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19 May 2017, 11:19 | Darnell Patrick
"Whatever the reason for the US strike was, it was illegitimate and marked another flagrant violation of Syria's sovereignty", Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on a trip to Cyprus.
Recruits of that program are allowed to fight the Syrian regime and its allied militias, including those imported from Lebanon and Iraq and beholden to Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps' Quds Force.
"On Thursday at 16:30, the so-called worldwide coalition attacked one of the Syrian Arab Army's positions on the al-Tanf road in the Syrian Badia region, producing a number of martyrs and causing material damage", a military source told Syrian state media. It wasn't clear to CBS News on Thursday why the vehicles had breached the zone, but Giglio reported that the US strikes may have destroyed "regime and pro-regime militia vehicles".
USA officials say an American airstrike has hit pro-Syrian government forces in southern Syria as they were setting up fighting positions in a protected area.
American officials have said that the strike was not meant to destroy the airfield or kill Syrian soldiers, but as a show of force and to disable some logistical capabilities of the Syrian air force.
A U.S. official said on Thursday the attack near the town of al-Tanf destroyed at least one tank and a bulldozer, while another official said they followed warning shots by USA aircraft meant to dissuade the fighters from advancing further.
A convoy of 20 pro-regime vehicles were headed towards AT Tanf near the Syria-Iraq-Jordan border and thirteen of the vehicles entered a de-confliction zone in the Homs Governorate, which was perceived as a threat to US-allied troops.
According to USA military commanders, the strike was carried out in response to the entry of regime-allied forces into a "de-escalation zone" in which US and allied forces were operating.
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"After that, we couldn't do much else", U.S. Central Command spokesman Major Josh Jacques told VOA.
Buzzfeed senior national security correspondent Nancy Youssef confirmed with a U.S. defense official that the strike was launched by the U.S., Giglio said. It was the first time the US military directly intervened in the Syrian civil war.
But Syria's opposition delegation to Geneva lauded the airstrike, saying it helps curb Iran's influence in his country.
The convoy was believed to have been about 17 miles away from the base when it was hit.
The area has been a source of tensions as both government forces and US -backed rebels advance there. Last month, the U.S. The deconfliction zone in southern Syria was established "where the United States, Jordan and Israel are eager to prevent Iranian-backed groups, especially Hezbollah, from expanding a foothold".
Syrian state media and monitoring group say that at least 15 civilians have been killed in an Islamic State offensive on a government-held area in Syria.
De Mistura's separate meetings with Syrian opposition and government representatives have yielded little outcome after four days of talks.
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