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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 21 August 2018

Syria latest: 28 ISIS fighters killed in US-led strikes

Operation targeted insurgent pocket in eastern Syria

Smoke rises from an airstrike in Syria. AFP 
Smoke rises from an airstrike in Syria. AFP 

Dozens of ISIS terrorists were killed on Monday in strikes by the US-led coalition and allied fighters in eastern Syria, a monitoring group says.

"At least 28 ISIS fighters were killed in air and artillery strikes" in Deir Ezzor province, said Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

He said the coalition and the Syrian Democratic Forces, an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters, had carried out the attacks in the Bir Al Meleh region of the province, which borders Iraq.

ISIS-held territory in eastern Syria has been reduced to a "small pocket" since early May, when the SDF launched the final phase of an offensive to expel the extremists from eastern Syria, he said.

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As the international coalition winds down its air war against ISIS, it has stopped releasing daily operational reports. In its weekly report on Monday, the coalition reported that between July 30 and August 5, coalition forces conducted 20 strikes consisting of 27 engagements in Iraq and Syria. "Operation Roundup will continue to target Daesh remnants as the coalition remains committed to the lasting defeat of Daesh," the coalition said, using the Arabic acronym for ISIS.

At its peak, ISIS controlled more than a third of Syria and a third of Iraq, with about 10 million people living under the militant group's control. The group has been pounded in several separate offensives and today no longer controls significant territory in Iraq and less than three per cent of Syria.

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