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Coalition airstrikes kill 106 civilians in Al Mayadeen

US-led coalition airstrikes targeting Al Mayadeen in Deir Ezzor, Syria, overnight on Thursday, May 25th 2017, killed 106 civilians, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).

The airstrikes on the ISIS-held town landed on buildings housing families of ISIS fighters. At least 42 of the 106 killed are said to be children.

Civilian casualties from Coalition airstrikes appear to have significantly risen in recent months. Data compiled by Airwars, a nonprofit group that tracks reports of civilian deaths in Iraq and Syria, showed a significant jump in the number of reported deaths in the first three months of 2017.

The United States military recently confirmed that American-led airstrikes had been responsible for at least 352 civilian deaths since the start of the war against the Islamic State. However, Airwars estimated that the total was eight times higher.

Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) records the harm caused by explosive violence across the globe according to English-language media sources. Syria has consistently been one of the states worst impacted by explosive violence. Between 2011-2016 Syria saw at least 51,875 reported deaths and injuries from explosive violence. Of these, 86% (44,614) were civilians. Last year, AOAV recorded 13,313 civilian deaths and injuries from explosive violence. 48% were caused by air-launched weapons.

Compared to 2015, AOAV recorded a 45% increase in civilian deaths and injuries from air-launched explosive violence in Syria.

AOAV calls upon states to recognise the civilian impact of explosive weapons with wide-area impacts, which all too often result in the death and injury of scores of civilians. The International Network on Explosive Weapons (INEW), of which Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) is a member, released a briefing paper last year, ‘A Declaration to Prevent Harm From the Use of Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas‘, which sets out the key elements that should be included in a political instrument to address the humanitarian problem posed by the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.


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