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Syria: US strikes Syrian Govt-allied forces

19th May 2017
Syria: US strikes Syrian Govt-allied forces

By Michael Hernandez


WASHINGTON (AA): The U.S.-led anti-Daesh coalition on Thursday struck forces allied to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that “posed a threat to U.S. and partner forces” in the southeastern city of al-Tanf, the American military said.

The coalition carried out the strike after Russian attempts to halt the advance on the town apparently failed to stop the troops from moving south into an agreed upon deconfliction zone where the U.S. and its allies were operating.

At the time, the Assad-allied forces “were advancing well inside” the deconfliction area, the coalition said.

Prior to launching the strike, the coalition said in a statement it carried out an aerial “show of force”, and fired warning shots.

“The new US strike on government forces in Syria is a continuation of Washington’s non-constructive policy that started with the provocation in Idlib and the attack on the Syrian air base in Homs,” said Leonid Slutsky, the head of the International Affairs Committee of State Duma, the lower chamber of the Russian parliament.
“Such unilateral moves undermine the possibility of efficient cooperation and coordination in the fight against international terrorism in Syria,” the head of the parliamentary committee said.

“Coalition forces have been operating in the At Tanf area for many months training and advising vetted partner forces engaged in the fight against ISIS,” the coalition said in a statement, referring to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, another name for Daesh.

Al-Tanf is also known as At Tanf.

The strike took place within a de-escalation zone northwest of the city of Al-Tanf, one of the four zones whose establishment was brokered by Russia, Iran and Turkey during the May 3-4 negotiations in Astana.

Under the deal, all military activity is banned in these zones, including air operations and sorties.

The coalition said the de-confliction zone “remains in effect”.

The development comes only a few days after US-led jets killed nearly two dozen civilians in an attack on an area in Syria’s eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr near the border with Iraq.
In September last year, US-led coalition airstrikes on Syrian army positions near Dayr al-Zawr military airport also killed over 80 soldiers.

Russia called an emergency United Nations Security Council meeting over the attack, which was conducted by two F-16 and two A-10 jets that had entered Syrian airspace from Iraq.

Additional report from The Muslim News
[Photo: Syrian civilians and rebels wait for buses to get evacuated from Al-Waer district of Homs, Syria on May 15, 2017. Some vehicles from the 10th evacuation convoy already headed towards Idlib. Photographer: Muhabiri Judy Arash/AA]

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