Speed Reads

Crisis in Syria

United Nations war crimes investigators report American-led air strikes are causing 'staggering' civilian deaths in Syria

War crimes investigators for the United Nations said Wednesday that the U.S.-backed air strikes on Raqqa, Syria, are causing a "staggering loss of civilian life," Reuters reports.

The offensive aims to liberate Raqqa from the Islamic State's hold, although the chairman of the U.N. Commission of Inquiry, Paolo Pinherio, said the effort cannot be "undertaken at the expense of civilians who unwillingly find themselves living in areas where [ISIS] is present." So far, an estimated 160,000 civilians have fled the city due to the turmoil, while between 50,000 and 100,000 people remain trapped there, the BBC reports.

The U.S.-led coalition is thought to have killed hundreds of civilians since March.