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12 February 2018, 01:08 | Lionel James
US forces repel 500, kill or wound 100 pro-Assad troops in attack Russia claims was just a 'reconnaissance party'
"Coalition advisors were with the SDF, and this action was taken in self-defense", spokeswoman Dana White told reporters.
Following the incident, the Russian military talked to the coalition through the established communication channels, with the latter stating that Al-Isba was under the control of SDF and USA troops. That's the attack Russian Federation might've had a hand in.
Pro-government forces had allegedly initiated "an unprovoked attack" against a Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) headquarters in Deir Ezzor province overnight, before United States airstrikes and artillery attacks thwarted their advances and killed at least 100 people, a USA official said. Around 20-30 shells landed within 500 meters of the headquarters. The operation was prompted by a surge in shelling of the positions of Syrian government forces in the area over the past few days, attributed to the covert activities of IS terrorists, the ministry said in a statement on Thursday.
Forty-five fighters were killed as regime forces tried to advance towards an oil-rich part of eastern Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based activist group, said on Thursday.
More than 100 fighters from the pro-regime side were killed in an unprecedented and large clash the included tanks, artillery and rockets.
Veale said no coalition or USA personnel had been killed or wounded in the engagement but that one member of the Syrian Democratic Forces was wounded.
"The incident once again demonstrated that the true aim of continued illegal deployment of US forces on the Syrian territory is no longer fighting the IS worldwide terrorist group, but seizure and retention of economic assets which belong to Syria", it said.
He reported that Russian officials said they wouldn't engage coalition forces in the area of the attack.
No U.S. troops were killed or wounded in the incident, officials said.
"Assad's regime is corrupt, and his methods of governance and economic development have increasingly excluded certain ethnic and religious groups", Tillerson added. They agreed not to attack Coalition forces.
Calling the attack a "perplexing situation", Mattis said he could not give any explanation why they would shell the SDF headquarters with artillery.
Meanwhile, Turkish officials said the leaders of Turkey, Russia and Iran will meet in Istanbul to discuss peace efforts for Syria. That official also said the military assesses that some of the Russian contractors were killed in the U.S. counterstrike.
U.S. military officials said the attacks, which began late on Wednesday, were conducted to "repel acts of aggression".
Those pro-regime vehicles and personnel who retreated were not targeted by coalition air and artillery strikes, he said. "Coalition officials were in regular communication with Russian counterparts before, during and after the thwarted attack", the official said.
Syria's regime and pro-Assad Russia were furious with the strikes.
And while the US -led coalition mission hasn't changed and ISIS is on the run, work remains to be done, she said.
"As a result of the shelling, 25 Syrian militias were injured", the statement said.
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