The United States-led anti-ISIS coalition confirmed it targeted and destroyed two mosques in eastern rural Deir Ezzor. The airstrikes killed dozens of civilians, according to local activists.
One of the mosques, located in the town of al-Sousah, was deliberately targeted by US forces because it was being used as a command center by ISIS, Pentagon spokesman Col. Rob Manning told reports on Tuesday. “The group was actively coordinating attacks on the SDF and Coalition Forces from the command and control center at the time of the strike,” he said.
The Syrian Coalition earlier said that combatting ISIS should not justify the targeting of civilians as it stressed the need to stop the “extremely reckless” killing of civilians in Syria.
Activists working on documenting violations against civilians in the region said that the international coalition forces committed four massacres in Deir Ezzor in less than 24 hours. The airstrikes, which took place between Thursday night and Friday morning, killed dozens of civilians.
The four massacres took place in the towns of Hajeen and al-Sousah, according to Al-Sharq news network. The victims included children and women, which confirms that the airstrikes were indiscriminate.
Civilians in the towns of Al-Shaa’fa, Hajeen and Al-Soussa are suffering catastrophic humanitarian conditions due to shortages of basic necessities. Prices of the basic foodstuffs have recently skyrocketed amid a near-total lack of healthcare. The region has lately seen intensifying hit-and-run battles between militia of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and ISIS as well as intensifying airstrikes by the international anti-ISIS coalition. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)