Turkey says it retaliated to 'harassing' YPG fire in northern Syria
28 June, 2017, 05:20
Nearly 60 people have been killed in a suspected US-led coalition air strike on a prison run by so-called Islamic State in eastern Syria, activists say.
"The removal of these facilities disrupts ISIS's ability to facilitate and provoke terrorist attacks against the coalition, our partner forces and in our homelands", Colonel Joe Scrocca, coalition director of public affairs, said in an email to Reuters news agency.
The building that was destroyed was reportedly being used as a prison by the extremists with the observatory saying that 42 prisoners and 15 jihadists died when the facility was hit.
Activist-run Deir Ezzor 24 media outlet put the tally at 60 civilians, adding that the building belonged to an al-Qaeda-linked commander before it was seized by the Isis in 2014.
Along with the Syrian Democratic Forces, led by Kurdish militias, the coalition is now taking part in an offensive against IS positions in al-Raqqa province, the terror organization's main stronghold in Syria. It was captured by the IS and turned into a prison, half of it for IS militants imprisoned by the group itself, while the other half is for civilians captured by the IS.
A spokesman for the US -led coalition said it would quickly look into the matter.
"So, ISIS is forcing civilians to stay in and around such headquarters to cause as many civilian casualties as possible in the strikes", he said.
It was not clear how they identified the aircraft responsible.
Most of Deir Ezzor province is controlled by the jihadists and it has been the target of air strikes by both the coalition and the Syrian army and its Russian ally.
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Israel annexed the Golan area following the Six-Day War in 1967, but the move was never recognized by the global community. Israeli aircraft targeted three positions from which the projectiles were fired, the IDF said.
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It said only that "the activities are similar to preparations the regime made before its April 4, 2017, chemical weapons attack". An Israeli military assessment also found that Assad's regime was still in possession of "a few tons" of chemical weapons.
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