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US Airstrikes Kill 100 Russian and Syrian Fighters, Reports Say

12 February 2018, 01:36 | Myrtle Vega

US-led coalition attacks Assad forces in Syria

US forces repel 500, kill or wound 100 pro-Assad troops in attack Russia claims was just a 'reconnaissance party'

"Russia was invited to Syria by the legitimate government to help defeat the terrorists, and we did so since 2015". An unidentified commander fighting in the military alliance supporting President Bashar al-Assad told Reuters that seven members of the pro-government forces had been killed and 27 injured. But Trump administration critics disagreed.

The US-led coalition said Thursday it killed at least 100 pro-regime fighters to fend off an attack on its allies in eastern Syria, in one its deadliest confrontations yet with forces backing Damascus. Other reports from the Pentagon also indicated that there were some mercenaries from Russian Federation who also perished in the attack.

Mattis rejected Kaine's suggestion the United States is being drawn into a broader war. "We're not getting engaged in the Syrian civil war". A ministry statement said that the U.S. strike wounded 25 Syrian pro-regime fighters it said were searching for militants near an oil refinery.

However, America's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Turkey says those same Kurdish groups are linked to Kurdish separatists who have fought a decade-long insurgency against the Turkish government.Shortly after Tillerson's speech and an announcement by the U.S. military that it meant to work with the Syrian Democratic Forces to establish a border security force in order to secure areas liberated from ISIS, Turkey launched a major military operation targeting Kurdish groups in Afrin, Syria.While the United States does not support groups in Afrin, they are linked to American allies elsewhere in Syria.

This is essentially the Islamic State's last stand in Syria, having ceded most of its Syrian and Iraqi territory over the past couple of years.

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Also, the Russian Defense Ministry lashed out at the USA attack. It sees them as an existential threat to Turkey.

The United Nations Security Council is considering demanding a 30-day ceasefire in Syria to allow the delivery of aid and the evacuation of sick and wounded, diplomats said on Friday, although the measure is likely to be resisted by Russian Federation. Whatever group wins out - the government, rebels or extremists such as IS - would be far less equipped than the U.S. to maintain stability, the American argument goes.

"Pro-government Syrian fighters are confronting Daesh militants "who are under the protection" of the US-led coalition and the allied forces of the SDF", it added".

"We are there to fight ISIS". However, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis dismissed the concerns, emphasizing that the actions of the coalition were done in self-defense. "We had a very productive conversation", said Pentagon spokesperson Dana White.



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