World

Russia says latest U.S. Syria strike hit civilians, was unacceptable - agencies

Russia says latest U.S. Syria strike hit civilians, was unacceptable - agencies

US-led anti-ISIS coalition has carried out air strikes against a convoy of a Iran-backed Shiite militia supporting the regime of Syrian President Assad.

In April, Daesh attacked the al-Tanf army base, where the U.S. Special Forces train Syrian fighters.

Meanwhile, a military source said the strike reveals the real scheme by the United States and Zionist entity against Syria.

The militia were struck after they had advanced to about 17 miles (27 km) from the base.

In April the U.S. launched 59 cruise missiles at a Syrian military airfield in retaliation for a chemical attack that killed scores of civilians.

The statement said coalition forces have been operating in the area "for many months training and advising vetted partner forces" in the battle against IS.

A statement by the coalition said the Syrian forces "posed a threat to United States and partner forces at Tanf".




Coalition officials initially tried to stem the advance of the Syrian military convoy with a series of warning shots and USA aircraft carrying out a low flyover above the convoy in a show of force. Pro-regime forces had crossed a pre-agreed deconfliction zone and continued to advance despite warning strikes, he added. A tank and several other vehicles were destroyed in the airstrike after the convoy ignored repeated warnings. It was unclear if they resulted in any deaths.

The Pentagon says this was a defensive strike, launched after pro-regime forces had violated an agreed deconfliction zone around a base at al-Tanf, near the Syria's southern border with Jordan and Iraq, where USA and British Special Forces are training rebels to fight ISIS.

The U.S. -backed coalition forces reportedly made contact with soldiers from Russian Federation (which supports the Assad regime) through their de-confliction line to stress the urgency of the situation.

Islamic State attacked the base last month and recently regime forces have been pushing forward nearby, raising fears of a collision with coalition forces. That thinking changed in April with the missile strike fired against Assad's air force in response to Assad's deadly chemical weapons attack.

Pro-Assad outlets reported that the US -led coalition hit the Iranian-backed Imam Ali brigade.

The US-backed forces in that area are fighting against Daesh militants.

While the Trump administration has been firm in its opposition to ISIS, its policy towards the Assad regime has shifted rapidly at times.


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