Russian and Syrian strikes kill 58 civilians

Russian and Syrian strikes death toll has risen while SDF fighters make gains in Manbij.

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

Russian military jets are seen at Hmeymim air base in Syria, June 18, 2016

Updated Jun 27, 2016

The death toll from Russian and Syrian strikes in the opposition-held city of Al Quriyah has risen to 82 people including 58 civilians, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Sunday.

"Three Russian and Syrian regime air raids on the region of Al-Quriyah, southeast of Deir Ezzor city, killed 58 civilians," the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The rights group added that 24 other people were killed, without specifying whether they were civilians or DAESH fighters.

DAESH holds around 60 percent of Deir Ezzor city, the capital of the province of the same name, which is next to the jihadist-held Raqqa province.

Government forces were also fighting rebels in northern neighbourhoods of the city in a bid to halt rocket fire on government-held districts.

Elsewhere in Syria in Manbij, US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) overran a key road junction in the city's south after capturing nearby grain silos overnight.

Manbij lies in the eastern plains of Aleppo province, which has become a battleground between an array of competing armed groups, including Al-Qaeda, non-jihadist rebels and government forces, as well as the SDF and DAESH.

Members of Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) attend the funeral of eight fellow fighters who died during an assault against the Islamic State (IS) group in the town of Manbij on June 24, 2016.

The Raqa Revolutionaries Brigades -- one of the Arab components of the Kurdish-dominated alliance -- also said the SDF had seized the silos and pushed into the city.

In 2014 DAESH took control of Manbij, it was a key transit point for foreign fighters and funds, as well as a trafficking hub for oil, antiquities and other plundered goods.

The SDF launched its offensive to take Manbij on May 31, driving across the Euphrates River from the east with military advice from some 200 US special forces troops.

According to the Observatory DAESH has lost 463 fighters in the battle and the SDF has lost at least 89.

A two-day freeze on fighting brokered by Moscow and Washington this month expired without renewal.

TRTWorld and agencies