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08 February 2018, 09:54 | Rufus Hill
More than 100 Assad fighters killed in clash with US in eastern Syria
The US military launched airstrikes on Syrian government-backed troops Wednesday, a rarity in the Syrian civil war.
"Syrian pro-regime forces included approximately 500 personnel in a large, dismounted formation supported by artillery, tanks, multiple-launch rocket systems, and mortars", a USA military official said, according to Radio Free Europe.
The official said about 100 pro-government forces were killed in the counterattack.
In a statement, the Pentagon said, "Syrian pro-regime forces initiated an unprovoked attack against well-established Syrian Democratic Forces headquarters today". Coalition officials were in regular communication with Russian counterparts before, during and after the attack, the official said, and Russian officials assured coalition officials they would not strike coalition forces in the vicinity. The SDF are a USA -backed alliance of militias in northern and eastern Syria.
"We don't know who the pro-regime forces are, whether they're independent militias or part of the Syrian government".
"The US military is telling Damascus that it better think long and hard if it wants to go after America's partners", Mr Heras said.
Dozens killed in US-led coalition airstrike in Syria: state media
USA officials declined to provide details on the military assets that were used to beat back the assault, which nations they were from, or the number of advisers in the area.
Officials said it appeared that the pro-regime forces were trying to take back land that the SDF had liberated from IS fighters last September, including oil fields in Khusham.
In a statement released on Wednesday night, the International Coalition for Operation Inherent Resolve announced that its forces launched airstrikes against Assad regime forces in the Euphrates river valley area in Syria.
This is not the first time the U.S. military has clashed with pro-regime forces in Syria.
Around 2,000 United States troops were reportedly deployed to Syria, according to the Defense Department.
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