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Report: Syrians Killed In U.S.-Led Airstrikes



Tuesday, December 08, 2015
Istanbul — The U.S.-led coalition says it’s reviewing reports that its airstrikes against Islamic State militants Monday killed at least 36 civilians, including 20 children, in a village in eastern Syria.

The attack occurred on the mud-brick village of Al Khan in Hasakah province, which has fewer than 100 residents and is at the front line of a U.S.-backed offensive conducted by mainly Kurdish forces. It’s near the town of Al Hawl, which fell to Kurdish forces Nov. 13.

Syrian media activists and a relative of one of the families told McClatchy that the villagers had an altercation with Islamic State militants and asked them to leave. The tension grew into an exchange of fire.

“The Islamic State sent reinforcements to the village and coalition jets targeted the convoy,” said Khalil Khatouny, 27, who now lives in Germany. The airstrikes killed Islamic State members and civilians, mainly women and children, he said.

Five of his relatives were killed, he said, including a cousin, Ali Suleiman Obaid, and Obaid’s three daughters, Suhair, Sidra and Tasneem, and a son, Mohammad.

The U.S. Central Command said its aircraft had been in the area, and it was looking into the report.

Coalition forces Monday carried out four strikes against the Islamic State near the town of Al Hawl, according to the Central Command’s latest posting. It destroyed nine Islamic State fighting positions and several vehicles, including one filled with explosives, according to the posting.

Responding to McClatchy’s questions about Al Khan, Central Command said it had conducted airstrikes near Al Hawl recently, but “as with any allegations we receive, we are reviewing any information we have about the incident.”