Civilian deaths in Syria at the hands of the U.S.-led coalition may be underreported by as much as 95 percent, according to a monitoring group.
This week has been “the worst week we’ve ever tracked,” said Chris Woods, director of the London-based Airwars that tracks the U.S.-led coalition, to the Daily Beast. The group estimated between 73 and 212 civilian deaths in a strike on Tuesday in Al Tokhar near Manbij.
"The bodies of 73 people have been identified by name, but around 50 people are so far unidentifiable because their bodies are so badly damaged," said activist Abu Yaman al-Halbi to the online news site al-Araby al-Jadeed.
Local activists bring the Manbij campaign’s total to up to 368 since May 31, reported the Daily Beast.
The U.S. military has promised to investigate but has only admitted to 41 deaths since the start of the campaign. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Wednesday that, “Being transparent about this issue is a reflection of the civilized nature of this coalition.”
WATCH: Syria: Battles in Aleppo
The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces launched an offensive to retake Manbij, near the Turkish border, from the Islamic State group, launching a reported total of 450 air raids. The opposition Syrian National Coalition called for a suspension of the air strikes while the incidents are investigated.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the U.S. coalition planes may have “mistaken” the civilians for fighters of the Islamic State group, while the SDF called the reported casualties “fabricated news.”