Russian lawmaker says United States strike in Syria an act of aggression

08 February, 2018, 13:12 | Author: Katrina Soto
  • US military strikes pro-regime forces in Syria after coming under attack

"Syrian pro-regime forces included approximately 500 personnel in a large, dismounted formation supported by artillery, tanks, multiple-launch rocket systems, and mortars", a USA military official said, according to Radio Free Europe.

No US service personnel were injured or killed but one SDF member was wounded.

The United States maintains about 2,000 troop in Syria, mostly working with the estimated 50,000 Syrian Democratic Forces. That could complicate not only the U.S. -Russia relationship but also American involvement in Syria.

One US official said the pro-government forces may have been trying to seize the Khusham oil fields.

Syrian government forces are active on the other side of the river around the city of Deir al-Zor.

USA and Kurdish forces responded to that skirmish with air and artillery strikes, the official said.

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"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 fight against Islamic State (IS) extremists, the statement said. Last year, USA aircraft shot down a Syrian jet after pro-government forces attacked US allied units in northern Syria. Officials declined to say whether the airstrikes were conducted with manned or unmanned aircraft.

U.S. forces reportedly responded to an "unprovoked attack" by Syrian pro-regime forces with airstrikes. USA troops were there at the time, but none of them were hurt.

With the defeat of Islamic State in most of Syria the coalition and the Syrian regime share a long "de-confliction" line mostly along the Euphrates river.

Another military official, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity, said not all the attacking forces were wearing uniforms, making it more hard to identify them.

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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