The United States has been carrying out air strikes against the Islamic State in Iraq since July and in Syria since September with the help of Arab allies, Britain and France, according to a report by Reuters.
The strikes have killed 521 Islamist fighters and 32 civilians during a month-long campaign in Syria. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the majority of the deaths were militants from the Islamic State, an al Qaeda group that has taken control of large areas of Syria and neighboring Iraq.
The attacks also killed 57 members of the al Qaeda-affiliate Nusra Front, the Observatory told Reuters. Six of the civilians were children and five were women. Washington justified its actions under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, which covers an individual or collective right to self-defense against armed attack.
U.S. Central Command spokesman Col. Patrick Ryder said that Washington will take reports of civilian casualties or damage to civilian facilities seriously and there is a process to investigate each allegation. Close to 200,000 people have been killed in Syria's three-year civil war, according to the U.N.
What do you think of the air strikes? Are they more effective than soldiers on the ground?