At least 19 civilians dead in Syria near Iraq border: monitor

Young Syrian women walk through the rubble of destroyed buildings following reported air strikes in the rebel-held area of Douma (AFP Photo/Sameer al-Doumy) (AFP/File)

Beirut (AFP) - At least 19 civilians and some Islamic State group fighters were killed Thursday in air raids against jihadist positions in the Syrian town of Bukamal, near the Iraqi border, a monitor said.

"At least 19 civilians, including a woman and two children, as well as jihadists were killed by warplanes," the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, adding that it was unclear who carried out the raids.

The Observatory, which takes its information from a network of activists on the ground, said the toll was due to IS basing itself close to civilian markets in the town.

In July 2014, IS forced anti-regime rebels from Bukamal, in Deir Ezzor province, after its lightning offensive seized swathes of neighbouring Iraq's Sunni Arab heartland.

Russia has been conducting air raids in Syria for a month, while a US-led coalition has targeted IS positions in Iraq and Syria for more than a year.