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Russian air strikes kill 21 in eastern Syria

Russia air strikes to support Kurdish-led US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces fighting Daesh

Gulf News

Beirut: Russian air strikes killed 21 people in a village on the eastern side of the Euphrates River in east Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Wednesday.

The strikes in Deir Al Zor province were to support the Kurdish-led US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighting Daesh, which had attempted to launch an attack on the town earlier this week, the war monitor said.

Russia has been carrying out air strikes in the province mainly in support of the Syrian regime’s army which, alongside allied Shiite militias, has been waging its own assault against Daesh on the western side of the Euphrates.

The separate assaults have advanced along opposite sides of the river, which bisects oil-rich Deir Al Zor, mostly staying out of each other’s way.

The US-led coalition and the Russian military have held deconfliction meetings to prevent clashes between them, though the two offensives have sometimes come into conflict.

The Observatory also reported on Wednesday that the Syrian army and its allied forces had “finished the presence of Daesh” on the western bank of the river.

On Sunday, the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, which spearheads the SDF, announced it had fully captured Deir Al Zor’s eastern countryside from Daesh with the help of both the US-led coalition and Russia.