Led forces kill an estimated 100 Syrian regime troops

Led forces kill an estimated 100 Syrian regime troops

The U.S. -led coalition said its action was in "self-defense", citing a major attack on its allied forces and U.S. advisers in Deir al-Zor province by at least 500 fighters, battle tanks, howitzers and mortars.

The heavy death toll underscored the large size of the attack, which the US official said included about 500 opposing forces, backed by artillery, tanks, multiple-launch rocket systems and mortars.

The U.S. -backed coalition, as CNN reported, described the attack as an act of "self-defense" against an "unprovoked attack" by Syrian President Bashar Assad against a Syrian Democratic Forces headquarters.

US military officials said the coalition was in contact with Russian Federation before, during and after Wednesday's attack and had alerted Russian Federation to the presence of SDF forces in that area.

"We suspect Syrian pro-regime forces were attempting to seize terrain SDF had liberated from Daesh in September 2017", an unnamed USA official told Reuters, using an Arabic name for the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL).

Nebenzia said it was also "regrettable" that the Security Council wouldn't support a statement that Russian Federation sought Wednesday following an attack in Damascus that damaged its trade mission.

Russian Federation officially withdrew its forces from Syria in December 2017 after two years fighting in support of President Bashar al-Assad, though hundreds of private military contractors from Russian Federation remain in the country.

The hostilities erupted, he said, after hundreds of fighters backed by tanks and artillery began advancing on rebels in the town of Khisham, five miles east of the deconfliction line.

In an email Thursday to The Associated Press, Col. Thomas F. Veale said the coalition reported to the Russians the buildup of the pro-government forces in the area before the attack, and communicated with them during and after it.

Meanwhile, Turkish officials said the leaders of Turkey, Russia and Iran will meet in Istanbul to discuss peace efforts for Syria. United States military personnel were at the base at the time, he said.

The US-led coalition in Syria has mounted an airstrike against government forces in response to an attack on its local allies.

The coalition observed a slow buildup of pro-regime forces over the past week, she added.

The coalition said the attack took place in Khusham in the Middle Euphrates River Valley, five miles east of the agreed-on "de-confliction" line created to separate Russian-backed regime troops and US-backed forces in Syria. He said U.S. forces would remain for an indefinite period and described USA interests as not only defeating Islamic State, but countering an increasing Iranian presence.

"As a result of the shelling, 25 Syrian militias were injured", the statement said.

The United States maintains about 2,000 troop in Syria, mostly working with the estimated 50,000 Syrian Democratic Forces.

Russian Federation and Syria both issued official statements immediately after the encounter accusing the United States of being in the nation illegally, and claiming the US military action was taken in support of terrorists.

US Marines firing a howitzer in Syria.

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