Syrian Gov't Condemns US Aggression vs. Its Troops

12 February, 2018, 01:38 | Author: Diane Mills
  • Syrian regime may attack Kurdish-led forces again in Deir al-Zor: SDF

Syria has called on the U.N. Security Council to condemn the new "massacre" committed by the US -led coalition east of the country that killed dozens of government-backed troops.

Russian Federation officially withdrew its forces from Syria in December 2017 after two years fighting in support of President Bashar al-Assad, though hundreds of private military contractors from Russian Federation remain in the country.

Mattis described the attack on the US-backed fighters, who were accompanied by U.S. special operations forces, as "perplexing" but he said the retaliatory US-led coalition strikes were defensive and limited in nature.

The US-led coalition said Thursday it killed at least 100 pro-regime fighters to fend off an attack on its allies in eastern Syria, in one its deadliest confrontations yet with forces backing Damascus.

Coalition and Russian officials were "in regular communication...before, during and after" the assault, the same official said.

The incident underscored the potential for further conflict in Syria's oil-rich east, where the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias holds swathes of land after its offensive against Islamic State.

More news: Best photos of Day 1 at 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang

The Air and artillery strikes from American and coalition forces happened in the eastern part of Syria in the middle of the Euphrates Valley which has for a long time been a non-official boundary for the two warring factions. Moscow's defense ministry said the USA was more interested in seizing Syrian economic assets rather than driving out the Islamic State Group from its last major stronghold.

More than 100 pro-regime fighters were killed, the official added.

Pentagon officials speaking on condition of anonymity told the media that they believed Russian military contractors operating with the Syrian government forces were among the dead. It also said it was aware only of 25 Syrian militia members having been wounded in the United States strikes.

While Washington's mission is to finish off IS and ensure it does not return, the United States also has a stake in stabilizing swathes of Syria.

One SDF fighter was injured, Reuters reported.

Of course, the "rightful owners" are the coalition of Arab and Kurdish fighters who have already shed their blood for that territory against ISIS - a point apparently lost on a once-trusted US ally now hardly worthy of that name.

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