Suspected airstrikes by coalition waplanes waging war in Syria killed more civilians across the country on Monday and Tuesday, adding to the civilian bodycount from US and Russian strikes.

An airstrike likely carried out by the US-led coalition on an eastern Syrian town held by the Islamic State group has killed at least 23 people and wounded dozens, opposition activists and monitors said on Tuesday.

Opposition activist Omar Abu Laila, who currently lives in Europe but is from the province where the strike took place and maintains contacts there, said 10 people were killed, including an Iraqi family of four. He said IS cordoned off the area and cut all telecommunications after the strike, which heavily damaged at least four buildings.
“The number of casualties is huge,” Abu Laila said, adding that mosque loudspeakers were used to urge people to head to hospitals to donate blood.

Jets “believed to belong to the international coalition” struck the town of al-Bukamal in the south of the province near the Iraqi border, killing three militants and 13 civilians including children, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Tuesday.

The Britain-based war monitoring group said airstrikes also killed seven civilians in the town of al-Husainiyah further north along the Euphrates river.

IS militants control most of Deir az-Zour province, which links territory they hold in Syria and Iraq, and parts of the provincial capital, which has the same name.

The Syrian government still controls some parts of Deir az-Zour city, including a nearby military air base, where IS has besieged about 200,000 people lacking food and medicine for around two years.

The activists said the airstrike late Monday in Boukamal, on the Iraqi border, was similar to those carried out by the US-led coalition that has been targeting the Islamic State group in both countries.
Unlawful mosque strike

Airstrikes by the US-led coalition have killed dozens of civilians over the past several weeks as the battle against the extremists intensifies.

Human Rights Watch said in a report Tuesday that US forces appear to have failed to take necessary precautions to avoid civilian casualties in a March airstrike that killed dozens of people in the northern Syrian province of Aleppo.
US official said at the time that the March 16 airstrike struck an al-Qaeda gathering, killing dozens of militants. Syrian opposition activists said around 40 people, mostly civilians, were killed in the crowded Omar Ibn al-Khattab Mosque in the Jeeneh district. US officials at the time said they found no basis for reports that civilians were killed.
Human Rights Watch’s 16-page report said it found no evidence to support the allegation that members of al-Qaeda or any other armed group were meeting in the mosque. It said a religious lecture was being held at the time of the attack and prayers were about to begin.
“The US seems to have gotten several things fundamentally wrong in this attack, and dozens of civilians paid the price,” said Ole Solvang, deputy emergencies director at Human Rights Watch. “The US authorities need to figure out what went wrong, start doing their homework before they launch attacks, and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Russian strikes

In Idib and Aleppo provinces, meanwhile, suspected Russian strikes targeting rebel-held areas reportedly killed at least 15 civilians, including women and children.

Omar Abu Mohammed, a local activist, told The New Arab a suspected Russian warplane bombed the town of Maarat Harma south of Idlib city, killing nine children and a woman from the same family, and injured several others on Tuesday.

Five civilians were killed in suspected Russian strike on the town of Uram al-Kubra in Aleppo province, according to Civil Defence members.

The US intervened in Syria to fight the Islamic State group in 2014 while Russia intervened in late 2015 to shore up the regime of its ally Bashar al-Assad, mainly targeting rebel groups.

[This article was originally published by The New Arab.]