Syrian activists say strikes on IS town kill 20

Syrian army sends reinforcements toward border with Iraq: rebels

Syrian army sends reinforcements toward border with Iraq: rebels

Staffan de Mistura spoke to reporters a day before Tuesday's start to what's expected to be about four days of indirect talks between government and opposition envoys, marking the sixth round that he has mediated since early a year ago. The province links territory Islamic State militants control in Syria and Iraq. Observatory director Rami Abdurrahman says IS fighters were also killed.

However, activists and monitoring groups say the number is much higher.

Omar Abu Laila, of the activist-run Deir Ezzor 24, said the airstrikes destroyed 15 homes and killed at least 20 civilians who had fled from other areas in Iraq and Syria, AP said.

"They sent large reinforcements of artillery, tanks and armored vehicles", said mayor Issam al-Reis, a representative of the so-called group of the southern front related to the Western-backed rebel group "Free Syrian army".

The deaths came after 12 women were killed in a strike by the USA -led coalition fighting ISIS in the east of Syria's Raqqa province Sunday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Right said.

The deaths came after 12 women were killed in a US-led coalition strike on Sunday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke on Monday about Moscow's own involvement with the Syrian Kurdish forces, assuring Turkey his country was not planning to arm them.

ISIS has lost swathes of the territory it once held in Raqqa province, though it still holds Raqqa city, its de facto capital, and some areas to the east.

Syrian forces, led by Kurdish generals and supported by the United States, are continuing to advance towards the city.

The US military said in May that coalition strikes in Syria and Iraq had "unintentionally" killed 352 civilians since it launched operations against IS in 2014.

A Syrian official says that a northeastern neighborhood of the capital Damascus is now completely under government control after carrying out the second and last phase of a truce agreement in the area.

State-run news agency SANA quoted al-Sabban as saying that military units were combing the neighborhood to dismantle explosives and mines.