Syria bombs militant positions in Raqqa for second day
Syrian war planes bombed positions belonging to the militant Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in the northern province of Raqqa for a second day on Monday, a monitoring group said.
On Sunday, regime planes killed 31 militants and eight civilians in an unprecedented wave of aerial bombardment against the group in its Raqqa bastion.
The bombing continued on Monday, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, with at least 14 raids against militant positions.
There was no immediate death toll in the renewed bombing.
Three raids targeted the area around the town of Tabqa in western Raqqa and four hit near the Tabqa military airport, the only remaining regime-held position in the province.
The other seven strikes hit sites inside Raqqa city, the provincial capital.
The raids involved the use of precision weapons rather than the explosive-packed barrel bombs that the regime has deployed to deadly effect in Aleppo province and elsewhere.
Barrel bombs have been criticized for being indiscriminate and killing civilians.
The Syrian raids come as the United States carries out air strikes against the Islamic State just across the border in neighbouring Iraq.
The U.S. strikes are intended to limit the advance of ISIS militants who have seized large swathes of territory in both Iraq and Syria, declaring an Islamic “caliphate.”
The group emerged from al-Qaeda’s one-time Iraq affiliate, but has since broken with that organisation and grown into a cross-border militant group.
It has been battling rival opposition fighters in Syria since early January, after a backlash because of the group’s abuses against civilians and rebels, and its bid to dominate captured territory.