Published: Tue, June 19, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

East Syria strike kills 38 pro-regime fighters, monitor says

East Syria strike kills 38 pro-regime fighters, monitor says

A commander in a pro-government alliance meanwhile told Reuters news agency that several Iraqi militiamen had been killed in strikes by drones, "probably American", on positions between Albu Kamal and al-Tanf - an area 230km (145 miles) to the south-west where some United States military personnel are based.

Pro-government forces, supported by Russian Federation and Iran, and a US-backed alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters are both battling Islamic State (IS) militants there.

President Bashar al-Assad's army, with the help of Iran-backed militias including Hezbollah and Iraqi groups, drove ISIS from Albu Kamal and its environs past year, but the jihadis have since staged attacks there.

Syrian state media reported the attack overnight and accused the USA -led coalition against Daesh terror group, saying a number of people were killed.

There are unconfirmed reports there were also Hezbollah and Iranian forces at the military base.

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"We haven't carried out a strike in Abu Kamal", Rankine-Galloway said.

Syrian state media accused the USA of launching airstrikes against Syrian military targets in the east of the country which caused deaths and injures, though the US military has denied any involvement.

U.S. Central Command spokesman Maj. The airstrike took place on the Iraq-Syria border on Sunday and killed 22 members of a Shiite militia. They said 20 fighters were killed and dozens were wounded, adding that the cause of the attack was not immediately clear.

At least 38 foreign fighters allied to the Assad regime were killed in an overnight bombing raid near Syria's eastern border with Iraq, a monitor said on Monday.

The officials said the dead were mostly members of Iraq's Hezbollah Brigades, which have been active in Syria's civil war fighting alongside government forces.

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A US-backed alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters and Russia-supported regime forces are carrying out separate operations against those IS-held pockets, and even Iraqi warplanes have occasionally bombed IS positions in Syria's east.

The coalition's press office said it had received reports of a strike in the area that had killed and wounded Iraqi fighters, but denied it was involved.

Syrian troops are battling IS on the western river bank, while the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces fight on the east.

"For the first time in four years, Dashisha, a notorious transit town for weapons, fighters and suicide bombers between Iraq and Syria, is no longer controlled by ISIS (IS) terrorists", Brett McGurk, the USA president's special envoy for the war against IS, said on Monday.

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