US-led coalition airstrikes said to kill 2,000 in Syria
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US-led coalition airstrikes said to kill 2,000 in Syria

UK-based monitor claims nearly all those killed in raids since September are jihadists; toll includes 66 civilians, 10 kids

Thick smoke rises following an airstrike by the US-led coalition in Kobani, Syria while fighting continued between Syrian Kurds and the Islamic State group, as seen from Mursitpinar on the outskirts of Suruc, at the Turkey-Syria border, Oct. 14, 2014. (Photo credit: Lefteris Pitarakis/AP)
Thick smoke rises following an airstrike by the US-led coalition in Kobani, Syria while fighting continued between Syrian Kurds and the Islamic State group, as seen from Mursitpinar on the outskirts of Suruc, at the Turkey-Syria border, Oct. 14, 2014. (Photo credit: Lefteris Pitarakis/AP)

At least 2,000 people, mostly Islamic State jihadists, have been killed in Syria by a US-led air campaign in the past seven months, a monitoring group said Thursday.

“At least 1,922 fighters from IS, mostly foreigners, have been killed since September 23, 2014 in raids and aerial attacks by the international coalition on IS positions and oil refineries” throughout Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The strikes targeted IS positions in the central province of Homs, as well as Aleppo in the north, Hasakeh in the northeast, and Deir Ezzor to the east.

They also struck the northern province of Raqqa, where the provincial capital of the same name has become the center of IS’s self-styled “caliphate”.

The toll also included 90 fighters from IS’s jihadist rival and Al-Qaeda Syrian affiliate Al-Nusra Front, most of whom were killed in coalition strikes on their strongholds in northern Syria. It also included one Islamist rebel who was being held by IS.

At least 66 civilians, including 10 children, have been killed in the campaign, the Britain-based Observatory said.

The coalition airstrikes have provided significant support to Kurdish forces, helping them expel IS jihadists from the flashpoint town of Kobani on the Syrian-Turkish border in January.

Syria’s conflict began with peaceful protests in March 2011, but devolved into a civil war after a bloody crackdown by the government.

The war became even more complex in 2014 with the rise of jihadists, particularly IS, which controls swathes of territory in northern and eastern Syria.

More than 220,000 people have been killed and at least 11.2 million displaced since the beginning of the war.

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