Syrian Observatory: US-led coalition strike kills 25

26 Feb, 2018 2:23 pm

BEIRUT (Reuters) – An air strike by the US-led coalition against Islamic State has killed 25 people including children in the militant group’s last enclave on the Euphrates in Syria, a war monitor said on Monday.

The air strike took place in the settlement of Dahra Alouni close to al-Shaafa region, and more than half of those killed were women and children, said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Asked about the report, the coalition spokesman, Colonel Ryan Dillon said: “We take all allegations seriously and as we always do we will put it into our civilian casualty assessment and we will publish the results of those on a monthly basis.”

Islamic State has lost most of the territory it had captured in Syria in the face of military campaigns by both the US-led coalition that supports an alliance of Syrian militias and by Syrian government forces, which are backed by Russia and Iran.

But the jihadist group still holds small pockets of land in eastern Syria on both sides of the Euphrates, and also in a southern suburb of Damascus and in the country’s southwest.

War monitors say coalition air strikes during the campaigns against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq have killed large numbers of civilians. The coalition says it takes great care to avoid civilian casualties.

Meanwhile ,United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on Monday for warring sides to implement a 30-day ceasefire across Syria, in line with an appeal by major powers at the weekend.

UN aid agencies are ready to deliver life-saving aid and evacuate critically wounded from the rebel-held Damascus enclave of eastern Ghouta, where 400,000 people have been living under siege, Guterres said.

UN human rights chief Zeid Ra‘ad al-Hussein said air strikes on eastern Ghouta were continuing on Monday morning.

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