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staggering loss of civilian life. That is how United Nations investigators describe the effects of coalition air strikes in Syria. The intensified operation is supporting the assault by U.S. backed forces to destroy the Islamic state's stronghold in Raqqa. But hundreds of civilians have been killed in the process, with some monitoring groups putting that figures in the thousands since the operation began in 2014.
The Syrian Democratic forces are a group of Kurdish and Arab militias. They began to attack the city a week ago with the aim of taking it from the jihadists. The SDF has taken territory to the west, east and north of the city supported by heavy coalition airstrikes. On Wednesday, the chairman of the UN Commission of Inquiry also said that 10 agreements between the Syrian government and armed groups to evacuate fighters and civilians from besieged areas, in some cases, amount to war crimes.
That because civilians had no choice but to go along.