February 21, 2018

United States claims self-defense in strikes on Syrian-backed forces

08 February 2018, 01:11 | Kara Nash

GETTYThe US-led coalition fighting Islamic State described the attack on the headquarters as'unprovoked

USA Syria Assad fighting war SDF attack ISIS Trump Deir al Zor Euphrates news latest

The U.S. coalition says in a statement that pro-regime forces attacked an SDF headquarters, and the U.S. launched the airstrike in self-defense.

The official added that no U.S. personnel were killed or wounded in the engagement.

The heavy death toll underscored the large size of the attack, which the US official said included about 500 opposing forces, backed by artillery, tanks, multiple-launch rocket systems and mortars.

No U.S. military members were injured in the clash.

Overall, the pro-government force included about 500 people supported by rocket and mortar systems and Soviet-era tanks, the official said.

The flare-up lasted into the small hours of Thursday and was sparked by an attack on positions held by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Deir Ezzor province.

At least 100 militants were killed in the Coalition's attack, a U.S. military official told reporters on Wednesday.

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"International coalition forces are bombing popular forces fighting "Daesh" and the (Syrian Democratic Forces) east of the Euphrates river and there are reports of casualties", statements carried by the stations said.

The official said about 100 pro-government forces were killed in the counterattack.

USA officials say no Americans were injured or killed in the attack by the pro-regime forces.

A rare United States airstrike in Syria has killed approximately 100 pro-government troops. USA troops were there at the time, but none of them were hurt.

The officials decline to identify details of the attacking forces, which are suspected to be Syrian or from one of a number of allied militia units, including from Iraq and Lebanon, that are backing President Bashar Al Assad in the country's seven-year civil war.

Neither was it clear whether Russian Federation, which is conducting its own air campaign in support of the Syrian government, may have had any role in the incident.

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