The US has beefed up its bombing campaign in Syria following President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out the country’s troops from the Mideast country, according to a joint investigation by The Intercept and Al Jazeera.
The media outlets cited three sources in eastern Syria as saying that US air attacks and artillery fire by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) intensified in Al Kashmah, a village on the Euphrates River near the border with Iraq. Following the bombing, civilians and families of Daesh* members reportedly fled to villages to the south, while terrorists are “clustered” in villages along the Euphrates.
On 3 January, Syrian state broadcaster Al Ikhbariya reported that the US-led coalition had conducted airstrikes on Syria’s eastern province of Deir ez-Zor, killing at least 11 civilians.
On 30 December, the US military released data, confirming that at least 1,139 civilians have been killed in Iraq and Syria since the beginning of its anti-Daesh campaign in 2014. The coalition’s presence in Syria has not been authorised either by the UN Security Council, or the Syrian government, and is viewed by Damascus as illegal.
In mid-December, President Trump announced that the US would be leaving Syria over a period of several months, having declared that Daesh had been defeated.
*Daesh, also known as ISIS/IS/Islamic State, is a terrorist group outlawed in Russia and many other countries.