Published: Mon, February 12, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Syria conflict: USA in rare counter-strike after Deir al-Zour attack

Syria conflict: USA in rare counter-strike after Deir al-Zour attack

The US has backed the Syrian Democratic Forces in their fight against the Islamic State group in northern and eastern Syria. "The Syrian army is supported by Iranian-backed militias and Russian forces", notes Reuters. The Syrian Observatory said those involved and killed by the strikes were tribesmen loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and Shia militias of Afghanistan.

Regime forces were likely attempting to take an oilfield near Khusham.

No U.S. troops were killed or wounded in the incident, officials said.

"We are not looking for a conflict with the regime", she added.

The overnight attack, which a US military official earlier said killed about 100, adds another layer to a conflict in Syria that is once again plunging into a new unpredictable spiral of violence.

One official said that assessment is based on information obtained from monitoring communications in the area and from drone surveillance.

"You've all seen how we reacted to that", Mattis said, referring to last year's cruise missile strikes.

Army targets terrorist hotbeds in central and North Sinai
Since then, the Wilayat Sinai, the ISIL branch in Egypt, has claimed responsibility for a number of deadly attacks in the area. Police and troops have been put on "maximum alert" for the duration of the operation, the army said in its statement.

"In defense of Coalition and partner forces, the Coalition conducted strikes against attacking forces to repel the act of aggression against partners engaged in the Global Coalition's defeat-Daesh [ISIS] mission", read the statement.

The Syrian government has repeatedly condemned the US-led coalition's presence on its soil, calling it an act of blatant aggression and violation of the country's sovereignty.

Reacting to the USA -led coalition's counterattack, a Russian senator called the move "an unprecedented act of aggression". At least 25 of the popular forces were injured in the attack, the Russian MoD noted. Russian Federation said it did not have personnel in the area, and its defense ministry said it only confirmed 25 Syrian militia were wounded, and no deaths. He said USA forces would remain for an indefinite period and described U.S. interests as not only defeating Islamic State, but countering an increasing Iranian presence.

The US, however, remained unmoved, promising to continue to support the US-allied forces in Syria "at any cost". It also lowers (in only a very small way) the likelihood of a confrontation with the USA if these forces come into contact.

The pro-regime forces includes several hundred soldiers as well.

According to Russia's top diplomat, the USA has reneged on its assurances that the only goal of its presence in Syria "without an invitation from the legitimate government" is to defeat ISIS.

Like this: