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U.S. Airstrike in Syria Is Said to Kill Dozens of Civilians

BEIRUT, Lebanon — At least 30 Syrian civilians have been killed in an airstrike by the United States-led coalition fighting Islamic State militants in a rural area of Raqqa Province, according to residents, activists and state television.

The attack, which hit a school where civilians had taken shelter Tuesday night, marked the second time in a week that Syrians had accused the United States of involvement in a strike that killed dozens of noncombatants.

Forty-nine people died last week when American airplanes fired on a target in Al Jinah, a village in western Aleppo Province. United States officials said the attack had hit a building where Qaeda operatives were meeting, but residents said the warplanes had struck a mosque where hundreds of people had gathered for a weekly religious meeting.

The United States military said it was investigating whether civilians had been killed in that airstrike.

In Raqqa, the Islamic State’s self-declared capital, hundreds of people who had fled their homes in other parts of Syria were sheltering in the school, according to residents and to the group Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently, a team of activists originally from Raqqa who monitor the conflict.

The two airstrikes have raised concerns about whether the United States military has become less careful, or less selective, in its targeting. President Trump repeatedly said during his campaign that he would loosen restrictions intended to protect civilians during attacks against the Islamic State and other extremist groups.

Airstrikes during the Obama administration also led to high civilian tolls, most notably during an operation last year in Manbij, when the city was held by Islamic State militants.

Khaled al-Homsi, an activist from Palmyra who opposes both the Syrian government and the Islamic State, said that among the displaced people at the school were families from Palmyra, which has changed hands several times in recent years, switching between pro-government and Islamic State forces.

Residents of Palmyra, an ancient city known for its Roman stone amphitheater, say they have endured bombing by government warplanes, harsh treatment and summary killings by Islamic State, and reprisals and looting by pro-government forces retaking the area.

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