Air raids kill scores in ISIS de facto capital in Syria

Sunday 01/05/2016
Most intense air raids in weeks

BEIRUT - Heavy air strikes throughout the night on the Islamic State group's de facto Syria capital Raqa killed 19 civilians and 10 jihadists, a monitor said in a new toll Tuesday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights had first reported the air strikes on Tuesday morning and said 13 civilians and five ISIS fighters had been killed.

Two children were among the civilians killed.

The Britain-based monitor had no immediate word on whether the strikes were carried out by the Damascus regime, its ally Moscow or the US-led coalition battling ISIS.

"Raqa has not been targeted by air raids of this intensity for several weeks," Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said.

"These raids continued throughout the night and into the morning."

The US-led coalition has acknowledged that its anti-ISIS raids have killed 41 civilians in Syria and Iraq, although observers say the toll is likely to be much higher.

The Airwards monitoring group said in March that Russia's air campaign in Syria, which began in September 2015, probably killed more than 1,000 civilians in its first three months alone.

More than 270,000 people have been killed since Syria's conflict first erupted with anti-government protests in March 2011.