206 civilians killed by airstrikes in eastern Syria

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Smoke rises as a result of Syrian army shelling on a rebel-held area in Daraa, south Syria. At least 206 civilians were killed in November this year by US-led airstrikes on areas controlled by the Islamic State (IS) in eastern Syria. Xinuha

DAMASCUS (Xinhua) – At least 206 civilians were killed in November this year by US-led airstrikes on areas controlled by the Islamic State (IS) in eastern Syria, a war monitor reported Saturday.

As many as 77 children and 57 women were among those killed by the strikes on the last IS-held pocket in the eastern countryside of Deir al-Zour province, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The US-led coalition has intensified its airstrikes in recent weeks in support of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is pushing to dislodge IS from its last stronghold on the eastern bank of Euphrates River.

The SDF has been trying to defeat IS in that part of the country near the Iraqi border since Sept. 10.

However, the IS counter-offensives and suicide bombing have rendered all efforts flat as the SDF are preparing for another round of battles against IS in eastern Deir al-Zour.

The US-backed SDF has also been trying to achieve progress on the political level.

A day earlier, the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC), which is the political wing of the SDF, concluded a conference in the city of Ayn Issa in northern Syria with the participation of opposition figures.

The conference ended with a final statement that stressed the political solution is the right approach that guarantees the participation of all Syrians in the political process.

The statement also noted that the formation of the constitutional committee shouldn’t exclude any side, in an apparent desire by the Kurdish forces to be represented in the constitutional committee that is being discussed currently.

The conference also underlined the importance of a broad dialogue that would gather opposition and government representatives.

The Kurdish forces have been enjoying a sort of autonomy in northeastern Syria since the early time of the Syrian war.

The Syrian government has stressed that all Syrian areas should return under its control in reference to the Kurdish-controlled areas among others.

The SDC has already held discussions with government representatives and both sides agreed to form negotiation committees to continue the dialogues.

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