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US-led coalition airstrikes kill 43 in Syria

On November 17th 2018, US-led coalition airstrikes killed 43 people, mostly civilians, in ISIS-controlled Abu Husn village in Deir Ezzor province, Syria.

Of the dead, 36 are family members of ISIS, including 17 children. Whilst another seven victims have not yet been identified as either civilians or ISIS fighters.

In recent weeks, civilian casualties from US-led coalition airstrikes have become more frequent.

Last month, October 2018, the US-led coalition was responsible for 46% of civilian casualties from all explosive weapon use in Syria. All reported civilian casualties from airstrikes were perpetrated by the US-led coalition on ISIS-occupied areas in Deir Ezzor, particularly Hajin and Al Sousa.

Despite the numbers of civilian casualties from US-led coalition airstrikes falling by 79% during the first ten months of 2018, compared to the same period last year, the marked uptick in civilian casualties from such violence last month is cause for concern. With at least 122 civilian casualties from US-led coalition airstrikes in Syria in October, this accounts for almost a third (31%) of the civilian casualties said to have been caused by the US-led coalition in Syria this year.

At least 94% of all civilian casualties from US-led coalition airstrikes in Syria have occurred in populated areas, such as towns and cities.

In total, over the first ten months of 2018, AOAV has recorded a 20% decrease in civilian casualties from explosive violence in Syria, compared to the same time last year. And, over the course of this year the decrease is far greater. With civilian casualty numbers between June and October seeing a 71% decline compared to the first five months of the year.

However, despite the fall in violence, Syria remains the worst impacted country in 2018 so far.

AOAV strongly condemns the use of violence against civilians and calls upon all states and groups to stop using weapons with wide-area impacts in populated areas, due to the severe impact these have on civilians.