US-Led Coalition Confirms Strikes in Deir Ez-Zor, But Denies Civilian Casualties

© REUTERS / Khalil Ashawi/File PhotoA view shows damaged buildings in Deir al-Zor, eastern Syria February 19, 2014
A view shows damaged buildings in Deir al-Zor, eastern Syria February 19, 2014 - Sputnik International
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The US-led coalition fighting the Daesh terrorist group* confirms that it carried out strikes in Syria's Deir ez-Zor province but insists that no civilian casualties resulted from the operations, spokesman Sean Ryan told Sputnik on Friday.

"We have confirmed Coalition strikes in the area of Deir ez-Zor province on Thursday and no civilian casualties are associated with the strikes in question," spokesman Sean Ryan said when asked about reports that at least 17 non-combatants died in a strike on Bu-Badran, Syria. "The Coalition takes great measures to identify and strike appropriate ISIS targets in order to avoid non-combatant casualties."

Prior to the spokesman's comment, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said it was concerned by reports that as many as 30 children were killed in recent attacks on Syria's al-Shafa village, controlled by the US-led coalition, the director Cappelaere said in a statement Friday.

“UNICEF is alarmed by recent reports of up to 30 children who have been killed in recent violence in Al Shafa village, in eastern Syria. These reported killings demonstrate that the war on children is far from over in Syria,” Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa Geert Cappelaere said. “UNICEF calls on warring parties to protect all children – no matter where they are in Syria and no matter whose control they live under.”

READ MORE: US-Led Coalition Strikes in Deir Ez-Zor Kill at Least 17 Civilians — Reports

The statement comes after the Syrian state-run SANA news agency reported on Monday that over 60 civilians were killed or injured as a result of the US-led international coalition airstrike on al-Shafa village in Deir ez-Zor province.

US-Led Coalition Denies Involvement in Daquq Airstrikes Against Civilians - Sputnik International
Syria Accuses US-Led Coalition of Killing Civilians in Deir Ez-Zor - Reports
In its letters, Damascus describes the coalition's strikes as a crime, urging the UN Security Council to take action to stop similar massacres in the future, probe all such incidents and bring perpetrators to justice.

The US-led coalition has carried out airstrikes in Deir ez-Zor province numerous times within the last several months. Earlier this month, media reported that 26 civilians, including women and children, were killed in an airstrike by the coalition on the city of Hajin. Following the airstrike, Damascus similarly sent letters to the UN secretary-general and UN Security Council president.

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