. The violence fueled by Takfiri groups has so far claimed the lives of over 222,000 people, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights,
More than 67,000 of the dead were civilians, including over 11,000 children, the group said.