ISIS car bombs killed at least 19 US-backed fighters in Deir Ezzor
At least 19 US-backed fighters killed in car bomb attacks carried out by Daesh near the Iraqi border, activists said Thursday.
Daesh blasts rocked a checkpoint for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Hawi Soussa and al-Basira villages as Kurdish-led forces press to seize last pockets of the jihadist group in eastern Deir Ezzor province.
In its turn, the SDF fighters backed by US-led coalition airstrikes has 47 Daesh militants had been killed in its major offensive on Daesh stronghold in Deir Ezzor.
The U.S.-led coalition hit a mosque Thursday believed to be a military command post for Daesh in Deir Ezzor.
The strike “destroyed an ISIS command and control facility in a mosque” in Safafiyah town, the coalition said in a statement, using another name for Daesh, Anadolu Agency reported.
The terror organization “continues to violate the Law of Armed Conflict and misuse protected structures like hospitals and mosques, which cause a facility to lose its protected status,” it said.
The coalition said the strike killed Daesh terrorists “who presented an imminent threat to our Syrian partner forces.”
The attack also “eliminated another deadly ISIS operational capability from the battlefield,” said the statement.
The coalition did not mention any civilian casualties from the strike.
The strike came a day after four Americans, including two soldiers, were killed in an apparent suicide attack claimed by Daesh in the northern city of Manbij.
Over the past few months, the coalition has carried out several strikes on mosques in northern Syria it said hosted Daesh terrorists, killing dozens of civilians.
ISIS overran large swathes of Syria and neighboring Iraq in 2014, proclaiming a “caliphate” across the land it controlled.
But the jihadist group has since lost most of its territory to various offensives in both countries.
In Syria, its presence has been reduced to parts of the vast Badia desert and the Hajin pocket in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor near the Iraqi border.
Syria’s war has killed more than 560,000 people since it erupted in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-regime protests.