Two separate sets of airstrikes in Syria left at least 24 people dead, many of them women and children, the Associated Press reported Saturday. A U.S-led coalition airstrike in Syria’s militant-controlled Deir el-Zour province caused secondary explosions that left eight civilians dead. And Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime carried out at least five airstrikes on the rebel-controlled town Douma near the country’s capital Damascus, killing at least 16 people.
Several explosions rocked the town of Khasham in oil-rich Deir el-Zour after a coalition airstrike hit a gas distribution facility, according to the activist and citizen journalist group Radio Free Deir Ezzor.
The Islamic State group is gradually increasing its hold on Deir el-Zour. Last week, the militant group formerly known as ISIS listed rules for journalists who wish to continue working in the province, as reported by the Washington Post.
A representative of Radio Free Deir Ezzor told International Business Times that, despite the strict rules for journalists, his group will continue to operate in the province, but its ability to do field work will be limited. Some members of the group, one of the largest to begin documenting Assad’s crimes at the start of the Syrian Civil War, have had to flee the province and the country. While the group representative indicated that both Syria’s president and the insurgent group must go, he said Assad is worse than the Islamic State group.
Assad’s regime launched at least five airstrikes on opposition-held Douma outside Damascus Friday, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a U.K. monitoring group that has a network of activists inside Syria. The regime bombing reportedly killed at least 16 people, including women and children, AP said.
As the Syrian Civil War that has killed almost 200,000 people continued to rage across the country, U.S.-led coalition airstrikes targeting ISIS strongholds also have rocked Syria recently. During the past week, more than 100 airstrikes have hit Islamic State group fighters and vehicles as they advance toward the Syrian Kurdish city of Kobani, located on the border with Turkey.
Airstrikes appeared to be working in Kobani Friday, as ISIS fighters seemed to be beating a retreat from the city. However, Kurdish officials said the air campaign would not be enough to completely force militants out of the city and they asked for additional weapons and ammunition, AP reported.