World The 'Staggering Loss of Life' in the Fight Against ISIS

07:45  15 june  2017
07:45  15 june  2017 Source:   The Atlantic

Virginia Man Convicted Of Supporting ISIS

  Virginia Man Convicted Of Supporting ISIS Mohamad Khweis said he only joined the terrorist group to know what the Islamic State group was like and that after a few months, he realized the terrorist group was not for him.A Virginia man, who was convicted Wednesday for providing material support to the Islamic State group (ISIS), said he was simply “checking things out” by joining the terrorist group in Syria and Iraq. Mohamad Khweis testified on his own behalf at the trial, saying he only wanted to know what ISIS was like and that after a few months, he realized the group was not for him.

Text Size. At least 300 people have been killed in the northern Syrian city of Raqqa, ISIS ’s de-facto capital, since March in what UN war-crimes investigators have called a “ staggering loss of civilian life .”

The report, released Tuesday, provides some “ staggering ” figures related to the horrors of life in Iraq in the time of ISIS . “These acts may, in some instances, amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity, and possibly genocide,” the UN report noted.

  The 'Staggering Loss of Life' in the Fight Against ISIS © Rodi Said / Reuters

At least 300 people have been killed in the northern Syrian city of Raqqa, ISIS’s de-facto capital, since March in what UN war-crimes investigators have called a “staggering loss of civilian life.”

The surge in fatalities coincides with intensified airstrikes by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a group of U.S.-backed Arab and Kurdish fighters, against the Islamic State in Raqqa. The SDF launched an offensive last week on the city, which has been under ISIS control since 2014; SDF fighters claimed a number of key neighborhoods in the western, eastern, and northern parts of the city.

But the offensive has come at a cost. In addition to destroying “almost every important building in Raqqa,” the operation has put many civilians in the line of fire and displaced thousands of others.

U.S.-Led Airstrikes in Syria Killed Hundreds of Civilians, U.N. Panel Says

  U.S.-Led Airstrikes in Syria Killed Hundreds of Civilians, U.N. Panel Says The findings reinforced fears by humanitarian groups over the heavy loss of civilian life that could result from the American-led coalition’s airstrikes. Sign Up For the Morning Briefing NewsletterPaulo Sérgio Pinheiro, the Brazilian diplomat who leads the panel, said the airstrikes had escalated as an American-backed militia known as the Syrian Democratic Forces moved recently to retake Raqqa, which Islamic State fighters seized in 2014 and made their de facto capital.“We note in particular that the intensification of airstrikes, which have paved the ground for an S.D.F.

The report, released Tuesday, provides some “ staggering ” figures related to the horrors of life in Iraq in the time of ISIS . “These acts may, in some instances, amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity, and possibly genocide,” the UN report noted.

BEIRUT — Airstrikes by a U.S.-led coalition have caused a " staggering " loss of civilian life in At the U.N. Human Rights Council on Wednesday, Pinheiro warned that the fight against Islamic State Battle for ISIS 's Raqqa stronghold in Syria has begun, says US coalition. US airstrike in Syria targeted

“The intensification of airstrikes, which have paved the ground for an SDF 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,” Paulo Pinheiro, the UN Commission of Inquiry chairman, said Wednesday at the UN Human Rights Council.

Karen Abuzayd, the American commissioner on the UN panel, told Reuters approximately 300 deaths have been caused by coalition airstrikes; U.K.-based monitor Airwars puts the estimate at closer to 600. It’s a death toll the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs warned could rise, noting last week that between 50,000 to 100,000 people are believed to remain in the city.

U.S. Shoots Down Drone That Fired on Coalition Forces Near Syria Camp

  U.S. Shoots Down Drone That Fired on Coalition Forces Near Syria Camp The U.S. military shot down a suspected pro-regime drone that fired on coalition forces in southern Syria on Thursday, according to a spokesperson.Colonel Ryan Dillon said that the drone was armed and fired on coalition forces operating outside of the de-confliction zone around Al Tanf. There were no coalition casualties, Dillon said during a briefing in Baghdad.

John McCain has criticized the campaign against Islamic State as too weak, noting that 75 percent of airstrike missions return without firing a weapon. (RELATED: US Man Who Died Fighting ISIS Was Guided By God, Says Father).

The inquiry concluded that at least 105 people were killed during the blast, marking the greatest loss of civilian life since the U.S More than 350 civilians have been killed in U.S.-led airstrikes against ISIS since 2014, according to the Pentagon, though other monitors say the estimate is far higher.

Concern over civilian casualties isn’t limited to Raqqa. Human-rights groups criticized the U.S. last week for its airstrikes targeting al-Qaeda militants in the Syrian city of Aleppo—a March offensive the U.S. military concluded resulted in only one civilian fatality, but which other monitors claim killed dozens.

Human-rights groups are also calling attention to the U.S.-led coalition’s use of white phosphorus in operations against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Though the coalition claims the substance is a smokescreen to help civilians escape ISIS-controlled areas safely (the group has been known to target civilians attempting to flee), Human Rights Watch warned its use could pose “a high risk of horrific and long-lasting harm in crowded cities like Raqqa and Mosul and any other areas with concentrations of civilians.”

Indeed, though white phosphorus is not considered a banned chemical weapon and can be used in the battlefield, Amnesty International said the substance can reignite weeks after its been deployed, causing injuries that burn “deep into the muscle and bone.”

Indonesia's Military Chief Says ISIS Cells Are in 'Almost Every Province' of the Country .
<p>The Islamic State group (ISIS) now has a pervasive presence in Indonesia, the country’s military chief warned, where so-called "sleeper cells" are believed to have been established all over the Southeast Asian archipelago.</p>The Islamic State group (ISIS) now has a pervasive presence in Indonesia, the country’s military chief warned, where so-called "sleeper cells" are believed to have been established all over the Southeast Asian archipelago.

Source: http://us.pressfrom.com/news/world/-59002-the-staggering-loss-of-life-in-the-fight-against-isis/

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