'The US-led coalition has carried out several “defensive” airstrikes on Syrian forces in retaliation for what they called an “unprovoked” attack on the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and foreign military “advisers.”
“In defense of Coalition and partner forces, the Coalition conducted strikes against attacking forces to repel the act of aggression against partners engaged in the Global Coalition’s defeat-Daesh (Islamic State, IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) mission,” the Central Command said in a press release.
The retaliatory attack was carried out after Syrian “pro-regime forces initiated an unprovoked attack against well-established Syrian Democratic Forces headquarters,” the coalition claimed.
The US-led coalition has also firmly stressed its “non-negotiable right to act in self-defense,” since its service members are embedded with the “partners” on ground in Syria.
While there were no immediate reports of casualties on either side, a US official speaking on condition of anonymity told Reuters that the coalition repelled a massive attack by pro-government fighters armed to the teeth with tanks and artillery. “Syrian pro-regime forces included approximately 500 personnel in a large, dismounted formation supported by artillery, tanks, multiple-launch rocket systems and mortars,” the source said, claiming that more than 100 of those fighters were killed.
The confrontation reportedly took place some eight kilometers east of the Euphrates River “deconfliction line.”
Wednesday’s incident is the latest of its kind involving the US-supported rebels and Syrian government forces. Washington remains under the impression that the coalition air force and its “partners” are allowed to operate east of the Euphrates, while the Syrian forces should remain west of the imaginary demarcation line.'
Read more: US-led coalition conducts ‘defensive’ airstrikes against Syrian forces
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