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US-Led Coalition Airstrikes Near Deir Ez-Zor Kill at Least 16 - Reports

© Sputnik / Mikhail Alaeddin / Go to the mediabankDeir ez-Zor view
Deir ez-Zor view - Sputnik International
The US-led coalition is reportedly continuing airstrikes in Syria, which, however, have not been authorized by the government of President Bashar al-Assad or the United Nations.

The Syrian state news agency SANA has reported a new massacre allegedly committed by the US-led coalition in al-Bahra village in the eastern countryside of Deir ez-Zor, which resulted in the killing of 16 civilians, including 9 women.

According to the agency, citing its local sources, the coalition warplanes have conducted a series of airstrikes on residential areas about 45 km to the northwest of the city of al-Boukama near Deir ez-Zor, causing material damages.

The media outlet stated that the death toll was likely to rise, as the number of injured are in critical condition after the strikes.

The anti-Daesh coalition forces have been conducting airstrikes against the terror group in Syria and Iraq since 2014, acting in Syria without any request or authorization by the government of President Bashar al-Assad or the United Nations.

Last month, SANA had reported another deadly airstrike by the coalition, claiming that fifteen civilians had been killed by the coalition's actions.

READ MORE: US-Led Coalition Strikes Kill 15 Civilians in Deir ez-Zor - Syrian State Media

Following the US-led coalition's actions on the ground, the Syrian Foreign Ministry on December 14 sent a letter to the UN Security Council and to the UN Secretary-General, accusing the coalition forces of killing civilians in the province of Deir Ez-Zor.

The Syrian government blamed the coalition at the UN of making deals with the remnants of Daesh and coordinating its actions, as multiple reports appeared in the media that the US had evacuated Daesh militants and terrorist leaders from several areas across the Syrian province of Deir ez-Zor.

READ MORE: US-Led Coalition Denies Transporting Daesh Commanders From Syria's Deir Ez-Zor

According to Damascus, the coalition's air force has been used to stage "accidental" attacks on the Syrian army as they advanced against the militants.

READ MORE: US-Led Coalition Uses Al Hasakah Camp in Syria to Train Militants - Russian MoD

Syrian Aid Organizations Halt Deliveries to Eastern Ghouta

Meanwhile, Syrian humanitarian organizations have halted aid deliveries to Syria’s eastern Ghouta following heavy bombardments of the area this week, Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere (CARE) said Tuesday.

READ MORE: White Helmets Ready for 'False-Flag' Chemical Attack in Syria - Reports

"Syrian humanitarian organizations have halted the delivery of life-saving aid to thousands of people in besieged Eastern Ghouta, after the heavy bombardment of the area near Damascus this week, which has pushed civilians including aid workers into underground shelters, announced CARE today," the statement read.

According to the statement, another Syrian aid organization operating in the area described the situation as the worst since the beginning of the escalation of violence, as airstrikes hit heavily populated areas and vital infrastructure facilities. A third organization told CARE that a medical worker was killed in an airstrike that hit a hospital.

"The extreme escalation in violence has made it impossible for humanitarian agencies to reach the hundreds of thousands of vulnerable civilians trapped in Eastern Ghouta. Civilians are deprived of food and medicine and are facing hunger and death. If a ceasefire is not reached now, we will be facing a humanitarian catastrophe," Wouter Schaap, the CARE’s country director for Syria, was quoted as saying by the statement.

READ MORE: World Food Programme Turns Food Into a Weapon of Peace and Reconciliation

Earlier in the day, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini urged all the parties to the Syrian conflict and guarantor states of the Syrian de-escalation zones to stop the escalation of tensions and ensure humanitarian access to the area. She noted that humanitarian situation in eastern Ghouta and Idlib has significantly worsened in the past eight weeks, claiming the lives of "hundreds of innocent victims, including many women and children." Dozens of civilian deaths in eastern Ghouta were recorded on Monday alone, Mogherini added.

Syria has been in a state of civil war for over six years, with government forces fighting against both Syrian opposition groups and terrorist organizations. The Astana talks on Syrian reconciliation have resulted in the creation of four de-escalation zones in northwestern Idlib province and parts of neighboring Latakia, Hama and Aleppo provinces, the north of the central Homs province; eastern Ghouta near Damascus and certain parts in the country's southern Daraa and Quneitra provinces.

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