U.S. air strikes hit Syrian militias

"They were building a fighting position" about 55 kilometers from a US -coalition base close to At Tanf, where advisers train members of the Syrian Democratic Forces and Syrian Arab Coalition, the second official said.

The coalition strikes occurred near al-Tanf town, where US' and British special operations forces have been training Syrian rebel fighters near the border with Iraq and Jordan.

"A convoy going down the road didn't respond to numerous ways for it to be warned off from getting too close to coalition forces in al-Tanf", said one of the officials, adding that British and United States commandoes have been training anti-Damascus militants at the base in Homs province.

Local media have reported the strikes caused casualties and destroyed a number of vehicles. The official added that forces of the USA -led coalition will continue to defend themselves against ISIS or any other threat to Coalition or partnered forces in the area.

Separately, Syria's military supported by Russian Federation and Iranian-backed militias are fighting against the militant group only sporadically, preferring to instead focus their efforts against pro-democracy rebel factions across the country.

There was no immediate response from the US -led coalition following the reports.

SANA added that al-Ja'afari objected to the enforcing of "de-confliction zones" established by the Astana agreement, a multilateral attempt to establish peace in Syria led by Iran and Russian Federation because "the mechanisms of implementing the agreement have not been set yet".

US -backed Iraqi forces have been chipping away at the remaining districts of Mosul under Islamic State control, seven months into a campaign to recapture Iraq's second largest city. "They were potentially probing to see how close they could get to At Tanf", the official said. This is totally unacceptable; it is a violation of Syrian sovereignty.

Syria claims air strikes by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as a criminal assault on its sovereignty.

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

It was not clear if the advancing forces were Syrian army troops or other pro-government allies, but they were flying Syrian flags and began constructing berms and fighting positions, officials said.

According to the Observatory, IS attacked several government-held villages in the area on Thursday, capturing parts of them.

  • Leroy Wright