Airstrike In Eastern Syria Sends 28 Civilians To Early Grave

Syria airstrike reportedly kills dozens of civilians in Deir Ezzor near Iraq border

The death toll from an air strike in eastern Syria has risen to 54 overnight, including ISIS fighters and 28 civilians, a war monitor said on Friday.

Twenty-eight civilians were also killed in the raid on the village of Al-Soussa near the Iraqi border late Thursday, according to the monitor.

US-led coalition carried out the air strike near the town of Albu Kamal east of the Euphrates River. Attacks spiked after the extremists were evacuated from their last bastion outside Damascus in May, many heading to the Badiya desert, the Observatory said.

He told Reuters the coalition would assess the report alleging civilian casualties, adding: "We have no further information at this time".

The U.S. -led coalition and its partnered Syrian Democratic Forces launched a major offensive against the last of the ISIS militants on the eastern bank of the Euphrates, where the attack took place, while the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the airstrikes were accompanied by Syrian Democratic Forces shelling near the towns of Al-Shafa, Al-Soussa and Hajin.

The US-led coalition could not immediately be reached for comment by phone and did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

It was not immediately known if the strike was carried out by an Iraqi plane or by the US -led coalition, it added.

ISIS was largely defeated in most of the territory it controlled in both countries previous year, but fighters still operate in the desert near the border. The U.S. -led coalition struck pro-Syrian government fighters on several occasions, including a February clash that reportedly killed hundreds of militiamen-including Russians-fighting on behalf of Assad in Deir Ezzor.

The Syrian government has repeatedly accused the USA of targeting civilians in Syria, while urging the United Nations to put an end to the coalition's military operations in Syria.