USA military launch devastating air strike against pro-Assad forces in Syria

A Western intelligence official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the strike sent a strong message to Iranian-backed militias that have been spearheading the advance that they would not be allowed to reach the Iraq border from Syria.

Coalition officials initially tried to stem the advance of the Syrian military convoy with a series of warning shots and USA aircraft carrying out a low flyover above the convoy in a show of force.

A US aircraft conducted an airstrike Thursday on a pro-Assad regime militia convoy that appeared to be moving on a USA coalition training base in southeastern Syria, according to a US official.

It's been publicly known for almost a year that USA special operations forces operate out of the base, near where the borders of Jordan, Iraq and Syria meet, training Syrian rebels in their fight against Islamic State militants.

Mattis said the strike did not mean the U.S. was becoming more involved in Syria's civil war, but Russian Federation and Syria both condemned the airstrikes.

A Pentagon official said the Syrian forces, were close to the Jordanian border and posed a threat to coalition partners on the ground.

"If people take aggressive steps against us, and that's been going on, it's policy of ours for a long time".

The US-backed forces in that area are fighting against Islamic State militants.

The rebels being trained at al-Tanf are from a number of Arab rebel groups, referred to by the U.S.as Vetted Syrian Opposition, or VSO, who oppose both the Assad regime and ISIS.

Earlier this month, they agreed to create four "de-escalation zones" across some of Syria's bloodiest battlegrounds, and observers said de Mistura would be scrambling to match Astana's momentum. He added that forces of the USA -led coalition will continue to defend themselves against IS or any other threat to Coalition or partnered forces in the area.

Syrian state television said a USA coalition airstrike had hit "one of our military points".

That's likely to be opposed by the United States and its allies who back rebels fighting IS in the same area. Media reports and doctors in the area said some of the killed, which included women and children, were beheaded and others dismembered. Aamaq claimed that 100 Syrian troops and pro-government gunmen were killed in the fighting.

Syrian government forces secure a road for a military convoy in the desert area near the border with Jordan and Iraq, May 10, 2017.

  • Leroy Wright