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#PrayforSyria Trends As US Investigates Bombing That Killed Dozens Of Civilians

Nearly 60 civilians were killed in a US airstrike on the ISIS-held city of Manbij in Syria, a prominent rights group says.

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The Syrian Observatory of Human Rights (SOHR), a London-based NGO, called the strike a "massacre," one where they say they have confirmed 56 people dead and "tens" more injured.

Very clear footage (rare) of a CJTF airstrike north of #Manbij on July 5, 2016. Geolocation:

“We’re aware of reports of civilian casualties” in recent airstrikes in Syria, Defense Secretary Ash Carter told reporters at a press conference in DC on Wednesday. “We’ll investigate these reports and continue to do all we can to protect civilians," he continued. "Being transparent about this issue is a reflection of the civilized nature of this coalition.”

The hashtag #PrayForSyria was added to articles about the strike and soon began trending in the United States and worldwide. Many expressed disbelief that such an attack could be an accident.

Twitter: @megan813beatty

(An early report from The Telegraph cited "as many as 85" people killed in the attack, a number that is still being cited by many on the hashtag.)


BuzzFeed News has previously reported on civilian casualties under the coalition.

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The reports found that not only are they higher than claimed but that in Syria at least there is a set number — 10 — of potential deaths that are considered permissible before a superior officer is required to clear a strike.


Several unsourced pictures and videos have begun to be passed alongside the hashtag, including some that are from before the strike took place.

And hardly anyone is talking about this. No media coverage. Heartbreaking #prayforsyria

The picture on the right was tweeted on Saturday at least, if not earlier, claiming to show a photographer pulling a child from rubble in the Syrian city of Aleppo.

A photo series of a child asking "Is it fair that children around the world can live and play in comfort and safety, while we live in death and destruction" is also from before the bombing in Manbij.

This is absolutely heart breaking and cruel #prayforsyria

It's actually a quote from a recent BBC documentary, Children of the Gaza War, that documents the plight of children after several wars between Israel and Hamas.

Another picture, showing an actual river of blood, was real but the result of barrel bombs dropped in February 2015 on the city of Douma.

And this video, which appears to be of a father mourning a son killed in Aleppo, has mistakenly been identified with the Manbij tragedy.

Heartbroken Syrian man mourns loss of his wife and son killed in todays heavy strikes on the ancient city of Aleppo.

Hayes Brown is a world news editor and reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

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