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Syria activists: Strikes kill at least 14 near IS stronghold

FILE - This Tuesday, March 7, 2017 frame grab from video provided by Arab 24 network, shows U.S. forces patrol on the outskirts of the Syrian town, Manbij, a flashpoint between Turkish troops and allied Syrian fighters and U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters, in al-Asaliyah village, Aleppo province, Syria. Rolling 200 Marines backed with Howitzers into northern Syria, the Trump administration is ditching its predecessor’s style of working quietly behind the scenes in Syria’s conflict, opting instead for dramatic displays of U.S. force in an attempt to shape the fight. The latest deployment significantly widens America’s footprint in a highly toxic battlefield and risks drawing troops into a long and costly war with unpredictable outcome. (Arab 24 network, via AP, File)

FILE - This Tuesday, March 7, 2017 frame grab from video provided by Arab 24 network, shows U.S. forces patrol on the outskirts of the Syrian town, Manbij, a flashpoint between Turkish troops and allied Syrian fighters and U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters, in al-Asaliyah village, Aleppo province, Syria. Rolling 200 Marines backed with Howitzers into northern Syria, the Trump administration is ditching its predecessor’s style of working quietly behind the scenes in Syria’s conflict, opting instead for dramatic displays of U.S. force in an attempt to shape the fight. The latest deployment significantly widens America’s footprint in a highly toxic battlefield and risks drawing troops into a long and costly war with unpredictable outcome. (Arab 24 network, via AP, File)  (The Associated Press)

A Syrian activist group says airstrikes targeting a village held by the Islamic State group in northern Syria have killed 14 people, including six children.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says U.S.-led coalition aircraft were believed to have struck the village of Matab before dawn on Thursday. Another activist group, Raqqa is Being Silently Slaughtered, gave a higher toll, saying 18 civilians were killed.

The coalition hasn't confirmed the strikes and there was no immediate indication which nation's aircraft were involved.

Matab is about 56 kilometers, or 35 miles, west of the Islamic State group's self-declared capital of Raqqa.

U.S. officials said Wednesday that a couple hundred Marines have deployed into Syria with heavy artillery guns, as part of preparations for the fight to oust IS from Raqqa.