Beirut : The Islamic State jihadist group has executed at least 24 civilians after seizing a village in northern Syria from a US-backed Kurdish-Arab alliance, said a monitor. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said IS executed 24 civilians “in the last 24 hours” after taking Buyir from the Syrian Democratic Forces.

   The village is located some 10 kilometres northwest of Manbij, a key waypoint between the Turkish border and the IS de facto capital of Raqa city.  IS seized control of several villages in the countryside northwest of Manbij since launching a “fierce assault”  according to the Observatory, which relies on sources inside Syria for its information.  The SDF, backed by air strikes from a US-led coalition, launched an offensive to retake Manbij from IS on May 31.  The alliance managed to enter the town but have since faced fierce opposition from the jihadists who have fought back with suicide bombers and car bombs.

  Meanwhile, Syrian activists say US-led coalition airstrikes targeting a village in northern Syria held by the Islamic State group killed 28 civilians, including seven children.The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says coalition aircraft struck the village of Al-Ghandour.

 Observatory’s chief Rami Adurrahman says another 13 people were killed in the strikes but that he couldn’t say if they were IS fighters or civilians.  It was also unclear if the Al-Ghandour strikes involved an airstrike reported on Thursday by the US Central Command, which is responsible for US forces in the Middle East.

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