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Air strikes kill 12 civilians in eastern Syria
January 02, 2018
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BEIRUT: Air strikes on one of the last villages still held by the Daesh group in eastern Syria killed 12 civilians, including four children, a monitor said on Monday.

The strikes were carried out late on Sunday on the village of Susa in Deir Ezzor province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

“Twelve civilians from a same family, including four children, were killed,” Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.

The Britain-based monitoring organisation, which has a broad network of sources on the ground, said the strikes were likely conducted by the US-led coalition that launched air raids against Daesh in Syria and Iraq in 2014.

There was no immediate comment from the coalition.

The Daesh group has lost nearly all the territory it once held in Iraq and Syria and is clinging to a scattering of small villages and pockets of land in the border area.

The coalition admitted on Thursday to “unintentionally” killing at least 817 civilians since it started its aerial campaign against Daesh.

Meanwhile, Syrian President Bashar Al Assad issued a decree appointing new ministers for defence, industry and information, Syrian state television reported.

He appointed General Ali Abdullah Ayoub as defence minister, Mohammed Mazen Ali Yousef as industry minister and Imad Abullah Sarah as information minister, state television reported, citing the decree.

Syrian opposition activists reported heavy clashes between government forces and insurgents east of Damascus, and at least a dozen air strikes.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and Syria-based activist Mazen Al Shami said Monday’s fighting was concentrated inside a military installation near the suburb of Harasta, where a government force has been trapped for a day.

The Observatory said the Syrian air force conducted at least a dozen airstrikes on Harasta and nearby suburbs. Al Shami reported dozens of air strikes. He said the government brought in reinforcements overnight and is trying to reach the trapped force.

The Observatory said three days of violence in the suburbs of Damascus known as eastern Ghouta has killed 35 civilians, as well as 24 government troops and 29 insurgents.


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