Air strike in Syrias Deir Ezzor killed 26 IS jihadists: monitor

Clay Curtis
July 15, 2018

An airstrike in an area controlled by the Islamic State group in eastern Syria has killed at least 30 civilians and wounded many others, Syrian state media and a war monitor said Friday. Prior to forming a coalition to defeat ISIS in 2014, the US supported a 2011 uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and offered assistance to rebels trying to unseat the Syrian leader.

US-led coalition carried out the air strike near the town of Albu Kamal east of the Euphrates River. It said at least 54 people were killed including 28 civilians mostly from Iraq while the rest were IS gunmen.

The IS fighters were Syrians and Iraqis, the Observatory said.

The Syrian foreign ministry called the attack a "massacre" and an act of aggression by the "illegal coalition", adding coalition forces in Syria are occupiers because they are in the country without its permission.

Syria has blamed the USA for the incident in Deir al-Zour province.

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The small pocket of jihadi control targeted Thursday lies on the border of not only Syria and Iraq, but of multiple and sometimes overlapping anti-ISIS campaigns.

They have since lost most of that territory to various offensives, but still retain pockets in Syria including in Deir El-Zour.

State news agency SANA reported the strike late Thursday, accusing the US-led coalition of carrying it out.

IS militants in the area have come under attack from Syrian government forces backed by Russian air power from the west and US-supported Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) backed by U.S. coalition air power from the east. Attacks spiked after the extremists were evacuated from their last bastion outside Damascus in May, many heading to the Badiya desert, the Observatory said.

ISIS also has a presence in the northwestern province of Idlib, as well as in the southwestern province of Daraa where it has been battling opposition fighters in recent days.

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