U.S. airstrikes target pro-Assad forces in Syria

"The coalition struck pro-regime forces... after apparent Russian attempts to dissuade Syrian pro-regime movement south towards al-Tanf were unsuccessful, a coalition aircraft show of force and the firing of warning shots", the statement said.

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.

US -led coalition jets struck a gathering of Syrian government forces deemed a threat to partnered forces on the ground near the Jordanian border, USA defense officials confirmed Thursday.

A member of the US-backed Syrian rebel forces told reporters the strikes hit a convoy of Syrian and Iranian-backed militias that were heading toward a base used by American and US-supported forces.

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 USA official.

Russian Federation is a key ally of Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad's regime, which called the US-led action a "brazen attack" and insisted it would "not be intimidated" by the assault.

Syria and Russian Federation condemned airstrikes by a USA -led coalition that they said killed at least eight people.

United States aircraft then attempted to buzz the regime, but when the convoy did not turn around, they conducted a strike against some of the vehicles.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the strike killed eight militiamen, although there was no immediate comment from the pro-government side.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters the USA would defend its troops in case of "aggressive" steps against them.

"We welcome robust action against the foreign forces who have turned Syria into a killing field", he said.

The convoy was hit on Thursday as it neared a group of US-backed rebels and a Western special forces unit in Tanf.

The commander chose to call in an airstrike after warnings were not heeded by the pro-Syrian government force, he added.

Tensions in the area have escalated as Syrian government forces and USA -backed Syrian forces continue to advance closer to each other.

Aside from the April cruise missile strike, the coalition-backed forces have avoided contact with Assad regime forces.

  • Leroy Wright