Horrific news has been received from northern Syria that a huge number of people have been killed after an American airstrike on a Syrian village.
The attack just before defence ministers from the anti-Isis coalition gathered outside in the US to discuss progress against ISIS.
US military investigators are looking into claims of the mass killing in Manbij. If the bombing error is proven to be from coalition forces it would be the worst attack on non-combatants in the on-going battle against Isis.
Coalition forces have been carrying out bombing campaigns in the area as part of a longer term plan to take back Raqqa, the Islamic State’s de facto capital.
Adnan al-Housen, an activist from Manbij reports the Guardian said: “The death toll is 117. We could document [the identity of] 73 civilians including 35 children and 20 women. The rest of the dead bodies are charred, or have been reduced to shreds.”
The attack supposedly took place in early on Tuesday morning, and the stray bomb hit a dwelling where around two hundred people were trying to shelter from the attack.
AirWars a UK-based monitoring organisation has gathered information about the attack form various sources. Their director Chris Wood said: “This is likely the worst reported civilian toll of any coalition attack since the bombing campaign against Isis began nearly two years ago.”
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the coalition’s allies on the ground, said in a statement that they had provided intelligence for airstrikes on Tokkhar. However, they were certain the bombs hit an Isis group and refuted any claims that civilians had died.
Ashton Carter, the US defense secretary, was concerned about the continuing struggle to take back this part of Syria from Islamic State’s control. Carter said coalition backed forces “have now surrounded Manbij city, which is one of the last junctions connecting Raqqa to the outside world and a key transit point for external plotters threatening our homelands.”