Syria slams U.S. coalition for destruction of bridges in east

BEIRUT (Reuters) - The Syrian government on Thursday criticized the U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State for destroying two bridges on the Euphrates river this week in areas the jihadists hold in the east of the country.

Monitoring group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said warplanes most probably from the coalition hit the two bridges in Deir al-Zor province on Tuesday and Wednesday, making them unusable.

The attacks “confirm the so-called international coalition’s intent to bomb and destroy Syrian infrastructure and economic and social establishments through repeated aggressive acts,” state TV quoted the foreign ministry as saying.

Syria’s ambassador to the U.N. Bashar Ja’afari said the bridges had been used by hundreds of thousands of civilians.

The Observatory said putting the bridges out of action would impede aid deliveries to areas in need and hamper movement of civilians.

The United States has been leading a campaign against Islamic State in Syria’s east, supporting Arab and Kurdish fighters on the ground with air strikes.

Reporting by John Davison in Beirut and Michelle Nichols at the United Nations; editing by Dominic Evans