US-led coalition air strikes near Palymra killed 38 jihadists: Monitor

Beirut, PTI | Updated : 18 December 2016, 03:22 PM
War torn Syria- representative pic (File photo)
War torn Syria- representative pic (File photo)

US-led coalition air strikes killed at least 38 Islamic State group fighters this week near Syria’s ancient city of Palmyra, a monitor said on Saturday.

The jihadists retook Palmyra in central Syria on December 11, just eight months after the army backed by Russia drove them out.On Thursday, US-led coalition aircraft destroyed heavy weaponry seized by the jihadists when they retook the city, the coalition said.

A statement on Friday said the strikes destroyed an air defence artillery system, 14 tanks, three artillery systems, two IS-held buildings and two tactical vehicles.

Among the Russian weaponry IS captured around Palmyra were thought to be modern surface-to-air missiles, or SAMs, giving jihadists the potential capability to shoot down aircraft, a coalition official told AFP.The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group based in Britain, said that “at least 38 IS members were killed in the air strikes”.

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The strikes, near the Tiyas military air base northeast of Palmyra, helped regime forces gain some ground west of the fabled city, said the Observatory.

Palmyra is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and its recapture by IS gave the jihadists a propaganda boost as they face assaults on two of their key strongholds—Raqa in Syria and Iraq’s second city Mosul. 

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First Published: Sunday, December 18, 2016 01:07 PM
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