ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Seven children were among 16 Syrian civilians killed on Monday by US-led coalition air strikes on Islamic State positions, a war monitor said.
The bombardment was part of the military support that coalition forces provide for the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which on Saturday announced the final offensive to end the jihadist group’s grip on the last pocket of territory it controls, located in the eastern province of Deir al-Zor.
According to Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), seven children, eight women, and one elderly man were heading toward the Iraq border when they were caught in the airstrike, reported AFP.
From Aug. 2014 to the end of 2018, the coalition has targeted the jihadist group with 32,297 strikes in both Iraq and Syria. It has been estimated that at least 1,190 civilians were “unintentionally” killed in that period, the coalition declared in a statement late January.
SDF forces have contained Islamic State fighters to a small area, about 10 square kilometers, east of the Euphrates River and along the border with Iraq.
“The Islamic State’s remaining fighters there are mostly foreigners,” Aysha Ahmad, a 32-year-old Syrian woman who had just fled the jihadist group’s areas, told Kurdistan 24 recently. Reports indicate that up to 600 Islamic State militants could still be in the area.
Editing by John J. Catherine