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Published: Mon, February 12, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Syria Blasts US 'Act of Aggression' in Deir Ez-Zor

Syria Blasts US 'Act of Aggression' in Deir Ez-Zor

In a press release, the US -led coalition described the February 7 attack as "unprovoked", noting that the Assad forces targeted a "well- established Syrian Democratic Forces headquarters" in Syria's Deir ez-Zor province. The American officials added that the assault was carried out using mortars, multiple-launch rocket systems, heavy artillery which were all backed up by more than 500 soldiers from the pro-government faction.

White said that SDF, supported by the coalition, responded to the pro-regime forces with a combination of air and artillery strikes, and the action was taken as "self-defense".

No US or US-backed forces died but the US official estimated more than 100 pro-Syrian government forces were killed in the counter-attack.

There are about 2,000 American troops in Syria, mostly operating in support of the Syrian Democratic Force (SDF), a Kurdish-dominated group that have helped expel the Islamic State from most areas it once controlled.

Although the USA -led effort in Syria is focused on defeating ISIS, there have been outbreaks of violence before with forces allied with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.

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

This is not the first time the US -led coalition clashed with pro-regime forces in Syria. USA troops were there at the time, but none of them were hurt. 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.

Those pro-regime vehicles and personnel who retreated were not targeted by coalition air and artillery strikes, he said.

One SDF fighter was injured, Reuters reported.

About 2000 USA forces remain on the ground in Syria, allied to the Kurdish-led SDF alliance.

According to the US Central Command (CENTCOM), coalition advisers were present in the area that was attacked by pro-government forces in Deir Ezzor province late on Wednesday.

The river has always been a dividing line between US -backed forces and Russian- or Iranian-backed fighters of the Assad regime.

Reacting to the USA -led coalition's counterattack, a Russian senator called the move "an unprecedented act of aggression".

The Damascus regime and Russia, Mr Assad's main foreign backer, have condemned the attack, with the strikes underlining the risk of a direct confrontation between global players in a multisided war.

A US Navy F/A-18 shot down a Syrian regime Su-22 jet last June that had attacked US-backed forces on the ground.

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