(Adds comment, background)
BEIRUT, March 9 Air strikes killed 14 civilians,
including six children, on Thursday in countryside around Raqqa
city in northern Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights
The warplanes were believed to belong to the U.S.-led
coalition against Islamic State, the Britain-based war
monitoring group said.
The jets pounded a village southeast of Raqqa city, near the
Euphrates River and along the road to Deir al-Zor province, the
Observatory said. Most of those killed were from the same
family, it said.
With air strikes and special ground forces from the U.S.-led
coalition, an alliance of Syrian militias has been waging an
offensive on Raqqa, Islamic State's base in Syria.
The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces cut the last main
road out of Raqqa this week, severing the highway between the
city and the militant group's stronghold of Deir al-Zor.
The U.S. military has said it takes "extraordinary efforts"
to avoid civilian deaths in its bombing campaign against Islamic
State in Syria and Iraq.
The military's estimates of civilians killed by coalition
air strikes are generally far lower than those of monitoring
(Reporting by Ellen Francis; editing by John Stonestreet)