Investigating Reports of Civilian Casualties in Syria

An investigation by the US-led coalition fighting ISIS has shown early evidence that civilians were killed during an airstrike inside Syria, though the total number is likely less than reported. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed a coalition airstrike on the village of al-Tukhar near Manbij on July 19 killed up to 56 civilians. Army Col. Christopher Garver, spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, said during a Friday briefing that US Central Command is conducting a preliminary investigation, called a credibility assessment, into these claims. During the fight, Syrian Arab Coalition fighters reported what they thought was a large number of ISIS fighters in a convoy readying an attack, and a strike was called in. “The strike was against both buildings and vehicles,” Garver said. “Afterwards, we received reports from several sources, both internal and external, that there may have been civilians in the area who are mixed in and among the Daesh fighters.” Initial reports have shown that between 10 to 20 civilians were killed in the strike.