June 21, 2014 12:27 pm

Syrian warplanes hit eastern town near Iraqi border seized by militants

Members of Kurdish Peshmerga forces hold their position on June 21, 2014, in the Iraqi village of Basheer, 15 kilometers south of the city of Kirkuk, overlooking locations under Sunni militants led by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Sunni militants led by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant took control of an Iraq-Syria border crossing after Syrian rebels withdrew overnight, security officers and witnesses said. AFP PHOTO/KARIM SAHIB

BEIRUT – Activists say the Syrian army has carried out a series of deadly airstrikes against a town in eastern Syria that was captured by fighters from an al-Qaida breakaway group a day earlier.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says warplanes pounded Muhassan with six airstrikes Saturday, killing 16 people, including three civilians.

Fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant stormed the town along the Euphrates River on Friday.

The town is in the eastern province of Deir el-Zour, near the Iraqi border, where the Islamic State has been on the offensive since late April.

It comes as militants from the group seized an Iraqi crossing on the border with Syria after a daylong battle in which they killed some 30 Iraqi troops.

© The Canadian Press, 2014

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