An air strike on one of the last holdouts of the Islamic State group in Syria has killed 54 people, more than half of them civilians, a war monitor said today.
The US-led coalition fighting the jihadists said it or its allies may have carried out air raids in the area, and it was investigating the alleged civilian deaths.
It was not immediately clear if the raid on the eastern Deir Ezzor province was carried out by an Iraqi plane or the coalition, the monitor said.
In a written statement, the US-led alliance said: "The coalition or our partner forces may have conducted strikes in the vicinity of Al-Soussa and Baghour Fukhani" yesterday.
"We are forwarding the report to our Civilian Casualty Cell for further assessment on this allegation," it said.
Iraqi warplanes have recently carried out strikes against IS in eastern Syria, while coalition aircraft have been supporting Kurdish-led fighters battling the jihadists.
The IS fighters were Syrians and Iraqis, the Observatory said.
Russia-backed regime forces have pushed back the jihadists on the western side of the Euphrates, while the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces have battled them to its east.
IS fighters have been expelled from most urban centres in Syria, but analysts say they have retained their ability to pounce from the desert.
Attacks spiked after the jihadists were evacuated from their last bastion outside Damascus in May, many heading to the Badiya desert, the Observatory said.
IS also has a presence in the northwestern province of Idlib, as well as in the southwestern province of Daraa where it has been battling opposition fighters in recent days.
The government and rebels last week announced a ceasefire agreement as the regime moves to retake control of the whole of the province, but IS is excluded from that deal.
Overnight Wednesday-Thursday, they seized the nearby village of Heet from rebels who had agreed to hand over their heavy weapons to the regime after deadly clashes.
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