US-led coalition airstrikes pound IS areas in eastern Syria

Syrian activists are reporting intense airstrikes on the last area held by the Islamic State group in the country’s east where the jihadists’ control has been shrinking over the past weeks.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the airstrikes hit the 15 square kilometers (5.8 square miles) controlled by IS in the eastern province of Deir el-Zour after US-backed Kurdish-led fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces scored gains in recent weeks.

Europe-based activist Omar Abu Layla of the DeirEzzor 24 monitoring group confirms intense airstrikes are ongoing, adding that they were triggered by a counter-offensive carried out by IS during a strong fog.

The airstrikes come a day after a suicide attack carried by IS insurgents killed 19 people, including four Americans, in the northern town of Manbij.

— AP