The US-led coalition said that ISIS continue to misuse mosques for terrorist attacks
The US-led coalition on Wednesday said they again hit a mosque in the Middle Euphrates Valley (MERV) in the Deir al-Zor province as part of the last major Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) operation against the so-called Islamic State (IS).
“On Oct. 24, a coalition strike destroyed facilities used by Daesh [Arabic acronym for IS] to launch attacks against our SDF partners in al-Sousah, Syria. One of the facilities used by Daesh [IS] as a command center for planning and conducting attacks was a mosque. The strike killed terrorists presenting an imminent threat to our SDF partners,” Army Colonel Sean Ryan, Spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR), told Kurdistan 24.
“This is the third coalition strike in less than a week on a mosque Daesh [IS] was deliberately misusing for a military purpose in violation of international law. This demonstrates Daesh’s complete disregard for the protected status of religious and other protected structures by using them to launch military attacks against SDF and coalition forces,” he added.
“To reduce the risk to civilians, the Coalition precisely struck and destroyed the buildings adapted by Daesh terrorists as command centers and fighting positions. Daesh continues to violate the law of armed conflict and misuse religious sites,” he explained.
In the meanwhile, coalition strikes continue to target IS positions in the Middle Euphrates River Valley as the Coalition and US-backed SDF forces advance to defeat the jihadist group in its remaining pockets.
“The ground force commander assessed only Daesh fighters were present at the command control center at the time of our strike. The Coalition takes every instance of civilian casualties seriously. As part of our planning process, we take extraordinary measures to avoid civilian casualties. We investigate all credible claims of civilian casualties if any allegations should arise,” Ryan affirmed.
Moreover, he added that “MERV will soon be liberated by the SDF.”
According to a Wednesday statement by the People’s Protection Units (YPG), most of the town of al-Sousah has been liberated by the YPG-led SDF amid fierce clashes with IS.
Freelance Brazilian journalist, Gabriel Chaim, embedded with the SDF, said that IS tried to surround SDF positions on Oct. 24.
“During Sousah Op, yesterday, our front got surrounded by ISIS for almost 5 hours. Daesh tried to retake positions but SDF fought bravely and ISIS did not succeed. For once again, I saw hell on earth,” he wrote on his Facebook account.
According to the SDF statement, the militants indeed tried to retake al-Sousah, resulting in heavy clashes in which many IS fighters were killed.
“Ten of ISIS dead bodies were seized by our forces. Meanwhile, our forces were able to destroy one of ISIS car bombs and killed two suicide attackers who tried to reach our fighters,” the SDF statement noted.
Source: Kurdistan 24