Air strike in northeast Syria kills 11 civilians, monitor says

Five children were among those killed in the air strike

Smoke rises after an air strike during fighting between members of the Syrian Democratic Forces and Islamic State militants in Raqqa, Syria, August 15, 2017. Zohra Bensemra: "Access to the frontline of the battle for Raqqa in Syria was more limited than during the battle for Mosul in Iraq. RaqqaÕs battle was different also from MosulÕs because we saw very few civilians who managed to escape. We didnÕt have daily access. We were often posted in buildings used as a command base or observation point. From there we could photograph troop movements and smoke after air strikes. On this day, we were refused permission to go to the frontline. They said it was too dangerous and there was no armoured car. Even so, we decided to wait with the hope of advancing towards the combat zone. We were sitting with SDF members when we learned from one of the officers that there was going to be an air strike. To our surprise, the target building was close-by." REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra/File Photo  SEARCH "POY IS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "REUTERS POY" FOR ALL BEST OF 2017 PACKAGES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

An air strike on an area in northeastern Syria still held by ISIS has killed at least 11 civilians, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Tuesday.

The Britain-based monitor said the strike was conducted early on Monday in the south of Hasakeh province by the US-led coalition, which has been battling ISIS militants in the region since 2014.

There was no immediate confirmation by the coalition of the strike, the latest in a series to have reportedly caused civilian casualties in the area in recent weeks.

The strike "resulted in the death of 11 civilians, including five children", Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said. "The bodies were only pulled out on Tuesday due to continuous bombardment."

He said the area targeted was near the village of Jizaa, one of the very last pockets still controlled by ISIS in eastern Syria's Euphrates Valley.

Read more: Family killed by US coalition strikes on northeastern Syria

Kurdish-dominated forces backed by the US-led coalition are spearheading the ground offensive in the area.

The Observatory, which relies on a network of sources inside Syria, says it determines whose planes carried out raids according to type, location, flight patterns and munitions used.

The coalition assesses some reports of civilian deaths resulting from its air strikes, and releases updated figures on the casualties it admits to often weeks or months later.

On Friday, the coalition admitted to nine more civilian deaths over a period of a year, bringing the total since the start of its intervention in Iraq and Syria to 892.

Monitoring group Airwars says the number acknowledged by the coalition is well below the true toll of the bombing campaign, estimating that at least 6,259 civilians have lost their lives in both countries.

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