Syrian warplanes have been notoriously inaccurate in attacking ISIS targets inside Syria, killing large numbers of civilians. Yesterday’s strikes on the Iraqi side of the border have reportedly ended the same way, with locals saying at least 90 civilians were killed in the attacks, and scores others wounded.
The Syrian planes attacked several Iraqi towns along the border, all under ISIS control, and reportedly hit marketplaces and gas stations in those cities, killing many bystanders.
Syria’s state media denied the claim of civilian deaths as “baseless,” though Anbar’s Provincial officials confirmed them, saying the planes bore Syrian flags and were unmistakably Syrian Air Force.
Parliament leader Sabah Karkhout slammed the airstrikes as a “barbarian attack” from Syria, and the civilian deaths threaten to widen the sectarian divide further, as Syria’s government is Alawite (Shi’ite) and the Anbar towns are exclusively Sunni.
Syria and Iraq have been coordinating against ISIS recently, though intelligence sources say it is unclear if the Syrian airstrikes were part of any agreement between Iraq and Syria to strike across the border.