Syria: Airstrike on ice factory kills dozens of civilians | News | DW | 13.07.2018
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Syria: Airstrike on ice factory kills dozens of civilians

An airstrike in an area of eastern Syria controlled by the Islamic State has killed at least 28 civilians who were sheltering in an ice factory. Syrian state media blamed the US-led coalition for carrying out the strike.

US Air Force jets fly over northern Iraq after conducting airstrikes in Syria in September 2014 (picture alliance/dpa/US Air Force/M. Bruch)

Syrian state media has blamed the attacks on the US-led coalition that is combatting IS

Dozens of civilians were killed and wounded in an overnight airstrike in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor, a monitor and Syrian state media said on Friday.

The area is one of the last holdouts of the militant "Islamic State" (IS) group.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the strike hit an ice factory at a village near the Iraqi border on Thursday night, killing at least 54 people, including 28 civilians and 26 IS fighters. According to the monitor, dozens of families were using the factory as a shelter.

It was not immediately clear who carried out the strike. Syria's state news agency SANA reported that over 30 civilians were killed and dozens more were wounded. It said the US-led coalition was behind the attack.

A spokesman for the coalition, Colonel Sean Ryan, told Reuters that it or "partner forces may have conducted strikes in the vicinity," adding that the coalition would assess the report alleging civilian casualties.

Iraqi warplanes as well as those belonging to the US-led coalition have carried out airstrikes against IS in the area in the past.

IS continues to control small pockets of territory in eastern Syria.

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Syrian government raises flag in Daraa

The Syrian government raised its flag in the southern city of Daraa on Thursday, in the cradle of the 2011 revolt against President Bashar Assad.

The national flag was raised as the Syrian army moved into rebel-held parts of the city, which was the first city to hold demonstrations demanding reforms and then Assad's ouster.

The move was highly symbolic, as Assad's government continues its push to remove rebels from the key southern Daraa province, which borders Jordan and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

The Syrian government, which is supported by Russia, now controls 80 percent of Daraa province, while opposition forces still retain control of areas in the west.

Government forces secured the capital city of Damascus in May this year.

The conflict in Syria has killed an estimated 400,000 people and displaced millions of others.

rs/rc (AP, AFP)

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