US-led coalition raids kill scores of civilians in Syria

US-led coalition raids kill scores of civilians in Syria
Syrian activist groups say airstrikes by the US-led coalition targeting areas controlled by the Islamic State group have killed at least 21 civilians.
2 min read
18 July, 2016
Civilians have been caught between IS and US airstrikes in Manbij [AFP]
Airstrikes by the US-led coalition killed at least 21 civilians in and around a stronghold of the Islamic State group in northern Syria on Monday.

At least 15 civilians were killed in raids in a northern district of Manbij while six others were killed in a village near the city, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The extremist bastion has faced more than a month-long US-backed offensive by Kurdish and Arab fighters that has caused thousands of civilians to flee.

However, tens of thousands of civilians are still trapped in Manbij, most of which is controlled by the extremists.

On June 23, the Syrian Democratic Forces alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters broke into western districts of Manbij, after blocking the road south of the city heading to IS's de facto capital of Raqqa.

But their advance has been slowed in the past month because of landmines planted by the militants, which are also fighting back by launching suicide attacks against the SDF.

Founded in October, the Kurdish-dominated alliance has seized territory from IS across large parts of northern and northeastern Syria.

Capturing Manbij would be its most significant victory yet.

Syria's war has killed more than 280,000 people and displaced millions since it started in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests.