Led strikes kill 35 civilians in east Syria: monitor

There were reports of fresh deaths on Friday, as 35 people were reportedly killed when bombing destroyed a market and a four-storey building in the Isis-held town of Mayadeen.

It added that the air strikes began around sunset on Thursday as people were heading to mosques for evening prayers, and continued until the early hours of Friday.

Numerous families had fled from Raqqa, ISIS' stronghold to the north-west, which US-backed Syrian Kurdish and Arab fighters are pushing towards in an offensive against the Islamists, the Observatory said.

The UN Human Rights chief urged "all States' air forces operating in the country to take much greater care to distinguish between legitimate military targets and civilians". Later that month, an airstrike carried out by the coalition in Syria's eastern town of Al Bukamal reportedly killed at least 31 civilians and injured many others.

Al-Hussein, who is a member of the Jordanian royal family, said the rising toll of civilian casualties suggests "insufficient precautions" are being taken in the attacks.

Zeid's call comes in the context of recent civilian casualties in various parts of Syria due to the bombings by the US-led anti-terrorist coalition.

He said relatives of IS fighters were among those fleeing.

Civilian casualties have risen as fighting has intensified ahead of a US -backed assault on the Islamic State's de facto capital in Raqqa in northern Syria.

Many, including women and children, were killed by crossfire and snipers during battles but others were found with their throats cut, the United Nations said.

Most air raids against Islamic State strongholds along the Euphrates basin in Syria have been conducted by a USA -led coalition and by Syrian and Russian jets, but Iraqi warplanes have also carried out at least one air raid in east Syria.

There was no immediate comment from the coalition. The UN has stopped its official casualty count in Syria, citing its inability to verify the figures it receives from various sources.

Multiple reports from witnesses said the airstrikes were carried out by warplanes from the USA -led coalition that has been targeting IS positions in Syria and Iraq since 2014.

The advances also pave the way for the government and its allied troops to press toward the IS-stronghold of Sukhna, a key node in the push toward the province of Deir el-Zour, said Mozahem al-Salloum, of the activist-run Hammurabi Justice News network that tracks developments in eastern Syria.

More strikes took place after midnight.

Notably, the suspected Manchester suicide bomber, Salman Abedi, is believed to have carried out the attack in retaliation for those killed by the US military in Syria and the greater Middle East.

They scored a key victory this week by linking the capital Damascus to the UNESCO World Heritage city of Palmyra in central Syria.

  • Zachary Reyes