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US-led airstrike kills 33 civilians in Daesh-held Syrian town

In this September 23, 2014 photo released by the US Air Force, a formation of US Navy F-18E Super Hornets leaves after receiving fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker over northern Iraq as part of US-led coalition airstrikes on purported Daesh targets in Syria.

A so-called monitoring group says nearly three dozen civilians have lost their lives when the US-led coalition purportedly fighting the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group carried out an aerial attack against a school used as a center for displaced people in Syria's troubled and militant-held northern province of Raqqah.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said that the airstrike targeted south of the Daesh-held Mansurah town, located about 30 kilometers west of the provincial capital city of Raqqah, in the early hours of Tuesday.

“We can now confirm that 33 people were killed, and they were displaced civilians from Raqqah, Aleppo and Homs,” SOHR head Rami Abdel Rahman said on Wednesday.

He added, “They're still pulling bodies out of the rubble until now. Only two people were pulled out alive,” he added.

“Raqqah is Being Slaughtered Silently,” an activist group that publishes news from the Daesh-controlled Syrian city, said the targeted school hosted nearly 50 displaced families.

At least 10 civilians were killed and several others injured on March 12, when US-led military aircraft bombarded the town of Maskanah, located 100 kilometers southeast of the northwestern city of Aleppo.

The development came only two days after 30 people, including six women and eight children, lost their lives when coalition fighter jets pounded Matab al-Borashid village near Raqqah.

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

The coalition has repeatedly been accused of targeting and killing civilians. It has also been incapable of destroying Daesh.

Syria writes to UN over deadly strike

Meanwhile, the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates strongly condemned the recent US-led airstrike near Raqqah.

This file picture shows a view of the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates building in the capital Damascus.

The ministry, in two separate letters addressed to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and rotating President of the United Nations Security Council Matthew Rycroft, denounced the air raid as the coalition’s repeated violation of Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity under the pretext of fighting terrorism.

The two identical letters also slammed the utter silence of the international community over the airstrikes, arguing that the assaults have disrupted the welfare and security of the Syrian people.

Syrian army eliminates terrorists north of Jobar

Meanwhile, Syrian government forces have pounded the positions of Jabhat al-Nusra and other Takfiri terrorist groups north of militant-held Jobar neighborhood and in the Eastern Ghouta area on the outskirts of Damascus.

Syria’s official SANA news agency reported that Syrian Air Force fighter jets targeted terrorist hideouts and supply lines in the mentioned areas, inflicting heavy losses on militant ranks.

Syrian government forces advance on the eastern outskirts of Aleppo on March 8, 2017 near the town of Khafsah, where army troops retook a key water pumping station the day before. (Photo by AFP)

An unnamed military source said Syrian forces also engaged in bitter clashes with terrorists in Maghazel al-Naseej (Textile Factories) area north of Jobar, killing and injuring scores of them. Government forces also destroyed large amounts of their military equipment in the process.

SANA later reported that its photographer, identified as Maher Shamseddin, had sustained injuries while covering army advances in Jobar.

Syria's SANA news agency photographer Maher Shamseddin

Shamseddin was admitted to Damascus' Red Crescent Hospital and medical officials described his condition as stable.

Elsewhere in the northwestern province of Hama, Syrian army troopers and allied fighters from popular defense groups foiled separate militant offensives on Suran and Khattab towns.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimates that over 400,000 people have been killed in the conflict.

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