At least 57 civilians, including 19 children, were killed Sunday in attacks by Syrian government forces and their Russian allies in two areas of the country, a monitoring group reported.
Warplanes, believed to be Russian, struck the village of al-Shafah, controlled by Islamic State terrorists, in the eastern province of Deir al-Zour, killing 34 civilians, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. The dead included 15 children.
This month, government forces and allied paramilitaries retook control of the key town of al-Bu Kamal in oil-rich Deir al-Zour from Islamic State.
Al-Bu Kamal was strategically important for Islamic State because it linked areas under the radical group’s control to areas controlled by the group in neighboring Iraq.
Elsewhere in Syria Sunday, 23 civilians, including four children, were killed in air and shelling attacks by regime forces in the rebel stronghold of Eastern Ghouta, near the capital Damascus, according to the observatory.
Most of the strikes were in Eastern Ghouta’s Mesraba district, killing at least 15 people, said the Britain-based observatory, which relies on a network of activists inside Syria for its information.
In recent weeks, government forces have intensified air and shelling attacks on Eastern Ghouta to flush out opposition rebels, according to Syrian activists.
Eastern Ghouta has been under siege by the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad for the past four years.