Published: Tue, June 19, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

US denies airstrikes that killed dozens of Syrian troops

US denies airstrikes that killed dozens of Syrian troops

The Syrian military source told the state-run Sana news agency that Sunday's attack targeted one of its positions in al-Huri, a village about 3km (2 miles) south-east of Albu Kamal and 1.5km north-west of the Syrian-Iraqi border.

Iraq's Popular Mobilisation Forces, a grouping of mostly Iran-backed Shi'ite paramilitaries, said a USA air strike on the Iraqi border with Syria killed 22 of its members and wounded 12 others. At least 52 fighters were killed in the attacks, including a number of Syrian troops.

Syrian state media accused the USA of launching airstrikes against Syrian military targets in the east of the country which caused deaths and injures, though the US military has denied any involvement.

The coalition's press office said it had heard reports that a strike in the area of Al-Hari had killed and wounded members of a pro-regime Iraqi group, but denied it was responsible.

The Damascus sky lights up missile fire as the US launches an attack on Syria targeting different parts of the capital early Saturday, April 14, 2018.

With air power and special forces, the US-led coalition is supporting an alliance of Syrian Arab and Kurdish forces fighting ISIS northeast of Albu Kamal.

Josh Jacques also said US and coalition forces were not involved.

The mission of these forces was to protect and secure the border between Syria and Iraq and fight the remaining so-called "Islamic State" terrorists in the area.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said a total of 30 Iraqi forces were among the dead in Al-Hari, as well as 16 Syrian forces and six unidentified fighters.

Washington said the strikes were in retaliation for an attack on its own personnel and SDF forces.

"I'm sure you are familiar with the Israeli policy of not commenting on foreign reports, so I will stick to that policy and I can not comment on any reports in foreign media", said Israeli Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus.

United States forces are also based in Tanf, southwest of Albu Kamal in the Syrian desert near the borders of Iraq and Jordan.

IS overran large swathes of Syria and neighboring Iraq in 2014, declaring a "caliphate" in areas they controlled.

Throughout Syria's seven-year war, Israeli officials have disclosed scores of air strikes within the neighbouring country against suspected arms transfers to Hezbollah or Iranian deployments.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his cabinet he had "repeated and clarified" his Syria policy in weekend phone calls with Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. "Secondly, we will take action, and are already taking action, against the attempted military entrenchment of Iran and its proxies, both close to the border and deep within Syria".

An Iraqi paramilitary force key to the battle against the Islamic State group on Monday accused the US-led coalition of killing more than 20 of its fighters in an air raid in eastern Syria.

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