Led coalition bombs pro-government forces in eastern province

USA Syria Assad fighting war SDF attack ISIS Trump Deir al Zor Euphrates news latest

Pro-government forces in Syria launched an assault on a base where US troops were operating in support of local partner units, triggering a counterattack from USA aircraft, the USA military said on Wednesday.

"We estimate more than 100 Syrian pro-regime forces were killed while engaging SDF and coalition forces", while one SDF member was wounded, a United States military official said on condition of anonymity.

SDF and government forces control areas on either side of the River Euphrates in Deir al-Zour province.

Following the siege on Raqqa, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said that USA forces would focus on diplomacy and that they "won't just walk away" from efforts to stabilize the region. 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.

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"The coalition conducted strikes against attacking forces to repeal the act of aggression", it said. This is a line that the coalition and the Syrian regime has agreed to and which their forces are not supposed to cross so as to prevent any conflicts. Officials declined to say whether the airstrikes were conducted with manned or unmanned aircraft.

USA -led coalition forces retaliated by launching airstrikes against the troops loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime, according to the Defense Department. US troops were there at the time, but none of them were hurt.

Regime and SDF fighters were involved in several skirmishes in the area past year, as they each conducted parallel operations against some of the Islamic State jihadist group's last bastions. The YPG is one of many groups that makes up the SDF. The official spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Neither was it clear whether Russian Federation, which is conducting its own air campaign in support of the Syrian government, may have had any role in the incident.

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