“At least 224 civilians, including 38 children and 28 women, have been killed in airstrikes by the US-led coalition on Raqqa since the SDF entered it,” the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The US-backed Kurdish forces are launching a full-scale offensive in bid to capture the ISIL’s de-facto capital of Raqqa.
Civilians who managed to flee Raqqa reported that besides the ones who have been killed in coalition airstrikes, ISIL snipers have also killed dozens of civilians attempting to escape the raging battles and indiscriminate bombardment.
Field sources reported on Thursday that a large number of civilians were leaving Raqqa city after the SDF managed to prevail over ISIL’s defense lines in different parts of the city.
The sources said that civilians were leaving Raqqa city in groups for a refugee camp in the village of al-Karameh East of Raqqa after clashes between the ISIL and the Kurdish fighters intensified in different neighborhoods of the city.
The sources said that a number of fleeing people were suffering from physical injuries and mental problems.
In the meantime, the SDF fighters advanced against ISIL and moved towards Central part of the city.
Military sources, meantime, said that the SDF imposed control over Seif al-Dowleh road that is the main road to the city center and goes through the city towards the Old Grand Mosque.