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Civilian killed by RAF drone in Syria

Civilian killed by RAF drone in Syria

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces kicked off on Tuesday the final stage in its battle to expel the ISIS terrorist group from eastern Syria.

The Royal Air Force (RAF) airstrike targeted three ISIS fighters, though a civilian on a motorbike crossed into the strike zone "at the last minute".

In a press conference held in eastern Deir al-Zor, a statement was read by top SDF commanders, which the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) is the leading element, confirming they are fighting in the final assault.

"Our forces aim to secure the Syrian-Iraqi borders and drive out Daesh from the area", she said, using the pejorative Arabic acronym for IS.

The U.S. State Department says renewed operations against IS by American-backed Kurdish forces are meant to "liberate the final ISIS strongholds in Syria".

Since 2016, coalition forces have worked by, with and through SDF partners to reclaim territory from ISIS in Syria, OIR officials said.

ISIS holds dozens of villages in eastern Syria, from the eastern banks of the Euphrates River that cuts across Deir Ezzor to the border with Iraq, and in the south of the adjacent province of Hasakeh.

"We don't know for the moment if the US-led global coalition or Iraqi forces carried out the strike" on the village of Al-Qasr in Hasakeh province, the Observatory said.

"These events serve to remind us of the consequences of conflict and of the heavy price that the people of Syria have paid", he said. "It reminds us that when we undertake military action, we must do so knowing that it can never be completely without risk".

The Latest: Iran vows response to alleged Israeli strikes

Deir Ezzor Military Council head Ahmed Abu Khawla told AFP there was a "shared operations room with Iraqi forces". It will be supported by the US -led coalition.

French special operations forces arrived in Syria last month to help boost US-led efforts against ISIS, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said last week.

"IS retains a significant presence near the Iraqi borders from which it seeks to retain a safe haven to plan attacks around the world and expand its territory in Syria and Iraq", Abdallah added.

The SDF halted its fight against IS in eastern Syria and turned westward in mid-March to fight a Turkish incursion in the Kurdish enclave of Afrin.

Syrian state media said on Tuesday that rebels near Homs province have agreed to give up their territory to government forces as part of a surrender deal, CNN reported.

This resulted in Kurdish forces redirecting their resources from combating ISIS to bolstering fellow Kurds in Afrin.

"It had a very big and wide impact on the liberation, which was stalled for months".

The United States intends to defend against ISIS border of Turkey, Israel, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon.

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