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At least 45 people including children killed in Syria by Russian and Government Airplane Attacks

Ever since the Syrian conflict began in March 2011, more than 280,000 have been killed

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A bomb is released from Russian Su-34 strike fighter in Syria, Oct. 9, 2015. source- m.voanews
  • The strike hit the town of Qourieh in Deir el-Zour province
  • Local activists say loss of the town would be a significant setback for the terror group
  • Ever since the Syrian conflict began in March 2011, more than 280,000 have been killed

At least 45 people including children were killed in a Syrian town by Russian and Syrian government air planes, claims the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The strike hit the town of Qourieh in Deir el-Zour province. It lies on the Iraqi borders and is mainly controlled by the Islamic State militant group, said the monitoring group.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) rebel group, a coalition of Kurdish and Arab forces backed by aerial support from the U.S.-led coalition, clashed with IS inside Manbij, a key stronghold of the extremist group.

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The SDF pushed into the town from the southern edge, after gaining control of a wheat silo complex on its outskirts.

A Syrian woman walks past the burning wreckage of a car after air strikes. source-www.independent.co.uk
A Syrian woman walks past the burning wreckage of a car after air strikes. source-www.independent.co.uk

Manbij had been one of the major supply stops for IS militants through areas of northern Syria they control. Local activists say loss of the town would be a significant setback for the terror group.

Hundreds of Kurds have come under fire in northern Syria, several of them killed and wounded while trying to flee the crossfire of competing forces.

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The exodus began after IS abducted about 900 Kurdish civilians in Aleppo province over the past three weeks. Others were trying to flee Manbij surrounded by SDF fighters backed by the U.S.-led coalition.

Russian warplanes have been carrying out an air war in support of President Bashar al-Assad since September 2015.

Ever since the Syrian conflict began in March 2011, more than 280,000 have been killed. The conflict has also grown drastically, drawing in the global powers as well. (VOA)

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US Backed Fighters Say, ‘They Have Taken Position in Islamic State Enclave in Syria’

The enclave resembles an encampment, filled with stationary vehicles and rough shelters with blankets or tarpaulins that could be seen flapping in the wind during a lull in fighting as people walked among them

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US, Islamic state
Fire is seen during fighting in the Islamic State's final enclave, in the village of Baghouz, Deir Al Zor province, Syria March 17, 2019. VOA

U.S.-backed fighters said they had taken positions in Islamic State’s last enclave in eastern Syria and air strikes pounded the tiny patch of land beside the Euphrates River early on Monday, a Reuters journalist said.

Smoke rose over the tiny enclave as warplanes and artillery bombarded it. Another witness said the jihadists had earlier mounted a counter attack.

“Several positions captured and an ammunition storage has been blown up,” said Mustafa Bali, a spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) militia, on Twitter late on Sunday.

The enclave resembles an encampment, filled with stationary vehicles and rough shelters with blankets or tarpaulins that could be seen flapping in the wind during a lull in fighting as people walked among them.

Backed by air power and special forces from a U.S.-led coalition, the SDF has pushed Islamic State from almost the entire northeastern corner of Syria, defeating it in Raqqa in 2017 and driving it to its last enclave at Baghouz last year.

islamic state, US
The Islamic State group’s last pocket of territory in Baghouz, Syria, as seen from a distance on Sunday, March 17, 2019. VOA

But while its defeat at Baghouz will end its control of populated land in the third of Syria and Iraq that it captured in 2014, the group will remain a threat, regional and Western officials say.

The SDF has waged a staggered assault on the enclave, pausing for long periods over recent weeks to allow surrendering fighters, their families and other civilians to pour out.

Since Jan. 9, more than 60,000 people have left the enclave, about half of them surrendering Islamic State supporters including some 5,000 fighters, the SDF said on Sunday.

People leaving the area have spoken of harsh conditions inside, under coalition bombardment and with supplies of food so scarce some resorted to eating grass.

Last month, the SDF said it had found a mass grave in an area it captured.

Still, many of those who left Baghouz have vowed their allegiance to the jihadist group, which last week put out a propaganda film from inside the enclave calling on its supporters to keep faith.

Suicide attacks on Friday targeted families of Islamic State fighters attempting to leave the enclave and surrender, killing six people, the SDF said.

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Late on Sunday, the Kurdish Ronahi TV station aired footage showing a renewed assault on the enclave, with fires seen to be raging inside and tracer fire and rockets zooming into the tiny area.

The SDF and the coalition say the Islamic State fighters inside Baghouz are among the group’s most hardened foreign fighters, though Western countries believe its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has left the area. (VOA)