BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian warplanes bombed a bakery run by Islamic State in the city of Raqqa, killing 25 people, in air raids on Saturday that also hit a major training camp used by the insurgent group for a second day running, a group monitoring the war said.
The air strikes on Raqqa, Islamic State’s stronghold some 400 km (250 miles) northeast of Damascus, also hit a building used as an Islamic court, and another of the group’s offices, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Rami Abdulrahman, founder of the Observatory, said the bakery was run by the militant group. The Observatory, which gathers information from all sides in the civil war, said the dead included 12 civilians and nine Islamic State activists.
Islamic State, which has seized wide expanses of territory in Iraq and Syria, drove the last Syrian government forces out of Raqqa province in late August when its fighters seized an air base, capturing and later executing scores of Syrian soldiers.
In a headline bar, Syrian state TV said army units had destroyed weapons and ammunition stores used by Islamic State fighters in Raqqa, “eliminating a number of them and wounding others in a number of areas”. It gave no further details.
Raqqa is the main Syrian foothold of Islamic State. The group has been overseeing most aspects of civilian life in the city including bakeries, banks, schools, courts and mosques.
The United States is assembling an alliance to fight the group in neighboring Iraq. U.S. President Barack Obama said on Friday key NATO allies stood ready to join the United States in military action to defeat the group in Iraq.
The Syrian government has said it should be a partner in the fight against Islamic State. But Western states that have backed the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad have dismissed the idea of cooperating with Damascus and describe Assad as part of the problem.
The Observatory reported that six Islamic State fighters were killed in the air raid on the training camp.
Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by Mark Heinrich