Syrian Pro-Regime Forces Attack Prompts Coalition Defensive Strikes

Syrian Pro-Regime Forces Attack Prompts Coalition Defensive Strikes

Troy Powers
February 12, 2018

Syrian military airstrikes killed at least 230 people, including civilians, according to the United Kingdom -based monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR). "ISIL is still there, and our mission is still to defeat ISIL", Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said Thursday.

The foreign ministry sent two letters to the United Nations condemning the aggression as a war crime and arguing that it showed the "dirty U.S. intentions against Syria's sovereignty and territorial unity".

It said the assault reflects the "dirty US intentions against Syria's sovereignty and territorial unity".

It's not the first time USA -led forces in the country primarily to hunt ISIS have targeted pro-Assad forces in self-defense.

Forty-five fighters were killed as regime forces tried to advance towards an oil-rich part of eastern Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based activist group, said on Thursday.

What does Syrian media say?

The Syrian military airstrikes began in eastern Ghouta, outside of Damascus, on Monday.

The advancing forces were intending to seize nearby oilfields that the US-backed rebels captured from IS previous year, Veale said.

In a press release, the USA -led coalition described the February 7 attack as "unprovoked", noting that the Assad forces targeted a "well- established Syrian Democratic Forces headquarters" in Syria's Deir ez-Zor province.

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According to another official speaking to CNN, the US-backed Coalition was "in regular communication" with Russian military forces in the area.

The official said no coalition or USA personnel had been killed or wounded in the engagement but that one member of the SDF sustained injuries. Thursday's air strikes are just the latest in a series of deadly attacks in Syria between rival forces that have led to civilian casualties.

Syrian state television confirmed the reports Thursday and said the US -led attack took place east of the Euphrates river in Deir al-Zor province in eastern Syria, causing casualties.

SANA labeled it an "aggression" and a "new massacre".

An Al-Ikhbariyah TV correspondent said the bombing left "dozens of dead and wounded" and identified the pro-government fighters as "local people". The Syrian army is supported by Iranian-backed militias, Lebanese resistance Shitte group Hezbollah and Russian forces and contractors.

She said that Americans were in contact with Russians even after the attack.

It was not immediately clear when the Istanbul meeting would take place.

The officials provided the information on condition of anonymity in line with government rules.