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UN: Civilian deaths must be avoided in Syria airstrikes

Spokesman says it is incumbent on those conducting airstrikes to avoid civilian casualties

12.08.2015
UN: Civilian deaths must be avoided in Syria airstrikes

NEW YORK 

Coalition nations conducting airstrikes in Syria must take every possible measure to avoid civilian casualties, the United Nations said Wednesday.

Local civil defense teams in Syria reported Tuesday that dozens of residents, including women and children, were killed in U.S.-led anti-Daesh coalition’s airstrikes overnight on the Atmeh village in Idlib province.

The coalition confirmed in a statement that it conducted a "deliberate airstrike" in the vicinity of Aleppo that includes Atmeh. 

"We are aware of claims of suspected civilian casualties relating to airstrikes in Syria and Iraq and we continue to evaluate them. To date, we have not been able to verify any of them," the coalition said.

In response to a question by Anadolu Agency, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said it is incumbent on those conducting airstrikes to ensure that they do not hit civilians.

"From the beginning of the use of airstrikes by certain countries in Syria, we have called on all those involved to ensure their greatest efforts to avoid any type of civilian casualties", he added.

Also on Wednesday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry denied media reports that aircraft taking off from the Incirlik Air Base took part in the coalition's overnight strike on Atmeh.

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