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Damascus urges UN to stop US-led coalition from killing Syrian civilians

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This file picture shows a view of the Syrian Foreign Ministry building in Damascus.

Syria has strongly denounced repeated deadly airstrikes carried out by the so-called US-led military coalition in the Arab country, calling on the United Nations and the Security Council to stop Washington and its allies form killing Syrian civilians and increasingly damaging the country's infrastructure.

In two letters to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and the head of UN Security Council on Sunday, Syria's Foreign Ministry lambasted the US-led coalition's airstrikes in Syria's northern city of Raqqah, which killed at least 43 people in the Jomeili neighborhood.

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The ministry said the "crimes" committed by the so-called military alliance are no way less than those perpetrated by the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group against the Syrian civilians. It also said, in the pair of letters, that the airstrikes directly target country's infrastructure, "including bridges, oil and gas wells, dams, electricity and water plants, and public and private buildings."

The US and its allies have been bombarding what they call Daesh positions inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization, whatsoever, from the Damascus government or a UN mandate. 

The Syrian Foreign Ministry further said the real goal of the US-led coalition "are totally in contradiction with" its declared claims of eliminating Daesh terrorists and curbing other terror outfits in the Middle Eastern country, adding that fighting Daesh does not require targeting civilians, infrastructure and the Syrian army troops and their positions.

It also demanded that the world body prevent some of its member states, particularly the United States, from repeatedly flouting international law and to stop them from further violating Syria's sovereignty and undermining its independence.

In this file photo released by the US Air Force fighter jets fly over northern Iraq to carry out airstrikes in Syria.

The letters also said what the "illegal" military coalition was conducting was a sheer violation of the international humanitarian law, human rights laws, and the goals and principles of the UN Charter. The letters insistently called on the UN Security Council to strongly condemn the so-called alliance.

On Friday, the US-led military coalition, technically known as Operation Inherent Resolve, announced that its airstrikes had killed 484 civilians in Syria and Iraq, another Arab country in which it carries out airstrikes against purported Daesh targets.

The coalition's report on casualties also showed that the total number of dead civilians increased by more than a third as another report last month acknowledged 352 civilian deaths.

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However, the coalition's death toll is dwarfed by what independent monitors reveal about civilian casualties caused by the airstrikes.

The US-led coalition has repeatedly been accused of targeting and killing civilians. It has also been largely incapable of fulfilling its declared aim of destroying Daesh.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. In August last year, United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimated that to date over 400,000 people had been killed in the conflict.

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