The civilian death toll of the ISIS war continues to rise precipitously, with a series of Saturday airstrikes against the ISIS caliphate’s capital city of Raqqa having killed at least 40 civilians, including eight children, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Initial reports on Saturday put the death toll of the strikes at 16, with a large number wounded, after the airstrikes hit a number of shops and restaurants in the business district. The observatory raised the toll today, suggesting many of the wounded didn’t survive.
As of yet there are no indications if the airstrikes were launched by the US or Russia, as neither has mentioned such strikes in their daily accounting of the attacks. Some rebel groups were quick to blame Russia, though there’s been no confirmation.
It is not uncommon for both Russia and the US coalition to deny responsibility when they do kill civilians, and that means in all likelihood neither is going to be quick to admit to the weekend attacks. The civilian death toll in the air war is growing significantly in recent months, with both sides looking to get more aggressive against ISIS.