ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A car bombing killed 18 people on Friday in the eastern Syrian province of Deir al-Zour, a monitoring organization has reported.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), 11 of those killed were fighters of the US-backed Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) forces and three were children.
The explosion took place in the town of Basaira in the northern countryside of Deir al-Zour where SDF forces are stationed, a security source told a Kurdistan 24 correspondent.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but the Islamic State (IS) has carried out similar attacks in the area in the past few months.
The deaths included "7 citizens including 3 children at least, in addition to the death of a commander of [a] regiment in the SDF," said the statement, which claimed that the bombing targeted the commander after exited a water purification facility the SDF sometimes uses for meetings.
The SDF continues to launch military offensives against the jihadist group on the eastern bank of Euphrates River in Deir al-Zour.
Backed by the US-led coalition, the SDF has been pushing through areas in northern and eastern regions in an attempt to clear them of IS sleeper cells, including the province of Raqqa, formerly the de facto capital of the jihadist group in Syria, and vast rural areas of Deir al-Zour.
Established in Oct. 2015, the SDF is comprised of Kurdish, Arab, and Assyrian fighters led by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG). The SDF alliance has control over large swaths territory in the northern and eastern Syria after liberating the region from IS with the support of the US-led coalition.
Editing by John J. Catherine