October 25, 2018 - 10:13 AMT
U.S.-led coalition denies civilian casualties in Deir ez-Zor strike

The initial assessment by the U.S.-led coalition indicated that its strike conducted earlier in the day in the Syrian village of as-Susah killed only Islamic State militants and no civilians were harmed, Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman Col. Sean Ryan said on Wednesday, Oct. 24, according to Sputnik.

Earlier in the day, the Syrian news agency SANA reported that the coalition strike in the Deir ez-Zor province destroyed one of residential houses killing and injuring several people.

"On Oct. 24 a coalition strike destroyed facilities used by the Islamic State to launch attacks against our SDF partners in As Susah, Syria. One of the facilities used by the Islamic State as a command center for planning and conducting attacks was a mosque," Ryan said. "The ground force commander assessed only Islamic State fighters were present at the command control center at the time of our strike."

Ryan noted that it is the third coalition strike in several days on a mosque used by Islamic State militants for military purposes. He also said that this operation allowed killing extremists who presented "imminent threat" to coalition’s partners, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

"The Islamic State continues to violate the law of armed conflict and misuse religious sites. Coalition strikes will continue to target the Islamic State in the Middle Euphrates River Valley as the Coalition and SDF advance to defeat the Islamic State group in their self-proclaimed caliphate," he added.

Ryan also said that the coalition takes seriously every instance of civilian casualties and investigates all credible claims.