BEIRUT: At least 30 civilians were killed Wednesday in separate bombing raids by the US-led coalition and pro-regime warplanes on jihadist-held territory in Syria, a monitor said.
Fifteen of the victims died in coalition air strikes on a village near the Islamic State group’s stronghold of Raqa, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. “The strikes this morning hit the village of Zur Shammar, about 30 kilometres (20 miles) from Raqa on the southern banks of the Euphrates River,” said Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman.
“The victims included three children and four women,” he added. The US-led coalition is providing air support to Arab and Kurdish fighters battling to oust IS from Raqa and the wider province.
To the southeast, Syrian government forces backed by their Russian allies are fighting IS in the oil-rich province of Deir Ezzor. Suspected Russian air strikes on Wednesday killed another 15 civilians — mostly children — in an IS-held village in that province, the Observatory said.
The dead were two families, Abdel Rahman said, “a man, his two wives, and their seven children, and a second family of two parents and three children.” More than 330,000 people have died since Syria’s conflict erupted in 2011 with anti-government protests that have evolved into a complex proxy war.
The Britain-based Observatory — which relies on a network of sources inside Syria for its information — says it determines what planes carried out raids according to their type, location, flight patterns and the munitions involved.