Anti-IS group coalition raids kill 43 in east Syria: Monitor

AFP , Saturday 17 Nov 2018

Fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), participate in a military parade during the funeral of a fellow fighter, killed in an offensive by the Islamic State (IS) group against an SDF position, in the Kurdish-controlled city of Qamishly in northeastern Syria, on November 11, 2018 (Photo: AFP)

Air strikes by the US-led coalition Saturday killed 43 people, mostly civilians, in a holdout of the Islamic State (IS) group in eastern Syria, a Britain-based monitor said.

Seventeen children were among 36 IS group family members killed in the village of Abu Husn in 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 IS fighters, it said.

The US-led coalition has been backing a Kurdish-Arab alliance called the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighting to expel the IS group 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.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online

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