The Syrian government on Thursday blasted deadly US-led coalition air strikes on pro-regime forces in the country's east as a "war crime".
A U.S. official said late Wednesday that more than 100 forces loyal to Bashar Assad, were killed in the attack by the US-backed SDF in Deir Ezzor province.
The US authorities added that the Syrian government forces organized and executed an attack on the Syrian Democratic forces without any form of provocation near the Khusham town on Wednesday this week.
Tillerson made clear that the USA thinks the UN-led process aimed at ending the Syrian civil war will remove Assad from power."The United States believes that free and transparent elections, to include the participation of the Syrian diaspora who have been displaced - all those who were forced to flee the conflict - will result in the permanent departure of Assad and his family from power", Tillerson said.But while ISIS has lost over 98% of its territory in Syria numerous other objectives outlined by Tillerson are still fraught with difficulty. Syrian forces control the western side of the line, and the SDF controls the eastern side of the line.
The Syrian military airstrikes began in eastern Ghouta, outside of Damascus, on Monday.
"After 20 to 30 artillery and tank rounds landed within 500 meters of the SDF headquarters location, Syrian Democratic Forces supported by the Coalition targeted the aggressors with a combination of air and artillery strikes", said Veale, reported Politico. New details are emerging about the incident, suggesting both that the Syrian attack was far overstated, and the U.S. retaliation was overwhelmingly excessive.
This came after militants in adjacent Idlib province downed a Russian fighter jet and killed the pilot on February 3, the AP said, citing unconfirmed Turkish media reports.
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Kurdish forces in northern Syria pardoned roughly 400 former members of ISIL in early January, adding some of them to the ranks of a US -backed group, Russia's ambassador to the United Nations charged Thursday.
Calling the attack a "perplexing situation", Mattis said he could not give any explanation why they would shell the SDF headquarters with artillery. The official said that Iranian-backed forces might have also been involved in the attack.
As part of that mission, the United States has armed and trained the SDF to combat ISIS.
A direct Russian-U.S. confrontation is the biggest risk in this new, post-ISIL phase of the conflict in Syria.
"Nobody invited them there", Vasily Nebenzya stated, emphasizing that a hard fought for stability in Syria is being jeopardized by USA actions.
The pro-government forces were "likely seeking to seize oilfields in Khusham" east of the Euphrates in Deir al-Zor province, a United States official said.