BEIRUT (dpa) – The US-led coalition against Islamic State forces struck the group’s bases in north-east Syria with at least 30 airstrikes overnight, a monitoring group said Sunday.
“The attacks mainly targeted Islamic State bases in al Forossiya region at the northern outskirts of al-Raqqa province,” the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.
According to Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the watchdog, the strikes caused casualties among the jihadists. Activists inside al Raqqa were not available for comment Sunday. Islamic State fighters seized control of al Raqqa last year and declared it their capital.
Last week, at least 95 people were killed and dozens were injured when Syrian regime warplanes hit al Raqqa with several strikes.
The US hopes the airstrikes will clear out the militants, who control vast swathes of territory stretching from Syria to northern and western Iraq.
Meanwhile, Iraq’s vice president and former prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, who is on a three-day visit to Beirut, was quoted as saying Iraq will be “the grave of the Islamic State.”
“US strikes are good, but they do not liberate the land … only the people’s will and our fighters on the ground will liberate the land from terrorists,” Lebanese media quoted him as saying upon his arrival late Saturday. Al-Maliki is set to meet a number of Lebanese officials, including members of the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezollah.
Earlier this month, Maliki visited Iran, Hezbollah’s main backer, where he also met with the country’s supreme leader and other top officials.