The head of the opposition Syrian National Coalition is calling for a suspension of the U.S.-led air campaign against the Islamic State group in Syria following a series of deadly strikes Tuesday around Manbij which killed dozens of civilians, according to locals.
On Monday, 21 people were also killed by U.S.-led coalition aircraft on Manbij's northern Hazawneh quarter. SNC President Anas al-Abdah said the airstrikes should stop while the incidents are investigated, according to a statement issued late Wednesday.
Al-Abdah also warned that the killing of civilians by U.S.-led airstrike campaigns could “prove to be a recruitment tool for terrorist organizations."
"It is essential that such investigation not only result in revised rules of procedure for future operations, but also inform accountability for those responsible for such major violations," Abdah said.
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Wednesday that the U.S. would look into the reports of civilian casualties around Manbij.
As news of the recent deadly airstrikes has circulated, many have taken to social media using the hashtag #PrayForSyria.
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The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 11 children were included in the dead from Tuesday’s strike.
Syria's Foreign Ministry claimed Tuesday's airstrike, was carried out by French forces, while Monday's strike was by U.S. jets.
"(Syria) condemns, with the strongest terms, the two bloody massacres perpetrated by the French and U.S. warplanes and those affiliated to the so-called international coalition which send their missiles and bombs to the civilians instead of directing them to the terrorist gangs," the Foreign Ministry said in a letter sent to the U.N. this week, according to state-news agency SANA.
The Western-backed Free Syrian Army, a grouping of factions which has fought against both President Bashar al-Assad and against Islamic State group militants, said "We will not allow any crime to be justified under the pretext of combating terrorism," calling the strikes near Manbij a "shocking massacres."