US Military Strikes on Pro-Regime Fighters in Syria Kill 100

Feb 12, 2018, 00:35
US Military Strikes on Pro-Regime Fighters in Syria Kill 100

More than 100 fighters from the pro-regime side were killed in an unprecedented and large clash the included tanks, artillery and rockets.

Kurdish and Arab fighters from the force have led the campaign to defeat IS in Syria, capturing the group's stronghold of Raqqa in October. Statements carried by Syrian television stations called it a "new aggression" and "an attempt to support terrorism".

The PYD is the political branch of the People's Protection Units (YPG), which are Syria's main Kurdish militia.

The SDF, aided by coalition support, were used to fight Daesh terror group east of the Euphrates River. Syrian military airstrikes killed at least 230 people, including civilians, according to the United Kingdom -based monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).

In April 2017 Syrian warplanes strike the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhun in Idlib with chemical agent sarin, killing more than 80.

Syria's state media said the us -led coalition bombed government-backed troops in Khusham, a town in the oil-rich Deir el-Zour province, describing them as tribal fighters.

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No uniformed Russian soldiers were killed in the USA -coalition strike on Deir Ezzor, Russia's Defense Ministry said in a statement cited by Interfax on Thursday.

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. There were no American casualties. That would indicate that the attack came from the area of Khusham.

More than 465,000 Syrians have been killed during nearly eight years of fighting, and more than 12 million - half of Syria's pre-war population - have been displaced, Al Jazerra English says.

Those pro-regime vehicles and personnel who retreated across the river were not targeted, the official added.

Up to 100 pro-government fighters were killed, USA military officials say.

Those forces were "likely seeking to seize oilfields in Khusham that had been a major source of revenue for [ISIS] from 2014 to 2017", that official continued.

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Before the war, the Omar oil field was producing 30,000 barrels of oil per day, while the Conoco gas field was producing 13m cubic metres of gas per day.

This clash, which took place in Khusham near the Euphrates River, is the largest reported to date between USA -backed forces and pro-regime forces in Syria.

What does Syrian media say?

The rare strikes against pro-regime forces were confirmed by the US-led coalition Operation Inherent Resolve, which is in the region targeting Islamic State.

Syria's official news agency SANA claimed on television that the attack was a "new aggression" and that it left "scores of persons dead and others injured". Nevertheless, the official said the USA is looking into whether Russian-affiliated forces may have been involved.

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