U.S. military forces carried out defensive strikes against Syrian pro-regime forces in Syria this week, according to reports.
Syrian state television said on Thursday, Feb. 8, that the U.S.-led coalition against the ISIS terrorist group had bombed pro-Syrian government forces east of the Euphrates river in Deir al-Zor province in eastern Syria, causing casualties, Reuters reported.
A reporter for the state TV station Ikhbariya said there were “dozens of dead and wounded” as a result of the attacks.
Ikhbariya described the groups it said had been bombed by the U.S.-led coalition as “local people fighting [ISIS] and the SDF,” Reuters reported.
But, according to Operation Inherent Resolve, “Syrian pro-regime forces initiated an unprovoked attack against well-established Syrian Democratic Forces headquarters Feb. 7.”
“Coalition service members in an advise, assist, and accompany capacity were co-located with SDF partners during the attack eight kilometers east of the agreed-upon Euphrates River de-confliction line,” the statement added.
As a result, U.S. coalition forces “conducted strikes against attacking forces to repel the act of aggression against partners” who are fighting against ISIS. The BBC identified those allied forces as Kurdish and Arab fighters.
Some 100 pro-regime forces were killed in the incident, according to the broadcaster.
“We suspect Syrian pro-regime forces were attempting to seize terrain SDF had liberated from [ISIS] in September 2017,” one U.S. official was quoted by the BBC as saying.
Those forces were “likely seeking to seize oilfields in Khusham that had been a major source of revenue for [ISIS] from 2014 to 2017,” that official continued.