The day of July 4th saw multiple allegations of civilian casualties reported in Raqqa. In one of them, an internally displaced family of seven living under a bridge was said to have been crushed to death following a Coalition airstrike.
Buzzfeed cited a surviving close relative in Turkey, who declined to be named publicly but said that “his father and mother were killed along with his two brothers, his sister, and her two children. ‘They have no respect for human rights and international laws that call for protecting civilians,’ he said of the U.S.”
In a study published in October 2016, it was reported: “A Syrian human rights lawyer told Amnesty International that many civilians spent time under bridges in the al-Raqqa area, since they provide, on the one hand, some shelter and, on the other, a place to relax, given limited alternatives in IS-controlled areas. A local activist told Amnesty International that, according to several eyewitnesses, the bombing of al-Farwasiya bridge, north-west of al-Raqqa city, caused several deaths and injuries among civilians only, as well as damage to homes near the bridge. He said that the targeting of the bridges which connected the city with the agricultural areas outside it was a “humanitarian disaster” for farmers and others impacted by the inability to transport their goods.“
The human rights group added: “The assessment of anticipated harm should include the effect that such destruction would have on the ability of the civilian population to access supplies necessary for their survival. The reliance of the civilian population on bridges for obtaining access to food and other essential supplies means that their destruction may have been disproportionate. Further, while the evidence is limited, the apparent civilian deaths and damage to homes as a result of the strike on al-Farwasiya bridge raise questions as to whether adequate precautions were taken in planning and executing this attack.”
The local time of the incident is unknown.
Sources (4) [ collapse]
from sources (1) [ collapse]
US-led Coalition Assessment:
Civilian casualty statements
during a strike against an ISIL High Value Individual, a car and a motorcycle entered the target area after the weapon was released. It is assessed three unidentified civilians were likely killed.
Original strike reports
The Coalition has confirmed carrying out eighteen airstrikes in the vicinity on July 4th-5th 2015: “Near Ar Raqqah, 18 airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying three ISIL vehicles and 16 ISIL bridges.“