Damascus, November 19: In Syria, at least 43 people were killed in air strikes by the US-led coalition on the pocket held by the Islamic State group in eastern part of the country. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that 17 children were among 36 Islamic State family members killed in Abu Husn village of Deir Ezzor province near the Iraq border.
The Britain based monitor said, another seven victims had not yet been identified as either civilians or IS fighters.
The US-led coalition has been backing a Kurdish-Arab alliance called the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighting to expel the militants from the pocket around Abu Husn.
Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said, it is the highest death toll in coalition air strikes since the SDF launched its attack against the IS pocket in September.
The coalition has repeatedly said it does its utmost to prevent civilian casualties.
"The avoidance of civilian casualties is our highest priority when conducting strikes against legitimate military targets with precision munitions," spokesman Sean Ryan told AFP this week.
IS overran large swathes of Syria and neighbouring Iraq in 2014, proclaiming a "caliphate" in land it controlled.
But the jihadist group has since lost most of it to various offensives in both countries.
In Syria, the group has seen its presence reduced to parts of the vast Badia desert and the pocket in Deir Ezzor. The SDF in September announced an assault to oust the jihadists from the eastern pocket, which includes the town of Hajin and the village of Al-Shaafa.