Syria’s civil war: ‘Dozens killed’ in Deir Az Zor raids

Reports say 58 civilians among victims of Syrian-Russian raids on ISIL-held town amid claims of use of incendiary bombs.

Syrian and Russian air strikes have killed at least 82 people, including 58 civilians, in Syria’s eastern Deir Az Zor province, according to a UK-based monitoring group.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said three air raids hit the town of al-Quriyah, held by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group, in the suburbs of Deir Az Zor on Saturday.

“ISIL fighters have now set up a security perimeter around the residential area, where the town’s mosque is located,” Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the observatory, said, referring to the group also known as ISIS.

Russian fighter jets have been carrying out air raids over Syria in support of President Bashar al-Assad since September 2015.

Incendiary bombs claim

Elsewhere in Syria, activists say, warplanes have dropped incendiary bombs over populated areas in Aleppo city for the first time.

It was unclear whether the cluster bombs dropped in the northern city’s Dahrat Awad district were from Russian or Syrian government planes.

Government forces have been battling ISIL for months now for control of Deir Az Zor [Reuters]
Government forces have been battling ISIL for months now for control of Deir Az Zor [Reuters]

Al Jazeera cannot independently verify activists’ videos purporting to show Syrian children wounded by incendiary bombs.

These weapons are internationally prohibited due to their indiscriminate impact.

A Human Rights Watch report released in February found use of cluster bombs by Russian and Syrian military forces in attacks across Syria.


On yet another Syrian front line, Kurdish and Arab fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) overran a key road junction in the south of Manbij city, an ISIL stronghold on the eastern plains of Aleppo, after capturing nearby grain silos on Saturday, the observatory said.

“The grain silos overlook more than half of Manbij. SDF fighters can climb to the top and monitor the city,” said Abdel Rahman.

The Raqqa Revolutionaries Brigades, one of the Arab components of the Kurdish-dominated alliance, confirmed that SDF forces had seized the silos and pushed into Manbij.

The observatory said ISIL and the SDF were locked in intense street fighting as ISIL tried to defend their positions.

READ MORE: Is there still a political way out of Syria’s crisis?

Hundreds of Kurds fleeing villages near Manbij controlled by ISIL came under fire, amid mass abductions by the group, according to opposition activists and a Kurdish official.

The Local Coordination Committees, another activist-run monitoring group, said ISIL also opened fire at people trying to flee from Manbij, killing 10 of them, including children.

The Syria Democratic Council, the political wing of SDF, called on the international community and aid groups to supply those fleeing with whatever they need, saying many of them are in open areas.

The SDC called on the world to help the SDF “prevent the occurrence of a catastrophe or a massacre,” saying there were “indications” one might happen.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies