"We have confirmed Coalition strikes in the area of Deir ez-Zor province on Thursday and no civilian casualties are associated with the strikes in question," spokesman Sean Ryan said when asked about reports that at least 17 non-combatants died in a strike on Bu-Badran, Syria. "The Coalition takes great measures to identify and strike appropriate ISIS targets in order to avoid non-combatant casualties."
Prior to the spokesman's comment, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said it was concerned by reports that as many as 30 children were killed in recent attacks on Syria's al-Shafa village, controlled by the US-led coalition, the director Cappelaere said in a statement Friday.
“UNICEF is alarmed by recent reports of up to 30 children who have been killed in recent violence in Al Shafa village, in eastern Syria. These reported killings demonstrate that the war on children is far from over in Syria,” Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa Geert Cappelaere said. “UNICEF calls on warring parties to protect all children – no matter where they are in Syria and no matter whose control they live under.”
The statement comes after the Syrian state-run SANA news agency reported on Monday that over 60 civilians were killed or injured as a result of the US-led international coalition airstrike on al-Shafa village in Deir ez-Zor province.
The US-led coalition has carried out airstrikes in Deir ez-Zor province numerous times within the last several months. Earlier this month, media reported that 26 civilians, including women and children, were killed in an airstrike by the coalition on the city of Hajin. Following the airstrike, Damascus similarly sent letters to the UN secretary-general and UN Security Council president.