Amnesty Report: US-Led Coalition Killed Hundreds of Civilians in Syria’s Raqqa

Introductory Note by Michel Chossudovsky

Featured image: A destroyed house where 28 members of the Badran family and five neighbors were killed in a US-led coalition airstrike on August 20, 2017, Raqqa, Syria (Amnesty International)

While the Amnesty Report confirms that the US-led coalition violated “international humanitarian law”, it fails to acknowledge that ISIS-Daesh was SUPPORTED by the U.S. coalition from the very outset. 

And then President Obama ordered the conduct of “humanitarian bombings” with a view to “liberating Raqqa” from the clutch of the ISIS terrorists generously funded by America’s allies (including Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states).

America’s fake counter-terrorism “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P) mandate was used as a justification to wage a war of aggression against Syria. The unspoken truth is that the US is the State sponsor of ISIS-Daesh. The Islamic State is a construct of US intelligence, affiliated to Al Qaeda. 

America’s ultimate intent was to destroy, destabilize and fracture Syria as a nation State. 

The “Liberation” of  Raqqa by US led forces constitutes an extensive crime against humanity consisting in actively supporting the ISIS terrorists occupation of Raqqa, and then waging an extensive bombing campaign to “liberate” the city.

The media has presented the Liberation of Raqqa as a counter-terrorism operation rather than an illegal aggression against a sovereign country.

The logic of the US led operation directed against Raqqa is similar to that led against Mosul in Iraq. 

Below is the review of the Amnesty Report by Prof. Scott Lucas

Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, June 5, 2018


Amnesty International concludes that US-led coalition forces killed hundreds of civilians in last year’s campaign to take the city of Raqqa in northern Syria from the Islamic State.

The organization issued a report on Monday based on visits to 42 sites of airstrikes and interviews with 112 civilian residents whose relatives were killed as the US-supported, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces captured the devastated city last October after a four-month offensive.

Four representative cases are detailed in which 90 civilians — 39 from a single family — were slain. Amnesty concludes,

“They are part of a wider pattern and provide a strong prima facie case that many Coalition attacks that killed and injured civilians and destroyed homes and infrastructure violated international humanitarian law.”

During the campaign, coalition forces carried out tens of thousands of airstrikes, more than 90% by American warplanes. The US also fired 30,000 artillery rounds on the city and surrounding arreas.

Donatella Rivera, a senior advisor at Amnesty, summarizes:

The Coalition’s claims that its precision air campaign allowed it to bomb IS out of Raqqa while causing very few civilian casualties do not stand up to scrutiny. On the ground in Raqqa we witnessed a level of destruction comparable to anything we’ve seen in decades of covering the impact of wars.

[The Islamic State’s] brutal four-year rule in Raqqa was rife with war crimes. But the violations of IS, including the use of civilians as human shields, do not relieve the Coalition of their obligations to take all feasible precautions to minimize harm to civilians. What levelled the city and killed and injured so many civilians was the US-led Coalition’s repeated use of explosive weapons in populated areas where they knew civilians were trapped.

One resident, Munira Hashish, explains,

“Those who stayed died and those who tried to run away died. We couldn’t afford to pay the smugglers; we were trapped.” She and her children finally escaped through a minefield “by walking over the blood of those who were blown up as they tried to flee ahead of us”.

Rasha Badran and her husband lost their entire family, including their 1-year-old daughter. She recounts:

We thought the forces who came to evict Daesh [the Islamic State] would know their business and would target Daesh and leave the civilians alone. We were naïve. By the time we had realised how dangerous it had become everywhere, it was too late; we were trapped.


Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.

150115 Long War Cover hi-res finalv2 copy3.jpg

The Globalization of War: America’s “Long War” against Humanity

Michel Chossudovsky

The “globalization of war” is a hegemonic project. Major military and covert intelligence operations are being undertaken simultaneously in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia and the Far East. The U.S. military agenda combines both major theater operations as well as covert actions geared towards destabilizing sovereign states.

ISBN Number: 978-0-9737147-6-0
Year: 2015
Pages: 240 Pages

List Price: $22.95

Special Price: $15.00

Click here to order.

Articles by: Prof. Scott Lucas

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article. The Centre of Research on Globalization grants permission to cross-post Global Research articles on community internet sites as long the source and copyright are acknowledged together with a hyperlink to the original Global Research article. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: [email protected] contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of "fair use" in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than "fair use" you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries: [email protected]