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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Fresh US-led airstrikes kill many civilians in Syria's Dayr al-Zawr

Iran Press TV

Sat Mar 16, 2019 05:50PM

A large number of civilians, mostly women and children, have been killed after the US-led coalition purportedly fighting the terrorist Takfiri Daesh group conducted fresh airstrikes in eastern Syria.

Syria's official news agency SANA, citing some local sources, reported that casualties were caused on Saturday when US-led warplanes bombarded Baghouz refugee camp in the eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr.

The US-led coalition has recently stepped up its airstrikes in the besieged town of Baghouz, the final piece of land still held by Daesh.

At least 50 people were killed and scores of others injured on Monday when US-led jets targeted families fleeing the last vestiges of Daesh's territorial rule near the Iraqi border.

Earlier this month, US warplanes also bombed the same troubled region with internationally-banned white phosphorus munitions, killing several people.

The Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates said in January that continued airstrikes by the US-led coalition against ordinary people and civilian targets showed the alliance's reckless disregard for the UN Charter as well as international law.

The US-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes and operations against what are said to be Daesh targets inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from the Damascus government or a UN mandate.

The military alliance has repeatedly been accused of targeting and killing civilians. It has also been largely incapable of achieving its declared goal of destroying Daesh.

SDF locked in battle with Daesh in Baghouz

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the US-backed Kurdish militants in Syria said on Saturday that clashes were ongoing with Daesh terrorists who are now holed up in the village.

"Clashes broke out again last night and have continued since," Adnan Afrin, a spokesman for the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), said, adding, "There have so far been no surrenders (today) and there's no sign they are giving up."

An SDF statement said that the latest fighting broke out after the Kurdish-led force attacked Daesh positions inside Baghouz. Around 32 Daesh terrorists, including at least four senior figures, were killed in the battle.

On Friday, Daesh launched three attacks outside Baghouz, killing six people among those fleeing the village.

The US-led coalition said on Twitter late Friday that the SDF had made no fresh advance.

"Daesh has proven to demonstrate a reckless disregard for human life and continues to be a global threat," the coalition said, adding, "We stand by our SDF partners as they fight to liberate that last Daesh-held territory."

Daesh has unleashed a wave of bombings over the past week to impede the SDF advance.

It remains unclear how many Daesh militants and civilians remain inside Baghouz.

According to the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, more than 61,000 people have streamed out of the militant-held territory since December.

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) said Saturday that around 3,000 people had arrived at al-Hol camp in northeastern al-Hasakah from Baghouz over the past two days, pushing the camp's population to over 69,000.

The UN said most of the new arrivals "show clear signs of distress, fatigue, malnutrition and require some form of medical care or attention."

The IRC and the UN say around 122 people, mainly children, have died en route to the camp or shortly after arriving since December.

"There is an urgent requirement for funding to continue health and nutrition interventions in the camp," the UN said.

The US has long been providing the SDF -- a predominantly Kurdish alliance of militants -- with arms, calling it a key partner in the purported fight against Daesh.

Such support has angered Washington's NATO ally, Turkey, which views militants of the People's Protection Units (YPG), the backbone of the SDF, as a terrorist organization tied to the homegrown Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militant group.

Syrian Army foils infiltration attempts in Hama

Syrian government forces, backed by allied fighters from popular defense groups, on Saturday confronted breaches of the de-escalation zones by foreign-backed terrorists who were seeking to infiltrate many military points in the country's west-central province of Hama.

According to SANA, army units foiled an infiltration attempt by terrorist groups in Hama northern countryside and killed many terrorists.

Syrian government forces also destroyed mortar cannons and rocket launch-pads for terrorist groups in the region.

The agreement on creating four de-escalation zones in four areas in northern, central and southern Syria, where the most intense fighting was underway between the Syrian government and different militant groups, took effect in 2017.

In recent months, Syrian government forces, backed by allied fighters from popular defense groups, have made unprecedented territorial gains against foreign-sponsored Takfiri terrorists across the conflict-plagued Arab country.

Syria has been gripped by militancy since March 2011. The Syrian government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are aiding terrorist groups that are wreaking havoc in the Arab country.

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