By Mohamed Misto, Adham Kako and Ashraf Musa
DEIR EZ-ZOR/IDLIB, Syria (AA) – U.S.-led coalition warplanes struck a building used as a prison by the Daesh terrorist group, killing scores of people, including dozens of civilians, local sources told Anadolu Agency on Thursday.
The coalition has continued to target the Hejjin district and surrounding towns and villages in Syria’s eastern Deir ez-Zor province, much of which still remains under Daesh control.
According to local sources in Deir ez-Zor, coalition fighter jets early Wednesday targeted a building near the town of Siife in which Daesh terrorists had been holding a number of prisoners.
The airstrikes reportedly killed dozens of people, most of whom were civilians being forcefully held by the terrorist group.
The coalition was cobbled together in 2014 after Daesh overran vast swathes of territory in both Iraq and Syria.
The U.S.-backed YPG/PKK terrorist group, meanwhile, continues to occupy the eastern and western outskirts of Deir ez-Zor, which is located east of the Euphrates River.
Despite the fact that the group receives active support from the U.S. and France, it appears unable to clear the province of Daesh terrorists.
Following an assault in which an estimated 6,000 of its members participated, the YPG/PKK terror group recently succeeded in capturing the town of Suse, but was forced to withdraw shortly afterward.
The U.S.-led coalition has continued to target Deir ez-zor’s towns of Hejjin, Siife and Suse, along with the villages of Bu Hassan and Bu Hatr, all of which remain under Daesh control.
Syrian regime forces, meanwhile, remain deployed in the province’s western regions.
While the YPG/PKK terrorists currently occupy some 28 percent of Syrian territory, Daesh is estimated to hold only three percent.
In a related development, a civilian was killed — and another three injured — in attacks by regime forces and allied militias in Syria’s northern Idlib province, the White Helmets civil defense agency said Saturday.
Regime forces and Iran-backed militias attacked residential buildings in the towns of Jarjanazin and Al-Tah in the province’s eastern countryside, according to an Anadolu Agency correspondent based in the area.
During the attacks, a civilian was reportedly killed and three others injured by regime artillery barrages.
At least 35 civilians in Idlib are estimated to have been killed — and scores more injured — in similar attacks by the regime and its allies since mid-September.
Following a Sept. 17 meeting in Sochi between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, the two sides agreed to set up a demilitarized zone — in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited — in Idlib.
Under the terms of the deal, opposition groups in Idlib will remain in areas in which they are already present, while Russia and Turkey will carry out joint patrols in the area to prevent any resumption of fighting.
Syria has only just begun to emerge from a devastating conflict that began in 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.
According to the UN, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict.
*Ali Murat Alhas contributed to this report from Ankara