Over 55 civilians killed by US-led airstrikes in Syria’s Manbij

US-backed Kurdish and Arab fighters advance into the Islamic State (IS) jihadist's group bastion of Manbij, in northern Syria, on June 23, 2016.  Backed by air strikes by the US-led coalition bombing IS in Syria and Iraq, fighters with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) alliance entered Manbij from the south, a monitoring group said.  / AFP / DELIL SOULEIMAN        (Photo credit should read DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US-backed Kurdish and Arab fighters advance into the Islamic State (IS) jihadist’s group bastion of Manbij, in northern Syria.
/DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP/Getty Images

At least 56 civilians, including 11 children, have been killed in US-led air strikes against areas in Syria held by the Islamic State of Syria and the Levant group (ISIL, also known as ISIS), a monitoring group said.

“We believe that the raids which were carried out Tuesday were by US [or] allied planes, but it was by mistake,” Observatory director Rami Abdel-Rahman told DPA news agency.

The Manbij area has seen intense US-led airstrikes in support of Kurdish-led forces who are trying to seize the city from ISIL, so as to block the armed group’s access to the nearby Turkish border.

The Observatory on Monday said that 104 civilians had been killed in airstrikes since the Democratic Forces of Syria (DFS) launched their campaign in the area at the end of May.

There was no immediate comment from the coalition, the Associated Press reported.

The SDF, an alliance of Arab and Kurdish fighters backed by the US, launched an offensive against ISIL to retake the city of Manbij late last month.

They have besieged the town and are advancing to the city centre under the cover of air strikes by the US-led international coalition.

ISIL has held the city since 2014, the year that the armed group seized control of large parts of Syria and neighbouring Iraq and declared its “caliphate”.

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