52 civilians dead in coalition strikes in Syria: monitor
BEIRUT - Agence France-Presse
A Free Syrian Army fighter prepares his weapon during clashes with forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in the old city of Aleppo April 30, 2015. Fighters from 'the First Regiment' and 'al-Safwa Brigades', part of the Free Syrian Army, said on May 1 that they took control of Bashir Basha mosque after heavy clashes with government forces in the old city of Aleppo. REUTERS/Hosam KatanUS-led air strikes targeting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) killed at least 52 civilians in a village in northern Syria, a monitoring group said on May 2.
"Air strikes by the coalition early on Friday on the village of Birmahle in Aleppo province killed 52 civilians," said Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
"Seven children were killed, and 13 people are still trapped in the rubble," he said.
Abdel Rahman told AFP that Kurdish militiamen and Syrian rebel fighters were clashing with ISIL in a town roughly two kilometres (1 mile) away.
"But Birmahle is only civilians, with no (ISIL) positions and no clashes," he said.
Abdel Rahman said "not a single (ISIL) fighter" was killed in the strikes on the village, but that raids on a nearby town had killed at least seven jihadists.
Air strikes by the US-led coalition have supported Kurdish militias fighting the jihadists in Aleppo province, most notably in the flashpoint border town of Kobane, which is near Birmahle.
Backed by the strikes, Kurdish fighters drove ISIL out of Kobane in January.
A statement released on May 1 by the joint task force for the anti-ISIL coalition said it had conducted six air strikes near Kobane on ISIL tactical units.
Prior to Friday’s strikes, the coalition’s raids had killed 66 civilians since it began attacking ISIL positions in Syria in September 2014.
According to the Britain-based Observatory, the air campaign has killed more than 2,000 people in total, including at least 1,922 IS fighters.