Syria: At least 22 dead in US air strikes on IS stronghold Raqqa

  • AFP, Washington
  • Updated: Jul 06, 2015 00:07 IST

Six civilians, including a child, were among at least 22 people killed in US air strikes on the Islamic State group’s de facto Syrian capital Raqqa in two days, a monitor said on Sunday.

The rest of the dead in the raids on Raqqa were IS fighters, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Dozens of people were also wounded.

The US-led coalition, which launched an air war against IS in Syria last September, said it had carried out ‘significant’ air strikes against Raqqa.

“The significant air strikes tonight (Sunday) were executed to deny Daesh (IS) the ability to move military capabilities throughout Syria and into Iraq,” spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Gilleran said.

“This was one of the largest deliberate engagements we have conducted so far in Syria and it will have debilitating effects on Daesh’s ability to move from Raqqa.”

Coalition forces ‘successfully engaged multiple targets’ throughout Raqqa, the statement said, destroying IS structures and transit routes.

The strikes ‘have severely constricted terrorist freedom of movement’, it added.

Washington is leading a coalition fighting IS in Syria and Iraq, where the extremist group has proclaimed an Islamic ‘caliphate’ in territory under its control.

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