USA strikes pro-Assad regime convoy near Syria's al-Tanf
- Author: Leroy Wright May 20, 2017,
May 20, 2017, 0:57
The coalition is generally not fighting the Syrian government, with the exception of a United States cruise missile strike that was launched in retaliation for Assad's chemical weapons attack against rebels.
Iraqi Shi'ite militia leaders said they hoped to link up with Syrian government forces.
Ominously, the Syrian regime has its own base fairly close to the one American forces are using to train opposition fighters, and the Syrian base is said to be ready to support "about a battalion's worth of troops".
The statement stressed that the Syrian army will continue the war on the terrorist groups and the US attack will not terrorize the army from continuing the battles on terrorism.
A deadly combination of human error, bad intelligence and an increasingly complicated battlefield led to the mistaken bombing of Syrian government troops by American and coalition aircraft in September.
A US-led coalition spokesperson has confirmed that coalition strikes in southern Syria struck Syrian government armed forces, BuzzFeed News reported on Thursday. The Syrian forces, however, did not budge. The Special Forces are training the rebels to fight ISIS - and also accompanying them on combat missions against the militants.
Despite the strikes, Pentagon chief Jim Mattis said the United States was "not increasing our role in the Syrian civil war, but we will defend our troops".
The Syrian Observatory said most of the eight people killed in the strikes appeared to be "non-Syrian".
A statement from Centcom, the U.S. military command in the Middle East, said two strikes "destroyed two front-end loaders, a piece of construction equipment, a tactical vehicle and a tank".
Last month, US-led allied forces and Syrian rebels thwarted a significant IS attack on the base.
Thursday's strike comes in the context of growing tension over which forces will take on IS in Syria's east.
The official statement said that Russian Federation had made "apparent" attempts to "dissuade Syrian pro-regime movement south toward At Tanf", but that those efforts were "unsuccessful". It said a lot of them were not Syrian.