US -led coalition airstrikes in the Islamic State's de facto capital in Syria are killing hundreds of civilians each month, according to monitoring groups, deepening already grave concerns for thousands of families trapped inside the city.
Hundreds more civilians have reportedly died after being fired on by Islamic State or being caught in their minefields, Airwars Director Chris Woods said. USA officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said those were not the only aircraft in the area.
Maadan lies halfway between Raqqa city and Deir Az Zor city, where government forces control about half the city and a nearby air base, but both of them are besieged by ISIL.
A United Nations report says at least 300 civilians were killed in Raqqa in the three months since March, as cited by Reuters.
Over the better part of two months, the group says it has documented the deaths of at least 146 civilians in coalition airstrikes in and around the city - at least 60 of whom are children.
The report came only a day after the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, in two separate letters sent to UN Secretary General António Guterres and rotating President of the UN Security Council Amr Abdellatif Aboulatta, stated that the US-led coalition was perpetrating war crimes and crimes against humanity through aerial bombardment of residential neighborhoods.More news: Yankees, Tigers Involved in Brawl; Miguel Cabrera, Austin Romine Ejected
Earlier this week, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said US -led coalition airstrikes killed at least 170 people over the previous week. The report also accuses coalition forces of hiding the true extent of casualties.
Amnesty said one resident described how a dozen shells struck a residential area in Daraiya on June 10, killing at least a dozen people ranging in age from infant to elderly.
Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, the US commander of the operation against ISIS, told reporters earlier this week that it would not be surprising to see increased civilian casualties since the operation's start.
Amnesty urged the global community to urgently increase aid for fleeing civilians.
Doctors Without Borders said last month that the ongoing battle for Raqqa has left "sick and injured civilians within and outside the city facing major difficulties obtaining urgent lifesaving medical care". There is also a telephone hotline linking the former Cold War foes' air operations centers.
Townsend challenged the notion that civilian casualties had increased "to some significant degree", while conceding that because operations have increased in intensity "it's probably logical to assume that there has been some increase in the civilian casualties".
It's not known exactly how many civilians remain trapped in Raqqa and other ISIS-controlled areas around the city.