The Islamic State, Assad regime media, and local residents all claim that US airstrikes killed at least 40 people in eastern Syria on Saturday.
The claims said most of the victims were women and children, as the US-led coalition continues to support Kurdish-led forces in attacks on the last significant ISIS-held pocket in Syria, near the border with Iraq.
Asked about the reports of the airstrikes in the Buqan area near Hajin, on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River coalition spokesman Col. Sean Ryan denied that there were civilian fatalities
“The coalition takes great measures to identify and strike appropriate ISIS targets in order to avoid non-combatant casualties,” Ryan said.
The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces have been trying for a month to take the Hajin area. They seized the town of Sousah in late October but were pushed back by an Islamic State counter-attack.
The campaign was briefly complicated by Turkish airstrikes on the positions of the Kurdish YPG militia, the leading group in the SDF. The offensive was halted in protest, but resumed last Sunday.
Local sources say US airstrikes killed 14 civilians two weeks ago near Sousah. The coalition denied the reports.