U.S. attack by white phosphorus on Raqqa kills tens of civilians

Source: Xinhua| 2017-06-09 06:45:00|Editor: yan
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DAMASCUS, June 9 (Xinhua) -- Tens of civilians were killed on Thursday when the U.S.-led airstrikes targeted Syria's northern city of Raqqa with white phosphorus, pro-government Sham FM radio reported.

The "unprecedented" airstrikes targeted the neighborhoods of Mashlab, Haret al-Bado, and Rmaileh, said the report, adding that the number of civilian casualties has not yet been clear but it estimated the deaths at tens.

Meanwhile, activists from Raqqa posted footages purporting to show the U.S.-led attack, showing the skies of Raqqa lit by a rainfall of glowing rockets hitting the city.

This comes as the U.S. is backing the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in their latest push to capture Raqqa from the Islamic State (IS) group, after the SDF announced on Tuesday the commencement of their offensive to drive IS out of Raqqa.

The SDF made notable gains in the eastern and western flanks of the city, amid talks of some withdrawal of IS commanders toward the Syrian Desert, where the army is fighting to eliminate IS and to keep them from reaching other destination near the ancient city of Palmyra.

The state news agency SANA said the government forces reached areas in the countryside of Raqqa on Thursday after battles with IS.

Still, no declared cooperation between the Syrian army and the SDF has been announced, but the rhetoric of the Syrian state media pertaining the Kurdish and US operations in Raqqa seems not entirely supportive, particularly with the falling of so many civilian casualties in the process.