Re­port: 40 killed in US-led strikes vs. IS

Belleville News-Democrat (Sunday) - - News - BY SARAH EL DEEB

U.S-led coali­tion airstrikes on the last pocket held by Is­lamic State mil­i­tants in Syria near the Iraqi bor­der killed at least 40 peo­ple, mostly women and chil­dren, a war mon­i­tor and Syr­ian state me­dia re­ported.

The coali­tion con­firmed strikes in the area but said no “civil­ian ca­su­al­ties are as­so­ci­ated” with them, re­it­er­at­ing that it takes mea­sures to avoid non­com­bat­ant ca­su­al­ties.

“We have wit­nessed (IS) us­ing places of wor­ship and hos­pi­tals as com­mand cen­ters against the laws of war, and in­no­cent civil­ians as hu­man shields,” Col. Sean Ryan, a spokesman for the coali­tion, said in an email to The AP.

The re­mote area near the bor­der with Iraq is dif­fi­cult to ac­cess and it was not pos­si­ble to in­de­pen­dently ver­ify the re­ports.

How­ever, Rami Ab­dur­rah­man, head of the Bri­tain-based Syr­ian Ob­ser­va­tory for Hu­man Rights, said the early Satur­day airstrikes hit homes in Abu al-Has­san vil­lage, near the town of Ha­jin, which lies along the bor­der with Iraq.

Ab­dur­rah­man said the airstrikes killed at least 43 peo­ple, in­clud­ing 17 chil­dren and 12 women.

Ac­tivist Omar Abou Leila, who mon­i­tors the war in Deir el-Zour from Europe, also con­firmed the strikes but said it was dif­fi­cult to ver­ify the death toll. Abou Leila said IS mil­i­tants are pre­vent­ing civil­ians from leav­ing the area, re­sult­ing in the high ca­su­alty toll among them.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.