On July 12, warplanes of the US-led coalition conducted a series of airstrikes on civilian buildings in the villages of al-Baghuz Fawqani and al-Susah in the southeastern Deir Ezzor countryside, according to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA). The state-run agency said that more than 30 civilians were killed and dozens others were injured as a result of the coalition’s airstrikes.
Hours later, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that the number of casualties has risen to more than 54 civilians, including women and children. The pro-opposition monitoring group also accused the US-led coalition of carrying out the deadly airstrikes.
US-led coalition spokesman Colonel Sean Ryan told Reuters that coalition warplanes “may have” conducted airstrikes on al-Baghuz Fawqani and al-Susah in the last 24 hours. Col. Ryan added that the report of civilian casualties was being forwarded to the “Civilian Casualty Cell for further assessment.”
This is not the first time the US-led coalition is accused of committing massacres in Syria. According to SOHR, the coalition killed more than 3,300 civilians since the beginning of its operations in the war torn country in 2014.
The intense bombing on al-Baghuz Fawqani and al-Susah is likely a part of the preparations for a new military operation against the remaining fighters of ISIS along the eastern bank of the Euphrates River. The US-led coalition and its Syrian proxies may launch the operation in the upcoming days, if not hours.