The Syrian American Council demands that the U.S-backed coalition against ISIS investigate yesterday’s reported massacre on a refugee camp near Jadid Akaidat village southwest of Deir Ezzor City. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the strike killed 24 civilians, including 13 children, and was most likely carried out by the U.S-led coalition. Over 50 civilians were killed in Deir Ezzor Province on Thursday by Russian and U.S.-led forces in a dramatic uptick in civilian casualties.

The massacre in Jadid Akaidat is likely a war crime against the people of Deir Ezzor, who are victims of ISIS too and should be spared when targeting ISIS members. Civilians across Deir Ezzor Province strenuously resisted ISIS rule through mass protests and military clashes. Anti-regime activists in Deir Ezzor continue to report on ISIS crimes despite great personal risk. In light of the Syrian Observatory’s allegations, it is crucial that the U.S. investigate Thursday’s massacre to determine if the anti-ISIS coalition was responsible and, if so, whether the attack was deliberate and what steps can be taken to prevent future such incidents while holding perpetrators accountable.

“Recent history of the region has shown that fighting terrorism without regard for civilian casualties is a self-defeating endeavor,” stated SAC's Vice President, Dr. Zaki Lababidi. “The international anti-ISIS coalition is more than capable of defeating ISIS on the battlefield. Winning the peace after the war will require building trust with local civilians and investigating the Deir Ezzor massacre yesterday is an important step along that road.”