BEIRUT — U.S-led coalition airstrikes on the last pocket held by Islamic State militants in Syria near the Iraqi border killed at least 40 people, mostly women and children, a war monitor and Syrian state media reported.

The coalition confirmed strikes in the area but said no “civilian casualties are associated” with them, reiterating that it takes measures to avoid non-combatant casualties.

“We have witnessed (IS) using places of worship and hospitals as command centers against the laws of war, and innocent civilians as human shields,” said Col. Sean Ryan, a spokesman for the coalition.

However, Rami Abdurrahman, head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said the airstrikes hit homes in Abu al-Hassan village, near the town of Hajin, which lies along the border with Iraq. Abdurrahman said the airstrikes killed 43 people, including 17 children and 12 women.

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