Led Coalition airstrikes kill 100 Assad-backed forces in Syria
Feb 12 2018
USA forces began airstrikesin Syria in September 2014 after IS militants had swept into control of large areas in the eastern part of the country as well as northern and western Iraq.
"[The attack] represents a war crime and a crime against humanity", the Syrian regime said in a letter to United Nations Security Council and the body's secretary general. The US-led coalition backs a Kurdish-dominated ground force in eastern Syria, which has an increasingly uneasy and sometimes antagonistic relationship with Mr Assad, who is also backed by Iran.
"[It represents] dirty USA intentions against Syria's sovereignty and territorial unity", it added.
But it lost its last remaining strongholds in Syria in November.
The US-led coalition in Syria has mounted an airstrike against government forces in response to an attack on its local allies.
Elsewhere in Syria on Thursday, government warplanes bombed towns in the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta region, near the capital, Damascus, for a fourth day.
What happened in Deir al-Zour?
"Forces supported by the coalition targeted the aggressors with a combination of air and artillery strikes", said Army Col. Thomas Veale, a spokesman for the US -led coalition in Syria and Iraq.
The Euphrates valley is one of open fronts still in fight against Islamic State (ISIS).
The US strikes were carried out by manned and unmanned aircraft as well as a US High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), two US military officials told CNN. 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. It said at least 45 pro-government fighters, which included Arab and Asian fighers, were killed.
"We suspect Syrian pro-regime forces were attempting to seize terrain SDF had liberated from Daesh in September 2017", a United States military official told Reuters.
One US official said the pro-government forces may have been trying to seize the Khusham oil fields.
Syrian state television reported the coalition had caused "dozens of dead and wounded" by bombing pro-government forces, although a commander in the military alliance supporting Assad said seven members of pro-government forces were killed and 27 wounded.
What does Syrian media say?
A military official, who provided information about the attack on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss it on the record, said the attacking forces initiated the assault by lobbing artillery at the SDF and US forces, who were located eight miles east of the Euphrates River.