Sophie Dyer is a designer and researcher.

As a freelancer (medieval mercenary) she specialises in visual, open source, and human rights-based investigations.

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Airwars and Amnesty: War in Raqqa, rhetoric versus reality

Secondment to Amnesty on behalf of Airwars for the joint investigation into civilian deaths from US, UK and French air and artillery strikes during the battle to recapture Raqqa from ISIS.
(April 2019)
Airwars and Amnesty
#archives #documentary #human-rights

“I challenge anyone to find a more precise air campaign in the history of warfare […] The Coalition’s goal is always for zero human casualties.” Former Coalition commander Lt Gen Townsend (Sep. 2017) Airwars

“Every minute of every hour we were putting some kind of fire on ISIS in Raqqa, whether it was mortars, artillery, rockets, [High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems], Hellfires, armed drones, you name it.” Army Sergeant Major John Wayne Troxell (Nov. 2017) Marine Corps Times

The joint investigation by Amnesty and Airwars that found at minimum 1,600 civilians died as a direct result of thousands of US, UK and French airstrikes and tens of thousands of US artillery strikes during the Coalition’s assault on the Islamic State-held city between June to October 2017. The interactive report, which combined field research with open and crowd sourced data, is the most comprehensive civic inquiry into civilian deaths in modern warfare. At the timing of publishing the Coalition had conceded only 10% of civilian deaths documented.

  • Extract from the online report. Indiscriminate American artillery fire killed many civilians trapped in Raqqa's low-rise Dara'iya neighbourhood. Alongside witness statements, the report drew on a range of sources: Google Earth satellite imagery of US artillery bases, military strike reports, news articles and propaganda videos, to build a picture of the ferocity of the offensive