January 25, 2018 / 2:27 PM / in 9 months

Air strikes kill at least 13 in east Syrian IS territory - reports

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Air strikes on a village held by Islamic State in the eastern part of Syria’s Deir al-Zor province killed at least 13 people including seven women on Tuesday, Syrian state media and a war monitoring group reported on Thursday.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State had carried out the air strikes.

Rival military campaigns by the Syrian army with its allies, and by militias backed by a U.S.-led international coalition, last year seized most of Islamic State’s territory in central and eastern Syria.

The jihadist militant group still holds patches of desert on either side of the Euphrates River in Deir al-Zor province, as well as isolated pockets of ground elsewhere in Syria.

The attack targeted Shafah, a village east of the Euphrates, and at least seven women were among 13 dead, the Observatory said. Syrian state media citing local sources as saying coalition air strikes had killed 15 civilians in the village, including seven women.

Asked to comment, the coalition did not specifically say whether it had carried out the strike or not. It referred in an email to an earlier statement saying that coalition strikes had killed an estimated 145-150 Islamic State fighters in a command centre near Shafah last Saturday.

Reporting by Dahlia Nehme; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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