A+ A-

US-led force denies civilians deaths in Hajin, Syria operations

WASHINGTON, Nov 18 (KUNA) -- Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) denied late Saturday multiple open source reports that "falsely claimed" that it "strikes near Hajin, Syria, resulted in the deaths of civilians." The CJTF-OIR said in a statement that it conducted "a total of 19 strikes in the Hajin area between the hours of 11:00 pm on Nov. 16 and 4:30 pm on Nov. 17 Eastern European Time." It added that these strikes "were in support of ground operations against (IS) targets in the Middle Euphrates River Valley.
"CJTF-OIR validated these targets as legitimate (IS) targets and assessed them to be free of civilian presence at the time of the strikes," it affirmed.
It noted that "CJTF-OIR's initial assessment following the strikes is that there was no evidence of civilians near the strikes." It added that "CJTF-OIR detected a total of 10 additional strikes in the same area of Hajin that did not originate from the Coalition or partner forces," and that these strikes "were neither coordinated with nor approved by CJTF-OIR." It called on "all other actors to cease uncoordinated fires across the Euphrates." It stressed that "CJTF-OIR deliberately selects targets and uses stringent precautions to avoid injuring or killing innocent civilians in its operations to defeat IS.
"CJTF-OIR takes allegations of civilian casualties seriously and investigates each one thoroughly," the statement concluded. (end) si.gta