Strikes on east Syrian town kill 63 people, including children

Russian jets have been bombing around Deir al-Zor as Syrian pro-government forces clash with Islamic State fighters

Displaced people, who fled the violence from Islamic State-controlled area of al-Bab, warm themselves around a fire as they wait in the Syrian village of Akda to cross into Turkey on Saturday. Photograph: Abdalrhman Ismail/Reuters

Displaced people, who fled the violence from Islamic State-controlled area of al-Bab, warm themselves around a fire as they wait in the Syrian village of Akda to cross into Turkey on Saturday. Photograph: Abdalrhman Ismail/Reuters

 

At least 63 people, including nine children, have died in air strikes believed to be carried out by Russian warplanes on a town in eastern Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Sunday.

The raids on Khasham near the city of Deir al-Zor on Saturday were among a series of strikes that also hit two other town in the past 48 hours, killing scores of people.

Russian jets have been bombing around Deir al-Zor as Syrian pro-government forces clash with Islamic State fighters, who control most of the province. The group has besieged remaining government-held areas of the city since last March and last week launched new attacks.

Warplanes have also hit Islamic State’s de facto capital of Raqqa over the past two days, killing at least 44 people in the city, the Observatory said, raising its toll from Saturday after many of the wounded died of their injuries.

A coalition led by the United States conducted 16 air strikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq on Saturday, and also targeted the jihadist group seven times in Syria, according to a US military statement.

The Iraq strikes were concentrated near Ramadi, where six bombardments destroyed staging areas, a vehicle and a fuel tank while hitting two tactical units and denying Islamic State access to terrain, the Coalition Joint Task Force statement released on Sunday said.

The Syria strikes were spread across the country, hitting tactical units and a weapons storage area, as well as destroying structures and buildings, fighting positions, vehicles, and arms belonging to the militant group.

Reuters