US says Iran directed convoy targeted by US air strike in Syria

Angie Massey
May 20, 2017

The strike killed several people and caused material damage, the source said, saying that this hampered efforts by the Syrian army and its allies to fight Islamic State.

Russian Federation yesterday condemned a strike by the US-led coalition against Syrian pro-regime forces as "illegitimate" and said it could harm efforts to fight Islamic State jihadists.

It marked the second time under the Trump administration that the USA has struck out against President Bashar al-Assad's forces with airstrikes and first in the apparent vicinity of United States troops operating inside Syria.

"This brazen attack by the so-called worldwide coalition exposes the falseness of its claims to be fighting terrorism", "a military source told state media". Iran and Russian Federation have been President Bashar al-Assad's primary backers.

American officials and Syrian activists said the strike in the desert on Thursday hit the pro-Syrian government forces as they were setting up fighting positions in a protected area near Tanf.

A US airstrike has hit pro-Syrian government forces in southern Syria, US officials say.

Anti-IS coalition forces have been operating in the al-Tanf area for many months.

Both the USA and Russian Federation, which is allied with the pro-Assad forces, have established buffer zones around their separate areas of operation to avoid collateral damage.

A pro-regime convoy that was struck by US-led warplanes inside Syria this week likely was directed by Iran, Pentagon chief Jim Mattis said Friday. He was asked if the airstrike represented an increase in the USA role in the Syrian war.

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The day before Treasury announced the new sanctions, a State Department spokesman presented evidence that the Assad regime had killed thousands of prisoners and constructed a crematorium outside the notorious Sednaya military prison, north of Damascus, to "dispose of detainees' remains with little evidence".

"We notified the coalition that we were being attacked by the Syrian army and Iranians in this point, and the coalition came and destroyed the advancing convoy", he said.

"It was an offensive movement, which, as we think, ruled by the Iranians, although I don't know whether the Iranians are on the ground", - said the head of the Pentagon Friday press conference.

"The Americans have no right to specify in which direction the Syrian army moves since it owns the land and has the right to spread the country's sovereignty on all the land", the SCMM said.

"The Syrian army will not be prevented by any force on earth from continuing its duty in fighting anyone that tries to occupy Syria", the SCMM said.

While U.S. forces have engaged with ISIS fighters - including a month ago at Al Tanf - they have not previously been reported to have directly engaged with elements of the Syrian regime or militias allied with it.

Washington:US military aircraft have carried out an airstrike on a convoy of pro-Syrian government fighters advancing toward the positions of foreign-backed militants in the south of the Arab country.

A second USA defense official said that an additional strike did hit the convoy after the vehicles continued toward the base.

Other reports by GizPress

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