Family killed by US coalition strikes on northeastern Syria

Strikes were in support of Kurdish forces attempting to dislodge ISIS remnants

FILE - In this file photo released on Sunday, April 22, 2018 by the Syrian official news agency SANA, smoke rises after Syrian government airstrikes and shelling hit in Hajar al-Aswad neighborhood held by Islamic State militants, southern Damascus, Syria. Syria's military said Monday, May 21, 2018, that it has liberated the last neighborhoods in southern Damascus held by the Islamic State and has declared the Syrian capital and its surroundings "completely safe" and free of any militant presence. (SANA via AP, File)
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At least 12 civilians – members of the same family – have been killed in US-led coalition raids on ISIS in northeastern Syria, a monitor said on Saturday.

"The air strikes and artillery fire [Friday night] by the international coalition on the village of Hidaj, held by IS in the southern sector of Hasakeh province, killed at least 12 people," the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, using another acronym for ISIS.

The civilians – including two women and their children – belonged to the same family, it added.

The deaths bring to "20 the number of civilians killed by the coalition in 24 hours east of the Euphrates River," said the Observatory, which relies on a network of sources across Syria for its reports.

On Thursday, eight other civilians were killed in coalition strikes in Deir Ezzor province, south of Hasakeh.

ISIS fighters have lost most of the self-proclaimed "caliphate" they once controlled in large parts of Syria and neighbouring Iraq since 2014.

Today, the militants hold less than three percent of Syria, according to the Observatory.

In Deir Ezzor, the mainly Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces – supported by the US-led coalition – are trying to dislodge militants from the east bank of the Euphrates.

The coalition said on Friday its airstrikes in Syria and Iraq had "unintentionally" killed 892 civilians since its bombing campaign began nearly four years ago.

More than 350,000 people have been killed in Syria's war since it started in 2011 with a brutal crackdown on anti-government protests.

It has since spiralled into a complex conflict involving world powers and foreign militants.


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