U.S. jets bomb 'pro-regime' forces in Syria, killing 100

Frederick Owens
February 12, 2018

"We estimate more than 100 Syrian pro-regime forces were killed while engaging SDF and coalition forces", the official said, adding that the strikes targeted almost 500 personnel from "pro-regime" forces armed with tanks and artillery.

US forces working in a headquarters for Syrian Kurdish and Arab forces came under fire from pro-Syrian forces Wednesday, which included Russian-made tanks and artillery, officials said.

"The coalition remains committed to focusing on the defeat-Daesh mission in the Middle Euphrates River Valley and asserts its non-negotiable right to act in self-defense", the statement said, using an Arabic term for the Islamic State.

On February 8, 2018, the coalition says it killed at least 100 pro-regime fighters to fend off an attack on its allies in eastern Syria.

US air strikes late Wednesday into early Thursday killed more than 100 fighters aligned with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime, American military officials said.

No U.S. troops were killed or wounded in the incident, officials said. This official added that there is no direct evidence yet that the Russians had fired on the Syrian Democratic Forces facility where the USA advisers were located.

He called the attack a "perplexing situation", adding that he could not give "any explanation for why" the pro-government forces would attack a well-established SDF headquarters. Assad's troops did not fair as well, with more than 100 reported dead or injured.

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"The recent incident once again shows that the United States' illegal military presence in Syria is actually aimed at taking control of the country's economic assets and not at fighting against the ISIS worldwide terror group", said a statement issued by the Russian Defense Ministry.

The Syrian government, though, called the act a "barbaric aggression" and said the real objective of the "so-called worldwide coalition" was to support the Islamic State terror network.

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. The river has acted as a "deconfliction line" between Syrian government forces and USA -backed SDF units in some areas of Syria. The YPG is one of many groups that makes up the SDF.

Veale also confirmed the assumption was that the pro-regime fighters were trying to recapture the oil fields that the US -backed coalition wrested from ISIS a year ago.

Syria's regime and pro-Assad Russia were furious with the strikes.

In June a year ago, a U.S. Navy jet shot down a Syrian plane after it attacked U.S. -backed fighters on the ground.

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