Three children and a woman have been killed in eastern Syria in airstrikes conducted by the US-led coalition claiming to fight Daesh terrorist group.
Media and local sources said the US airstrikes hit al-Bukamal city in the province of Dayr al-Zawr near the border with Iraq on Monday, killing four and inflicting heavy losses on properties.
The US-led coalition has been conducting air raids against what are alleged to be Daesh hideouts inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate.
The coalition has repeatedly been accused of targeting and killing civilians. It has also been largely incapable of realizing its declared objective of annihilating Daesh.
Also on Monday, Daesh terrorists fired rockets at al-Qusour and al-Joura neighborhoods in the same province, leaving three civilians, including a girl, dead and 14 others wounded.
Dayr al-Zawr Province links the Daesh stronghold in the city of Raqqah with territory controlled by the militant group in neighboring Iraq.
Separately, a woman was killed in Qamishli city of Hasakah province in a mortar attack launched from Turkey, local sources said.
Turkey’s border guards also shot and injured a girl near her house in Ras al-Ain city on the border with Turkey.
Turkey has time and again been accused of aiding and abetting militant groups operating in Syria.
Reports say Ankara actively trains and arms Takfiri militants there and facilitates their safe passage into Syria. Ankara has also been accused of buying smuggled oil from Daesh.
World powers to attend Syria meeting
On Tuesday, senior diplomats will attend a meeting of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) in Vienna in a fresh attempt to end the Syria conflict.
Iran, Russia, Turkey and Saudi Arabia as well as representatives of the EU and the Arab League are among the participants.
The meeting is expected to discuss stalled peace talks, challenges to the maintenance of a ceasefire deal reached in February and the UN delivery of humanitarian aid to various areas across war-wracked Syria.
Russia on Monday voiced its support to the UN Security Council resolution that enshrined the ISSG peace plan in international law.
“Today we’re a long way from the finish line,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
“But if everything is decided under the auspices of the ISSG and the UN Security Council is put in place honestly, then there’s every chance the situation won’t stay as it is,” he added.
US officials accompanying Secretary of State John Kerry said Washington would insists on the ouster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, with an August 1 deadline for agreement on a time-frame for his departure.
“The target for August is to have a framework in place, a framework agreed, for a political transition,” a senior State Department official said in Vienna.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Iran would “continue to insist on the need for a comprehensive ceasefire – of course excluding terrorist groups.”
“Unfortunately there seems to be a persistence by some that they want to pursue a military solution, that illusion has to come to an end and they should look for a political solution,” he said.
The last round of indirect UN-brokered negotiations aimed at finding a political solution fell apart last month after the main opposition group abandoned the talks and declared a “new war” on the Syrian government.