Up to 69 killed in airstrikes on eastern Syria

13 September, 2017, 15:02 | Author: Lula Armstrong
  • Sabrina BLANCHARD

He said government troops continued to conduct successful offensive operations along the western bank of the Euphrates River in northeast Syria, clearing Islamic State (IS) terrorists in the northern and southern quarters of Deir ez-Zor after breaking a three-year blockade of this city.

"Russian and Syrian regime warplanes are striking IS positions in the city and its outskirts", he added.

Tribal figures linked to a US-backed alliance announced plans yesterday for a council to run Syria's Deir Ezzor, as both the alliance and regime troops battle extremists in and around the city.

Two sets of strikes 30 minutes apart hit civilians sheltering in tents along the Euphrates and boats on the river, the monitor said.

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The strikes come a day after the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Russian strikes killed 34 civilians southeast of the city, as they fled across the Euphrates River.

Around Syria, there are still pockets of other insurgents, some backed by Turkey and others by the US, in the northwest and north as well as in the south and near the capital.

Russian air power has been instrumental in recent Syrian military successes.

Moscow intervened in Syria in September 2015 in support of its ally President Bashar al-Assad.

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In a matter of weeks, Russia's military built up the base so it could host dozens of Russian jets. The militants retook it in a counteroffensive but were driven out again in March.

"The Kalibr cruise missiles launched from the Admiral Essen patrol ship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet have destroyed militant command posts and communication hubs, which made it possible to disrupt the management of ISIL units in this area", the general said.

Russian Federation has also co-sponsored talks with opposition fighters and the government to negotiate local cease-fires, and set up "de-escalation zones" in Syria, which were credited with reducing fighting around the country.

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