GENEVA (Sputnik) – The intensification of the US-led coalition’s airstrikes in Syria’s Raqqa has resulted in civilian deaths and some 160,000 people becoming internally displaced, chair of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic Paulo Sergio Pinheiro said Wednesday.
“We note in particular that the intensification of airstrikes, which have paved the ground for an SDF [Syrian Democratic Forces] advance in Raqqa, has resulted not only in staggering loss of civilian life, but has also led to 160,000 civilians fleeing their homes and becoming internally displaced,” Pinheiro said speaking before the UN Human Rights Council, as quoted by the organization.
The US-led coalition of 68 nations is conducting airstrikes, ground-based and rocket-propelled artillery fire in Syria and Iraq against Daesh.
The coalition supports the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which predominately consists of Kurdish fighters, but also includes members of the Syrian Arab Coalition. The SDF has announced the beginning of the final offensive to recapture Raqqa, Daesh’s de facto capital.