According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, at least 63 more people, including nine children, were killed in heavy airstrikes around the eastern Syrian city of Deir Ezzor, hitting towns and villages in the area recently contested by ISIS.
This adds to an enormous toll in the past week in the area, with well over 200 people killed, and hundreds of civilians kidnapped by ISIS in fighting which has left ISIS with some territorial gains around the city itself.
ISIS has controlled the bulk of Deir Ezzor Province for over a year, but the city itself has been contested, along with a nearby Syrian airbase. Recent fighting has seen both sides trying to break the stalemate, but only limited territory changing hands, mostly when ISIS took advantage of a day of bad weather in which the warplanes couldn’t see targets to support the military.
At one point, ISIS had kidnapped over 400 civilians, though they subsequently released all women, children, and the elderly. They followed these releases by kidnapping more men, however, meaning they still hold hundreds of people.
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