The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports US airstrikes on the Islamic State-held city of Manbij in Syria may have killed at least 56 civilians, including 11 children.
While the claims have not been verified, Director of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights Rami Abdel-Rahman told DPA news agency:
“We believe that the raids which were carried out Tuesday were by US [or] allied planes, but it was by mistake.”
The Manbij offensive is an offensive conducted by the Syrian Democratic Forces to capture the city of Manbij from the Islamic State. The main goal of the offensive is to cut off Islamic States last supply routes from the outside world, and to prevent IS from moving fighters out of Syria to carry out terrorist attacks in Turkey and Europe.
During the offensive, the US-led coalition conducted over 55 airstrikes, in support of the Syrian Democratic Forces advances.
On the 18th and 19th of July, IS launched counter-attacks in the northern, western and southern countryside in another attempt to break the siege of Manbij. The northern attack at the Sajur River failed disastrously, resulting in the death of 111 IS fighters and the SDF destroying several armored vehicles.
In the south, however, IS claimed to have retaken the Al-Aqra Mountains, as well as the villages of Umm Al-Sirraj and Qarah Saghirah. In Manbij itself, heavy fighting continued, while the US Central Command stated that liberating the city would probably still take much time.