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Syria war: Russian Federation claims USA attack killed civilians
19 May 2017, 10:35 | Darnell Patrick
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One official said the pro-regime forces had entered a so-called "de-confliction" zone without authorization and were perceived as a threat to us -allied troops there. US aircraft attempted to buzz the regime, but when the convoy did not turn around, they conducted a strike against some of the vehicles.
The zone was set up around al-Tanf, an army base where forces are training Syrian militias, CBS News reports.
Syria's ally Russia said earlier today that the strike had hit civilians and was unacceptable, Russian news agencies reported.
The US-led worldwide coalition struck on Thursday in Southern Syria forces of a militia supporting the regime of President Assad, announced the command of Operation Inherent Resolve, the official name for the coalition fighting ISIS ("Islamic State in Iraq and Syria").
However, the Al Tanf attack raises questions about the ongoing feasibility for the US-led coalition to maintain its singular focus on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group.
On April 7, the United States forces fired 59 Tomahawk missiles targeting regime's Shayrat air base in Homs province for being used in the chemical attack on the Syrian town of Khan Shaykhun.
"The Syrian Arab Army is fighting terrorism on its territory, and no party has the right to determine the course of its operations".
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A military source on the Syrian government side said the airstrike had hit "one of our military points", without elaborating, Syrian state TV reported.
The U.S. -led coalition is battling the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, in Syria and is generally not attacking Assad.
This was despite Russian attempts to dissuade pro-regime movement towards al Tanf, coalition aircraft show of force and warning shots.
Officials from the USA -led coalition attempted to use a hotline established with the Russians to warn the Syrian government to remove the forces from near the coalition base. This is totally unacceptable; it is a violation of Syrian sovereignty.
USA officials said they had used a communications channel that seeks to avoid in-air mishaps between US and Russian aircraft to ask Russia, one of Assad's chief backers, to notify the members of the convoy to retreat. There were US advisers operating at the base at the time of the airstrikes. A tank and several other vehicles were destroyed in the airstrike after the convoy ignored repeated warnings.
Speaking to reporters, US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said the US will defend its troops in case of "aggressive" steps against them.
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