Thu Jul 21, 2016 10:45AM
In this file photo, smoke rises from the Syrian city of Kobani following an airstrike by the US-led coalition in November 2015. ©AP
In this file photo, smoke rises from the Syrian city of Kobani following an airstrike by the US-led coalition in November 2015. ©AP

Syrian activists have called for massive demonstrations worldwide to condemn recent US-led airstrikes in Aleppo, which claimed the lives of at least 140 civilians. 

The activists urged people around the world in posts published on their Facebook pages on Thursday to take to the streets to protest the deaths under the banner “Manbij is being exterminated.”

“We ask all Syrians, whatever their affiliations or sects, and all free people of the world and especially the people of Manbij to stand in solidarity with our devastated city on Sunday, July 24,” one page wrote.

The Facebook page highlighted that it is calling for demonstrations in reaction to “the massacres carried out by coalition warplanes, with the latest... in al-Tukhar.”

The Syrian Foreign Ministry said in statement on Wednesday that French warplanes had struck the village of Tukhan al-Kubra north of Manbij, killing 120 civilians. Scores of other civilians remain unaccounted for following the attack.

The fatalities came a day after a US airstrike killed 20 civilians in Manbij, the statement further noted.

Activists on the "Manbij News" page demanded protests in several cities of Turkey, including Istanbul and the southeastern city of Gaziantep.

Another page posted photographs of demonstrators rallying in the militant-held town of Azaz, located five kilometers from the Syrian-Turkish border, in protest at the deadly aerial attacks.

“Our children will tell God everything,” read one Arabic sign held by a young boy. “The al-Tukhar massacre is a stain of shame on humanity,” another sign said.

In this file photo, a pair of US Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles flies over northern Iraq after conducting airstrikes in Syria. (© US Air Force)

Also on Thursday, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of Kurdish and Arab forces, set a 48-hour deadline for Daesh militants to leave Manbij.

“This initiative is the last remaining chance for besieged members of Daesh to leave the city," the Manbij Military Council, which is part of the SDF, said.

On Tuesday, the SDF said its fighters had captured a Daesh “command center and logistics hub” in western Manbij and “provided civilians the opportunity to escape.”

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. UN special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimates that over 400,000 people have been killed in the conflict.

The UN has stopped its official casualty count in Syria, citing its inability to verify the figures that it receives from various sources.