SOT, journalist (Arabic): «This is a result of what?»
SOT, Ahmed Mohamed, Displaced from the countryside of Deir ez-Zor (Arabic): «Because we are seen as targets to everyone. Someone has a gun, someone is with ISIS… a lot of people are dying for no reason, children are dying. The hospitals are full. Some people lost legs, arms and others got shrapnel in their head.»
SOT, journalist (Arabic... Еще): «Who is targeting?»
SOT, Ahmed Mohamed, Displaced from the countryside of Deir ez-Zor (Arabic): «The coalition, the coalition [is doing this].»
SOT, journalist (Arabic): «So were there people who escaped the bombardment?»
SOT, Ahmed Rifai, Displaced from the countryside of Deir ez-Zor (Arabic): «Yes, there were some. And some managed to evade the ISIS compulsory draft.»
Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) from Al Quriyah, a village near one of the last self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIL/ISIS) strongholds, Deir Ez-Zor, spoke about their experiences and enduring countless airstrikes, Wednesday.
One IDP from the province of Deir ez-Zor Ahmed Mohamed stated, «The coalition is carrying out airstrikes a lot, on a daily basis.» He stressed that civilians are also being targeted by the coalition airstrikes, saying, «We are seen as targets to everyone. One has a gun, one is with ISIS… a lot of people are dying for no reason, children are dying.»
Mahmoud Rifai, also an IDP, described the situation of the region as that of a siege. «Targeting with cluster bombs, missiles and machine guns, besieging the region. The main reasons are the aircraft shelling; the compulsory recruitment of people to IS, aircraft shelling by the coalition, and the fact that we don’t have schools and universities anymore. That put an end to our future,» Rifai said.
For his part, IDP Ahmed Rifai accused the US-led coalition of using airstrikes indiscriminately at IS targets, but also civilians. He recounted how his uncle and cousins died in a coalition strike, and also said, «The international coalition is bombing the regions, for example, the hospitals, the military areas of the Islamic State, but without distinguishing between military personnel and civilians. They strike elderly people, the young, adults, all civilians.»
Washington has maintained that, as part of the international coalition, their operations in the Deir Ez-Zor region focus on IS targets, and they endeavour not to hit civilians.
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