The Syria Solidarity Campaign (SSC) absolutely condemns the massacre of more than 200 civilians today by US-led coalition airstrikes on Tokhar village in the north of Manbij City. Most of those killed were women and children. Many are still buried under the rubble.
The United States has armed the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), who are mainly Kurdish forces led by the PYD and who have been coordinating with Assad in his deadly war against the population of Syria. They have imposed a brutal siege leaving no humanitarian corridors for civilians to flee the city. Thus, civilians are trapped between the indiscriminate airstrikes of the US-led coalition, the shelling of the SDF, and the terror of ISIL. Civilians can’t flee the city due to the battles and they are being used as human shields. The closure of all humanitarian corridors has made the situation even more precarious, stopping the supply of basic necessities including food, medicine and fuel. All of these factors are leading to a humanitarian catastrophe amongst a civilian population of 250,000 in Manbij.
The actions taken by the United States have only served to prolong Assad’s deadly war on Syrians, which has thus far claimed more than 470,000 people and led to an unprecedented refugee crisis and global terror attacks. Fighting terrorism does not justify the mass killings of civilians. Such atrocities serve to support the narrative of ISIL, that the West is launching a war against Muslims. These actions will not defeat ISIL, but instead will lead to further radicalisation amongst civilians in Syria and abroad.
We demand that the US-led coalition immediately ceases their airstrikes in Syria in order to spare further civilian lives. We also demand that the US and the SDF lift the siege of Manbij immediately and launch an urgent investigation into civilian deaths since the launch of their campaign to liberate Manbij. Finally, we demand that the US and the SDF establish humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians and allow humanitarian aid into the city.
About the SSC:
The main purpose of the Syria Solidarity Campaign is to amplify the voices of Syrians struggling for peace and freedom. We work with all existing campaigns and organisations to help build a campaign that can assist the Syrian people in their struggle for a democratic, just, free and pluralist Syria.