Anti-Daesh coalition raids kill 43 in east Syria: monitor

Coalition air strikes Saturday killed at least 36 civilians related to Daesh in an extremist holdout in eastern Syria near the Iraqi border. (AFP)
Updated 17 November 2018
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Anti-Daesh coalition raids kill 43 in east Syria: monitor

  • Seventeen children were among 36 Daesh family members killed in Abu Husn village of Deir Ezzor province near the Iraqi border
  • Another seven victims had not yet been identified as either civilians or Daesh fighters

BEIRUT: Air strikes by the US-led coalition Saturday killed 43 people, mostly civilians, in a Daesh holdout in eastern Syria, a Britain-based monitor said.
Seventeen children were among 36 Daesh family members killed in Abu Husn village of Deir Ezzor province near the Iraqi border, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Another seven victims had not yet been identified as either civilians or Daesh fighters, it said.
The US-led coalition has been backing a Kurdish-Arab alliance called the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighting to expel the extremists from the pocket around Abu Husn.
"It's the highest death toll in coalition air strikes since the SDF launched its attack against the IS pocket" in September, Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said.
The coalition has repeatedly said it does its utmost to prevent civilian casualties.
"The avoidance of civilian casualties is our highest priority when conducting strikes against legitimate military targets with precision munitions," spokesman Sean Ryan told AFP this week.
Daesh overran large swathes of Syria and neighbouring Iraq in 2014, proclaiming a "caliphate" in land it controlled.
But the militant group has since lost most of it to various offensives in both countries.
In Syria, the group has seen its presence reduced to parts of the vast Badia desert and the pocket in Deir Ezzor.
The coalition has since 2014 acknowledged direct responsibility for over 1,100 civilian deaths in Syria and Iraq, but rights groups put the number killed much higher.


Russia denies its troops are fighting in northwest Syria: RIA

Updated 21 min 12 sec ago
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Russia denies its troops are fighting in northwest Syria: RIA

  • Syrian rebels said Russia sent troops to help the regime forces
  • The fighting in northwest Syria escalated in the past two months

MOSCOW: Russia on Thursday denied allegations by Syrian rebels that Russian special forces or ground troops were fighting in the campaign for the rebel-held region of Idlib, the RIA news agency reported.
Senior rebel commanders said on Wednesday that Russia has sent special forces in recent days to fight alongside Syrian army troops struggling to make gains in a more than two month assault in northwestern Syria to seize the last opposition bastion.
“Russia has had no and has no ground forces in Syria,” the defense ministry was cited as saying.