ERBIL – Local activists denied Saturday reports by Russian media outlets about the killing of hundreds militants from the radical group of Islamic State (ISIS) in Deir ez-Zor province, eastern Syria, stressing “most of the casualties were civilians”.
Russian media sources and officials reported earlier on Friday that cruise missiles were launched on the group’s headquarters in Deir ez-Zor, eastern Syria, “killing 600 ISIS insurgents”.
Several raids conducted by Russian air force on Friday left behind what activists described “massacres” among civilians.
Speaking to ARA News in Deir ez-Zor, media activist Saray ad-Din confirmed that Russian warplanes pummeled Friday the ISIS-linked Zakat Centre on the outskirts of al-Mayadeen town, killing a number of displaced people who took the Aisha School in the same district as a shelter.
“Dozens of other civilians were killed in a nearby mosque in the same strikes on Friday,” ad-Din added.
“Two hours later, the region was hit by eight rockets near the town of Zibari, which caused the death of more than 15 people, including children,” another local source told ARA News, pointing out “ISIS headquarters in the old municipal building remained undamaged.”
The source pointed out that ISIS insurgents opened fire to disperse the people gathering in the stricken place. “The group has then evacuated its militants from headquarters in Zibari immediately after the raid.”
On Saturday, the Russian warplanes launched a new wave of airstrikes in Deir ez-Zor province, hitting the towns of al-Busera, Abulel and al-Mayadeen. At least seven civilians were killed and a dozen others injured, eyewitnesses reported.
Civil rights activist Abduljabbar Hussein told ARA News that ISIS militants have gathered in their confidential hideouts in the province “while populated neighborhoods were being bombed by Russian fighter jets”.
“Dozens of people were hardly injured. There is a sharp shortage of medical supplies and staff. The death toll may rise in the coming hours,” Hussein reported.
Reporting by: Sarbaz Yousef
Source: ARA News
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