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Rights group: Coalition airstrikes in Syria killed 900, including women and children

Of the 910 killed, 785 were Islamic State fighters, according to a Syrian human rights group.

By
Fred Lambert
A pair of U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles fly over northern Iraq early in the morning of September 23, 2014, after conducting airstrikes in Syria. These aircraft were part of a large coalition strike package that was the first to strike ISIL targets in Syria. UPI/Matthew Bruch/USAF
A pair of U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles fly over northern Iraq early in the morning of September 23, 2014, after conducting airstrikes in Syria. These aircraft were part of a large coalition strike package that was the first to strike ISIL targets in Syria. UPI/Matthew Bruch/USAF | License Photo

ALEPPO, Syria, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- A human rights group released a report Saturday tallying over 900 deaths in U.S.-led airstrikes in Syria since late September, including dozens of civilians.

The report, released by the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, alleges U.S. airstrikes in the country have killed 785 Islamic State fighters, 72 al-Qaida backed Nusra Front militants and 52 civilians.

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SOHR said that a majority of the IS fighters killed were not Syrian, and that their actual number of dead is likely higher "because there is absolute secrecy on casualties and due to the difficulty of access to many areas and villages that have witnessed violent clashes and bombardment."

The rights group condemned the civilian deaths, some of which occurred when coalition war planes targeted oil fields and an IS logistics hub near Manbij in late September.

Rami Abdulrahman, head of the Syrian Observatory, said that those attacks only killed civilians.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said on Sept. 25 that the U.S. was looking into civilian casualties but currently had "no credible reporting from operational sources."

U.S. Central Command reported seven airstrikes in Syria between Nov. 17 and Nov. 19, destroying several IS vehicles, staging areas and buildings. In Iraq, 24 such attacks against IS units were reported in the same period.

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Called Operation Inherent Resolve, the multinational effort against Syria and Iraq's extremist groups has been going on since August in Iraq and late September in Syria.

Participant nations include the U.S., Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom in the Iraq effort, while the U.S., Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have conducted their airstrikes in Syria.

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