WASHINGTON (March 17, 2017) – Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC) views reports of a US airstrike in al-Jinah, Syria, which reportedly killed at least 42 civilians, with grave concern. CIVIC Executive Director Federico Borello said the following:
“The U.S. military should conduct an immediate investigation, and work closely with local NGOs and any other sources able to provide information that could clarify details of how the strike affected civilians.
“Furthermore, relying on local armed groups for targeting intelligence in populated areas requires the US to take additional measures to vet information to reduce risk to civilians.
“A similar strike in October 2016 in Manbij, Sryia where local forces were relied upon for intelligence, led to civilian harm. Given the lack of a US ground presence in Aleppo to help ensure accurate targeting, the US also should disclose what precautionary measures were undertaken to reduce risk to civilians during current operations and for future operations. It also needs to swiftly review its tactics and procedures to reduce civilian harm as it expedites operations to retake Raqqa from ISIS.
“As US strikes increase in Syria, the US must ensure that all decisions to engage a target are based on sound intelligence and adhere to precautionary measures to reduce civilian harm. Civilians in Syria are under attack from ISIS, the Syrian regime, and armed groups. It’s critical to ensure that the US does not unnecessarily add to their suffering.”
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Notes to editors:
Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC)’s mission is to improve protection for civilians caught in conflicts around the world. We call on and advise international organizations, governments, militaries, and armed non-state actors to adopt and implement policies to prevent civilian harm. When civilians are harmed we advocate for the provision of amends and post-harm assistance. We bring the voices of civilians themselves to those making decisions affecting their lives.
For more information, contact Christopher Allbritton at +1 (917) 310-4785 or firstname.lastname@example.org.