As per the reports by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group, at least 17 people were killed by Syrian and Russian warplanes in an air raid on a market in the eastern province of Deir al-Zor on Monday.

Source: PTI

The strikes hit the town of Ashara, about 60 km (40 miles) southeast of the provincial capital, Deir al-Zor city. Around 17 people were reported to be killed, including eight children and the toll was expected to rise because of the high number of serious injuries, the Britain-based Observatory said.

Warplanes bombed other areas of Deir al-Zor province, which is mostly under the control of Islamic State. The group has laid siege since March last year to the remaining government-held areas in Deir al-Zor city.

Source: PTI

Syrian government forces launched an offensive against IS last week starting from Hama province further west, pressing towards the jihadists' stronghold in Raqqa province, which borders Deir al-Zor.

Deir al-Zor province links Raqqa with Iraq, where the group also controls territory.

A Syrian military source said the army had captured a crossroads in its latest offensive from which it could advance towards Raqqa, Deir al-Zor or eastern Aleppo.

Feature Image Source: PTI