50 civilians killed by coalition air strikes against IS in Syria
Some 50 civilians in Syria have been killed in airstrikes, conducted by a US-led coalition that aims to eradicate Islamic State (IS) extremists, RIA Novosti reported referring to the UN Secretary General.
"...the international coalition continued airstrikes against ISIL inSyria on a near-daily basis with reports of some 865 people killed, including 50 civilians, in Aleppo, Deir ez-Zor, Hasakeh, Idlib and Raqqa since strikes began," the report, accompanying Tuesday's oral briefing by UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos, said.
Amos stressed that "UN organizations and their partners continue to work in extreme and dangerous circumstances" adding that "sixty nine workers have been killed since the beginning of the conflict [in Syria]".
"Syria's economy has contracted some 40 per cent since 2011. Unemployment now exceeds 54 per cent. Three quarters of the population live in poverty. School attendance has dropped by more than 50 per cent," Amos said.
"I again appeal to donors to do more to fund humanitarian action in response to the Syria crisis. The appeal is less than half funded. We on the humanitarian side will continue to do all we can. But, as I have said to this Council on many occasions, this crisis requires a political solution. I hope, for the sake of the people of Syria, that one is found soon," the UN official concluded.
The 'Islamic State' (IS, formerly ISIL or ISIS,) was created in 2003 in Iraq. Between 2004 and 2006, the organization was led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and consisted of 11 radical Islamist groups, which had close ties to the terrorist organization Al-Qaeda.
Following the start of military confrontation in Syria in 2013 between the armed opposition and the government forces, the IS penetrated the country. The organization said at the time it refuses to take the oath of Al-Qaeda and declared 'a holy war' against all groups in Iraq and Syria, as well as the Syrian government forces.
Strengthening of the IS in Syria allowed it to return to Iraq, deploying military actions against government forces there.
In late June of 2014, the IS announced about the creation of the 'Islamic Caliphate' on the territories under its control in Iraq and Syria. In turn, Iraqi authorities asked the international community for help in fighting the IS.