The head of the opposition Syrian National Coalition (SNC) called for a suspension of the U.S.-led air campaign against Islamic State in Syria while reports of dozens of civilian deaths from air strikes around the northern city of Manbij are investigated.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Tuesday’s airstrikes killed 56 people, including 11 children, in the countryside north of Manbij. Dozens more are wounded.
SNC president Anas al-Abdah said the strikes should be halted while the incidents were investigated and warned that the killing of civilians by the U.S.-led air campaign would "prove to be a recruitment tool for terrorist organizations".
Syrian activists have also called for widespread protests after dozens of civilians were killed in US-led coalition air strikes near a northern town held by ISIS.
Activists on their Facebook pages urged people around the world to take to the streets to protest the deaths under the banner "Manbij is being exterminated".
"We ask all Syrians, whatever their affiliations or sects, and all free people of the world and especially the people of Manbij to stand in solidarity with our devastated city on Sunday, July 24," they wrote.
The US-led coalition to defeat Islamic State in Iraq and Syria will investigate reports it killed dozens of innocent civilians on Tuesday in an air strike in northern Syria, US Defence Secretary Ash Carter said on Wednesday.
"We'll ... continue to do all we can to protect civilians from harm," Carter said. "Being scrupulously careful in avoiding civilian casualties and being transparent about this issue is a reflection of the civilized nature of this coalition."
The Manbij area is the last large tract of land along Syria's northern border with Turkey under ISIS control, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Human rights group said airstrikes this week killed dozens of people, pushing the death toll past 100.