The Obama Administration and American military have maintained silence on US-led airstrikes that killed at least 93 people in Aleppo Province in northern Syria.
The attacks were near the town of Sarrin, where the Islamic State has been trying to repel attacks by a Kurdish-Free Syrian Army coalition, on Thursday night.
The Local Coordination Committees reported verification of the deaths of 93 people, mainly in the village of Bir Mahali. The Syrian Human Rights Committee said it was working to verify names of the slain and to obtain an updated casualty list, with the injured being taken to the town of Manbij.
The US Central Command would not confirm that Bir Mahaly, about 54 km (33 miles) south of the Kurdish center of Kobane, was among six targets between 8 a.m. Thursday and 8 a.m. Friday “near Kobane”.
Central Command spokesman Colonel Patrick S. Ryder wrote in an e-mail to McClatchy News Service on Saturday, “We currently have no information to corroborate allegations that coalition airstrikes resulted in civilian casualties. Regardless, we take all allegations seriously and will look into them further.”
Captain John J. Moore issued the exact same statement in an e-mail to The New York Times.
Footage of the aftermath of the airstrikes — WARNING: VERY GRAPHIC IMAGES
In January, US airstrikes reportedly killed more than 50 civilians when they targeted a building, converted into a prison, in the Islamic State-held town of al-Bab, northeast of Aleppo. Central Command has yet to issue a definitive statement about the incident.
The Islamic State captured Sarrin, north of the militant-held city of Raqqa and south of the Kurdish center of Kobane, in March 2014. After the Islamic State’s failure in a four-month offensive to take Kobane early this year, Kurds began to retake nearby territory, supported on the ground by Free Syrian Army units and in the air by US-led strikes.
In late March, the Kurdish militia YPG took a hill overlooking Sarrin. However, the Islamic State counter-attacked, leading to back-and-forth fighting, especially around grain silos near the town.
Last week, the YPG-Free Syrian Army launched another offensive to move into the center of Sarrin.