Syria's deadliest month of 2017 claims 3,000 lives

BEIRUT, Lebanon – The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has considered September the deadliest month of 2017 after around 3,000 people – 955 of them civilians – were killed in the ongoing war in Syria. 

"More than 70% of the civilians were killed in the regime and Russian air strikes, or in air raids of the international coalition" fighting the Islamic State group, said the Britain-based monitor's head Rami Abdel Rahman. 

Backed by Russian air strikes, the forces of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad are pressing a battle to retake IS-controlled areas in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor.

A US-led international coalition has been providing air support to a Kurdish-Arab alliance also fighting the jihadists in its former northern bastion of Raqa city and Deir Ezzor. (READ: More than 320000 dead in six years of Syria war – monitor

The number of people killed in September was higher due to increased fighting and "intensified air raids of the international coalition and Russia against jihadist bastions in the north and east of Syria, but also due to increased Russian and regime strikes on rebel-held areas," Abdel Rahman said.

The 955 civilians killed in September included 207 children, said the Observatory, which relies on a wide network of sources inside Syria for its information.

It said 738 jihadists – from IS and a group led by Al-Qaeda's former Syria affiliate – also died.

Syria's conflict has killed more than 330,000 people and displaced millions since it broke out in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests before evolving into a complex war drawing in world powers. –