US Coalition Airstrikes Kills 23 Civilians in Northern Syria

Attack Targeted Village Southeast of ISIS Capital of Raqqa

A flurry of airstrikes by planes belonging to the US-led anti-ISIS coalition attacked the village of al-Matab today, just southeast of the ISIS capital city of Raqqa. The strikes killed 23 civilians, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, with at least eight of them children.

Coalition spokesman Col. John Dorrian confirmed that US warplanes were carrying out airstrikes in the area in question, but said there was no way to know whether their airstrikes were the ones causing the casualties. He promised an investigation.

Of course, US investigations into airstrikes in Iraq and Syria almost never result in credible death tolls, with most of the investigations scrapped before any conclusion is reached, and the “official” US death toll less than 10% of the civilian toll from strikes reported by NGOs.

US officials are claiming a number of ISIS leadership figures have been trying to flee southeast from Raqqa into Deir Ezzor Province, and that the US and their allies are trying to cut off the road between the two. Whether bombing civilians in a village in the area is part of that plan is unclear.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.