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Robyn Valdez
February 12, 2018

The US-led coalition has killed dozens of fighters loyal to president Bashar al-Assad in a rare use of air strikes against Syrian government-backed forces.

"The U.S. -led coalition released a statement saying that the airstrikes on February 7 were carried out in "self-defense" after 'an unprovoked attack" by Syrian pro-regime forces.

The strikes were carried out in self-defence after the pro-Assad troops started firing artillery and tank rounds at the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, the United States military claimed.

Ikhbariya described the groups it said had been bombed by the us -led coalition as "local people fighting [ISIS] and the SDF", Reuters reported.

Syrian Kurdish officials said they reached out to the Assad regime for assistance, to no avail. Mattis said Thursday the goal is to create conditions for a United Nations -led political resolution, though there are no indications one could be achieved anytime soon.

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"We are not looking for a conflict with the regime", she added.

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

She said that Americans were in contact with Russians even after the attack. The offensive was described by US Army Col. Thomas Veale, a spokesman for the US-led coalition, as a coordinated attack against the USA -backed forces. USA military personnel were at the base at the time, he said.

The Syrian pro-government forces that were hit had allegedly tried to take ground east of the River Euphrates, captured from IS by the SDF. "Russian officials assured Coalition officials they would not engage Coalition forces in the vicinity".

Veale confirmed that efforts were taken prior to the airstrikes to avoid any confrontation with Russian military forces in the area that are backing the Assad regime.

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With the defeat of Islamic State in most of Syria the coalition and the Syrian regime share a long "de-confliction" line mostly along the Euphrates river.

"As a result of the shelling, 25 Syrian militias were injured", the statement said.

Russia's foreign ministry meanwhile claimed Thursday that the USA airstrike on pro-Assad troops reflected Washington's attempts to seize Syrian economic assets.

The US Central Command earlier called the attack on Syrian militiamen "self-defense", claiming that the troops allegedly launched an "unprovoked attack against well-established Syrian Democratic Forces [SDF] headquarters".

US Marines firing a howitzer in Syria.

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Other reports by Info About Network

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