US Warplanes Bomb Pro-Assad Forces in Eastern Syria

Airstrike

US forces reportedly responded to an "unprovoked attack" by Syrian pro-regime forces at the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) headquarters on Wednesday, according to a statement from US Central Command (CENTCOM). "There are about 2,000 US troops in Syria focused on the fight against ISIS", said Tom.

Officials say the airstrikes were in defense "of coalition and partner forces".

The Euphrates, which flows through northeastern Syria, functions as a demarcation line separating the American-backed SDF and forces of the Bashar Assad regime backed by Russian Federation and Iran who are active around the city of Deir el-Zour.

US officials say about 500 pro-Assad regime forces participated in the attack on the coalition location, using heavy artillery, T-54 and T-72 main battle tanks and mortar fire. The official clarified that the action "was taken in self-defense" after about "20 to 30 artillery and tank rounds landed within 500 meters" of the SDF's headquarters.

USA military officials said the attacks, which began late on Wednesday, were conducted to "repel acts of aggression".

A strike by the USA -led coalition on Syrian pro-government forces is an act of aggression, Interfax news agency quoted Russian member of parliament Franz Klintsevich as saying.

"The coalition conducted strikes against attacking forces to repeal the act of aggression", it said. US troops were there at the time, but none of them were hurt.

Up to 100 pro-government fighters were killed, United States military officials say.

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. One SDF member was injured.

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. "It's not always readily apparent" what sort of forces they are maneuvering on the ground in Syria's crowded battlespace, he said.

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