Led coalition airstrikes in eastern Syrian town kill 35

Two days of aerial bombardment in al-Mayadin have now killed a total of 50 people, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said.

Air strikes in mid-May killed almost two dozen farmworkers, a lot of them women, in a village in eastern Raqqa and at least 59 civilians in residential areas of Deir al-Zor, Zeid said.

The U.S. military says it killed three Islamic State group fighters in attacks this month and last.

"And, unfortunately, we think very scant attention is really being paid by the outside world to this situation and the appalling predicament of the civilians trapped in these areas", he added. It is not unusual to have conflicting casualty figures in the immediate aftermath of airstrikes in Syria.

United Nations human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said "all states" whose air forces are active in the anti-IS missions needed "to take much greater care to distinguish between legitimate military targets and civilians".

Zeid, who is a member of the Jordanian royal family, also says the rising toll of civilian casualties suggests "insufficient precautions" is being taken in the attacks.

The U.N. human rights office also voiced concern at credible reports that Islamic State is preventing civilians from leaving areas under their control, noting that this violated global law.

On May 14, Colville noted, airstrikes in a rural village of eastern al-Raqqa Governorate killed 23 farm workers, 17 of them women.

It said one was a Syria-based "facilitator" from Turkey, who was killed in an airstrike in Syria on April 27.

The third was killed near the Iraqi city of al-Qaim on May 18.

Zeid's spokesman Rupert Colville told reporters in Geneva that identifying the air force responsible for civilian deaths is often hard given the number of countries in the anti-IS coalition and the lack of credible information. A statement said the serviceman died of injuries sustained "during a vehicle roll-over".

A spokesman for the USA -led coalition fighting Islamic State told Reuters that its forces had conducted strikes near al-Mayadin on May 25 and 26 and were assessing the results.

Soguel reported from Basel, Switzerland.

  • Larry Hoffman