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US: We try to avoid civilian deaths in Syrian airstrikes, as civilians killed

13th Aug 2015
US: We try to avoid civilian deaths in Syrian airstrikes, as civilians killed
WASHINGTON (AA): US.-led coalition forces have taken every effort to avoid civilian casualties in conducting airstrikes in northern Syria, the State Department said Wednesday.

Spokesman Mark Toner said he was “not aware” of attacks in the village of Atmeh in which dozens of civilians were killed from airstrikes on Tuesday.

“To the extent that we can carry them out with pinpoint accuracy and spare civilian lives, we do so,” Toner said, adding that all coalition airstrikes are “done in coordination to assist anti-ISIL forces on the ground.”

The Pentagon had also previously confirmed that coalition targets were properly identified during operations.

But local civil defense teams in Syria reported Tuesday that dozens of residents, including women and children, were killed overnight in coalition airstrikes on Atmeh.

Earlier Wednesday, CENTCOM confirmed to Anadolu Agency that it conducted a “deliberate airstrike” in the vicinity of Aleppo, including Atmeh.

“When an allegation of civilian casualties caused by coalition forces is determined to be credible, we investigate it fully and strive to learn from it so as to avoid recurrence,” according to CENTCOM, which added it had not been able to verify any of the casualties.

Author: Esra Kaymak
[Photo: Pphotograph taken from Suruc district of Sanliurfa, Turkey, shows smoke rising from an explosion in the Syrian border town of Kobani (Ayn al-Arab) following a US-led coalition airstrike hits an Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) targets on October 31, 2014. Photographer: Sercan Küçükşahin/Anadolu Agency]

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