Published: Mon, February 12, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Dozens killed in U.S. strikes on pro-Assad forces in Syria

Dozens killed in U.S. strikes on pro-Assad forces in Syria

United States officials have confirmed that an air strike had been carried out against pro-Syrian goverment forces which had attacked the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in what it described as an unprovoked attack on allied Kurdish and Arab fighters.

According to several sources, the recent air and artillery attack by the International Coalition forces in Deir Ezzor against the pro-government popular militias killed more than 100 people.

"In defense of Coalition and partner forces, the Coalition conducted strikes against attacking forces to repel the act of aggression against partners engaged in the Global Coalition's defeat-Daesh mission".

Around 100 soldiers allied with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have been killed in airstrikes and artillery strikes by a US-led coalition.

While no USA troops were reportedly killed, according to NBC News, Syrian state-run media said dozens died or were wounded.

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Mattis said the Russians had told American military officials that they did not have any Russian forces there.

Regime forces were likely attempting to take an oilfield near Khusham. The US had chosen this town to train local Syrian forces to fight IS.

The coalition observed a slow buildup of pro-regime forces over the past week, she added. However, there were no casualties that have been reported from the U.S. military.

In a statement, it said 25 militia were wounded, and accused the U.S. of being motivated by economic concerns as the strike took place near an oil refinery.

A USA official told the news outlet that it was unclear yet whether Russian operators in the region were involved, and that the US had also not ruled out the possibility of the involvement of Iranian-backed forces.

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A United States military official who spoke on condition of anonymity said the U.S. bombing killed about 100 troops, but Veale said the military did not have an exact number for the casualties.

She went on to note that the USA is not looking for a conflict with the Syrian government forces, adding that "any action that takes away from our ongoing operations to defeat ISIS [Deash] is a distraction".

One SDF fighter was injured, Reuters reported. That could complicate not only the U.S. -Russia relationship but also American involvement in Syria.

In May, coalition aircraft strike a pro-regime convoy as it approaches a training garrison near the Al-Tanf border crossing to Jordan.

A US Navy F/A-18 shot down a Syrian regime Su-22 jet last June that had attacked US-backed forces on the ground.

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