US-led coalition warplanes killed more than 200 people who were hiding in the last ISIS stronghold in the Middle Euphrates River Valley on March 19, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) revealed in a report released on March 21.
According to the UK-based monitoring group, the coalition’s main proxy on the ground, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), banned the media from entering the liberated areas north of the town of al-Baghuz al-Fawqani on March 20 and 21 in order to bury the bodies of the victims and erase any evidence of the massacre.
“The bodies of 200 [people] were buried on Wednesday [March 20],” the SOHR’s report reads.
Despite the SDF’s attempts to hide any trace of the massacre, several Syrian opposition outlets were able to obtain photos of the victims’ bodies. The Deir Ezzor 24 released several such photos. However, SouthFront chose not to share them due to their horrifying content.
The SOHR called for an independent investigation into the massacre in order to determine if the coalition knew about th e presence of civilians when its warplanes struck ISIS positions on March 19. The U.N. will likely ignore this call as it had ignored other crimes of the coalition before.