Amnesty's 'Strike Tracker' Allow Users to See How U.S. Bombing Destroyed Raqqa

Published November 22nd, 2018 - 09:00 GMT
Last year, the US - joined by the UK, France and others - bombed the Syrian city of Raqqa in an effort to destroy ISIS (Twitter)
Last year, the US - joined by the UK, France and others - bombed the Syrian city of Raqqa in an effort to destroy ISIS (Twitter)

Amnesty International launched on Wednesday a new crowdsourcing data project that would allow anybody with a mobile phone or laptop to help plot how the U.S.-led military coalition’s bombings destroyed almost 80 percent of the Syrian city of Raqqa in 2017.

“Strike Tracker” is Amnesty International’s next phase of an in-depth investigation launched after the battle in Raqqa ended in October 2017.

The non-governmental organization would look into the shocking scale of civilian casualties resulting from four months of American, British and French bombardment to oust ISIS from Raqqa.

Amnesty said its field investigations and analysis presented compelling evidence of apparent violations of International Humanitarian Law and prompted the coalition to revise its civilian death toll statistics upwards from 23 to more than 100, a 300 percent increase.

Milena Marin, Senior Adviser for Tactical Research on Amnesty International’s Crisis Response team told AFP: “With thousands of ‘Strike Trackers’ on the case to help us narrow down precisely when and where Coalition air and artillery strikes destroyed buildings, we can significantly scale up our ability to map out the apocalyptic destruction in Raqqa.”


U.N. data shows that more than 10,000 buildings in Raqqa were destroyed or damaged over the course of the battle in 2017.

“Strike Tracker” will help to narrow down the timeframe of the destruction of each of these from months to weeks – or even days, Amnesty said.

It is expected that anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 digital activists will get involved in the month-long project. To ensure data quality, the aim is to have each destroyed building analyzed multiple times by multiple trackers.

“We’ve been able to push the U.S.-led coalition to admit to almost every civilian death case we’ve documented so far. Bu, with bodies still being recovered from the wreckage and mass graves more than a year later, this is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Marin.


This article has been adapted from its original source.

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