In The Crossfire

U.S.-Led Liberation of Raqqa Killed Hundreds of Civilians: Watchdog

The U.S.-led coalition that liberated the Syrian city of Raqqa from ISIS last year killed hundreds of innocent civilians and injured thousands in a “potential war crime,” a top human-rights watchdog says. Ahead of the one-year anniversary of the start of the offensive—which was carried out between June and October last year—Amnesty International U.K. published a report Tuesday condemning the coalition’s “indiscriminate” airstrikes. “Civilians in Raqqa have suffered grievously at the hands of the Islamic State, but they’ve also been imperiled by the coalition’s disproportionate aerial attacks,” said Amnesty Director Kate Allen. “The coalition’s operations in Raqqa have killed hundreds and injured thousands of civilians and the U.K. needs to come clean over its role in this carnage.” Coalition spokesman U.S. Army Colonel Sean Ryan invited Allen to “leave the comforts of the U.K.” and head to Syria and Iraq to see how they are “fighting an enemy that does not abide by any laws, norms, or human concern.” A Pentagon assessment released last week put the U.S. military’s civilian death toll at 499 for Donald Trump’s first year as president.