Published: Mon, February 12, 2018
Markets | By Rosalie Gross

US Coalition Kills 'More Than 100' Pro-Syrian Gov't Fighters

US Coalition Kills 'More Than 100' Pro-Syrian Gov't Fighters

The strikes were carried out in self-defense, according to officials, who said the strikes were conducted after 500 pro-regime troops "initiated an unprovoked attack" against a Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) headquarters where Coalition service members were located.

The overnight attack, which killed about 100 according to a US military, came when hundreds of attackers launched an assault on USA -backed forces known as the Syrian Democratic Forces who were accompanied by USA advisers in the oil-rich Deir el-Zour province.

"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.

The US, on the other hand, attacked a Syrian pro-government patrol in the area, and killed in excess of 100 fighters in the attack.

Syrian state-run media says the USA strikes killed and wounded dozens of tribal fighters, calling it a new effort "to support terrorism".

The Observatory, which relies on a network of activists on the ground, said the Khusham area, near one of the province's largest oil fields, saw intense clashes with heavy weaponry late Wednesday between pro-government forces and the SDF.

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.

A deconfliction line establishing the Euphrates River as the divide between the rival forces was negotiated between the U.S. and Russian militaries previous year, and until now it has served to mostly keep the armies apart.

Meanwhile, Turkish officials said the leaders of Turkey, Russia and Iran will meet in Istanbul to discuss peace efforts for Syria.

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon interviews members of a women’s cooperative outside the town of Amudah Syria
Gayle Tzemach Lemmon interviews members of a women’s cooperative outside the town of Amudah Syria

"The military goal is to defeat ISIS in Syria", White said.

The Euphrates River, flowing through Northeastern Syria, serves as a demarcation line between the US backed SDF and Russian Federation and Iran backed pro regime forces believed to be active around the city of Deir el-Zour. "Coalition officials were in regular communication with Russian counterparts before, during and after the thwarted attack", the official said.

A USA official told CNN that the attackers crossed the Euphrates armed with artillery and other weapons.

Moscow's rhetoric against Washington took on Thursday a different direction, when Russian Federation accused the United States military presence in Syria of being used to oust the regime.

And while the US -led coalition mission hasn't changed and ISIS is on the run, work remains to be done, she said.

But, according to Operation Inherent Resolve, "Syrian pro-regime forces initiated an unprovoked attack against well-established Syrian Democratic Forces headquarters February 7".

"As a result of the shelling, 25 Syrian militias were injured", the statement said.

The Syrian foreign ministry said it wrote to the United Nations, saying the USA -led strikes Wednesday night are "a war crime and crime against humanity" and asked for global condemnation for the attacks. A pro-regime drone was also grounded after it dropped a munition in the vicinity of US troops in Syria.

US Marines firing a howitzer in Syria.

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