Airstrikes against the Islamic State terror group by U.S.-led coalition forces in Syria have resulted in at least 300 civilian deaths since March, a United Nations panel warned Wednesday. A U.N. panel of war-crimes investigators said that as the battle against ISIS intensifies around its de facto capital Raqqa, civilians are increasingly getting caught up in the crossfire. “Coalition airstrikes have intensified around the city,” said Paulo Pinheiro, chairman of the U.N. Commission of Inquiry. “As the operation is gaining pace very rapidly, civilians are caught up in the city under the oppressive rule of ISIL, while facing extreme danger associated with movement due to excessive airstrikes,” he said. Pinheiro had earlier lamented a “staggering loss of civilian life” due to coalition airstrikes, which he said had also seen at least 160,000 people displaced. The investigators based their findings on interviews with survivors and witnesses, as they don’t have access to the war-torn country. The 300 documented deaths were caused by airstrikes alone, with 200 of them in one village, al-Mansoura.
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