ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – As many as 54 people have been killed by airstrikes late Thursday night in the eastern Syrian province of Deir al-Zour, a monitoring organization has reported.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), fatalities included Islamic State (IS) militants and 28 civilians.
The incident occurred close to the border with Iraq, SOHR Director Rami Abdulrahman told Reuters on Friday, adding that Iraqis made up most of the civilian deaths. He said the aerial operation was most likely carried out either by the US-led Coalition against IS or Iraqi forces working in cooperation with it.
On July 6, a car bombing killed 18 people in Deir al-Zour, with the SOHR claiming 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.
To the north of the country, renewed clashes erupted between Turkish-backed rebel factions on Monday in the Kurdish enclave of Afrin. According to the SOHR, the clashes broke out between rebels of the al-Jabha al-Shamiyya and the al-Mu’tasim Division, which resulted in casualties among both parties’ ranks.
In response to a recent call by the US recently that Tehran withdraw its military advisers from Iraq and Syria, a top aide to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Friday that Iran would only pull out its “military advisers” from Iraq and Syria at the request of those respective governments.
“Iran and Russia’s presence in Syria will continue to protect the country against terrorist groups and America’s aggression ... We will immediately leave if Iraqi and Syrian governments want it, not because of Israel and America’s pressure,” said Ali Akbar Velayati, during a conference in Moscow, according to Mayadeen Television Network.