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Syrian media says US forces kidnapped civilians near Deir Ez-Zor

Smoke rising behind destroyed vehicles and damaged buildings in Syria's eastern Deir Ezzor province near the Iraqi border on 24 March 2019 [DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP/Getty Images]
Smoke rising behind destroyed vehicles and damaged buildings in Syria's eastern Deir Ezzor province near the Iraqi border on 24 March 2019 [DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP/Getty Images]

Syria's SANA News Agency has reported that US forces carried out a "large airborne operation" yesterday at dawn, which led to the kidnapping of civilians and killed three people.

The raid is said to have taken place in the town of Busayra, near the eastern city of Deir Ez-Zor and, according to local sources, involved the support of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a US-backed militia composed of mostly Kurdish YPG fighters.

"The airdrop was accompanied by intense and indiscriminate shooting on homes and agricultural lands, which caused the martyrdom of three civilians from one family," the report said, adding that the US forces "kidnapped a number of the locals and took them to an unknown destination."

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights revealed that the dead were a school teacher and his two sons.

The operation follows similar reports last week when joint US and SDF forces carried out airborne raids in the town of Al-Shuhail, in the Dier Ez-Zor countryside.

Both operations are thought to be part of efforts to target remnants of Daesh terrorist elements in the country. US forces are deployed at the Al-Tanf base, south of Deir Ez-Zor which, last week, came under attack by suspected Iranian drones.

READ: US forces, SDF hold joint military drill in eastern Syria

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