Q - The number of civilians killed by coalition airstrikes has risen considerably in recent weeks. Yesterday, 21 were killed while attempting to flee Raqqa. Has there been a change in the rules of engagement? Are these civilian casualties inevitable?
A - With respect to the rules of engagement, we invite you to take your question to the armed forces ministry.
Let me remind you that France and its international coalition partners attribute the highest importance to the protection of civilians. It is a priority in the Coalition’s operations against Daesh in Syria and Iraq.
We deplore the loss of civilian life as a result of such operations. Whenever that is necessary, an investigation is opened to get to the bottom of the situation.
Q - What role do you see for the SDF in the future running of Raqqa?
The Syrian Democratic Forces are playing a vital role in the liberation of Raqqa, which is a strategic priority for France.
The governance of areas liberated from Daesh must be pluralistic and fulfill the aspirations of local populations.
It is a precondition for the lasting stabilization of those territories, and tomorrow all of Syria.