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USA airstrikes in Syria 'completely unacceptable', Russian Federation says
19 May 2017, 11:25 | Darnell Patrick
U.S. officials told Reuters that the United States military carried out the air strike on Thursday against militia supported by the Syrian government that posed a threat to USA forces and US-backed Syrian fighters in the country's south.
The attack comes at a time when the US presence in Syria is becoming more visible, mostly in the northern parts of the country where American troops are backing Kurdish-led forces fighting the Islamic State group.
But Syria's opposition delegation to Geneva lauded the airstrike, saying it helps curb Iran's influence in his country.
Coalition warplanes targeted a convoy of Syrian government forces and Iranian-backed militia close to the Iraq border on Thursday.
"Any military actions that lead to a deterioration in the situation in Syria obviously impact the political process", he said.
"This action was taken after apparent Russian attempts to dissuade Syrian pro-regime movement south towards At Tanf were unsuccessful, a coalition aircraft show of force, and the firing of warning shots", the coalition said in a statement.
Syrian government forces secure a road for a military convoy in the desert area near the border with Jordan and Iraq, May 10, 2017.
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"The Syrian Arab Army is fighting terrorism on its territory, and no party has the right to determine the course of its operations", a source told AFP.
Asked if the airstrike increases the U.S. role in the Syrian war, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said America will defend its troops in case of "aggressive" steps against them.
"This brazen attack by the so-called global coalition exposes the falseness of its claims to be fighting terrorism", it added.
Syrian state media provided no precise figures about the number of casualties, but the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said eight people were killed in the attack.
The military media outlet added that the Americans had asked the Russian Federation to pressure the Syrian army to stay 15 kilometers (9 miles) away from their "illegitimate bases in Tanf".
We review the key developments in Syria, including Syrian and Russian anger over a USA airstrike, the walkouts threatening to derail Geneva peace talks and defeat for ISIS following its bloody raids on two central Syrian villages. "And that is a coalition element made up of more than just USA troops, and so we will defend ourselves (if) people take aggressive steps against us".
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U.S. launches strikes against Syrian militia
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said, "We are not increasing our role in the Syrian civil war, but we will defend our troops". Syria has condemned the strike as a "brazen attack" that undermined claims the alliance is fighting extremists.
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