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Air strikes south-east of Syria's Raqqa kill 14: Observatory

Warplanes were believed to belong to the US-led coalition against Islamic State, a Britain-based war monitoring group said.

FILE: A general view shows Syrian pro-government forces walking in the ancient Umayyad mosque in the old city of Aleppo on 13 December 2016, after they captured the area. Picture: AFP

BEIRUT - Air strikes killed 14 civilians, including six children, on Thursday in countryside around Raqqa city in northern Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The warplanes were believed to belong to the US-led coalition against Islamic State, the Britain-based war monitoring group said.

The jets pounded a village south-east of Raqqa city, near the Euphrates River and along the road to Deir al-Zor province, the Observatory said. Most of those killed were from the same family, it said.

With air strikes and special ground forces from the US-led coalition, an alliance of Syrian militias has been waging an offensive on Raqqa, Islamic State's base in Syria.

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces cut the last main road out of Raqqa this week, severing the highway between the city and the militant group's stronghold of Deir al-Zor.

The US military has said it takes "extraordinary efforts" to avoid civilian deaths in its bombing campaign against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

The military's estimates of civilians killed by coalition air strikes are generally far lower than those of monitoring groups.