Thursday 17 August 2017

35 killed as fresh wave of airstrikes​ hits Syria

A fresh wave of airstrikes in eastern Syria killed at least 35 civilians including women and children. Photo: PA
A fresh wave of airstrikes in eastern Syria killed at least 35 civilians including women and children. Photo: PA

Bassem Mroue

A fresh wave of airstrikes in eastern Syria killed at least 35 civilians including women and children, state media and a monitoring group reported, as the UN human rights chief said civilians are increasingly paying the price of escalating attacks against Isil in the country.

Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein's comments came hours after airstrikes on the Isil-held eastern Syrian town of Mayadeen, where airstrikes on Thursday night killed dozens, many of them family members of Isil fighters.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the airstrikes were conducted by the US-led coalition fighting Isil.

It added that the airstrikes began around sunset on Thursday as people were heading to mosques for evening prayers and continued until the early hours of yesterday.

"The same civilians who are suffering indiscriminate shelling and summary executions by Isil, are also falling victim to the escalating airstrikes, particularly in the northeastern governorates of Raqqa and Deir el-Zour," Mr al-Hussein said in a statement from Geneva.

"Unfortunately, scant attention is being paid by the outside world to the appalling predicament of the civilians trapped in these areas."

The airstrikes came as the US military said it killed three Isil fighters in attacks in Syria and Iraq over the past month.

The observatory monitoring group later said a total of 106 people have been killed in Mayadeen since Thursday evening, including Isil fighters and 42 children.

The group said among the 106 were 80 people who perished when a four-storey building housing families of Isil fighters from Syria and north Africa was destroyed in an airstrike. More than 20, including 10 Isil fighters, were killed in other airstrikes that hit the municipality building among other places.

Fighting

Syria's state news agency Sana also said 35 civilians, most of them women and children, were killed in the airstrikes, also blaming the coalition.

There was no immediate comment from the coalition. It is not unusual to have conflicting casualty figures in the immediate aftermath of airstrikes in Syria.

Reports of deaths among civilians have been on the rise as the fighting against Isil intensifies in northern and eastern Syria.

Irish Independent

Editors Choice

Also in World News