A US-led coalition spokesperson has confirmed that coalition strikes in southern Syria struck Syrian government armed forces, BuzzFeed News reported on Thursday. Later, a US defense official confirmed the information to Sputnik.
The coalition strikes reportedly occurred near At Tanf town, where US’ and British special operations forces have been training Syrian rebel fighters near the border with Iraq and Jordan.
A US defense official told Sputnik that the US-led coalition struck the Syrian army near the town of At Tanf in the area of an established safe zone backed by Russia, Iran and Turkey.
According to the media outlet, US officials explain the strikes as “force protection” for the US Special Forces based in the area. Reuters cited a US official as saying that the strikes occurred after “warning shots by U.S. aircraft meant to disuade the [Syrian army’s] fighters.”
It is unclear yet whether the strikes have killed any Syrian soldiers or pro-government militia fighters as there has been no official comment from Damascus so far. The Pentagon has released no official statement as well.
According to a BuzzFeed News reporter, Syrian rebels based with the US Special Forces in the area said that militia supporting the Syrian army has been nearby as well.
“We notified the coalition that we were being attacked by the Syrian army and Iranians in this point and the coalition came and destroyed the advancing convoy,” the Pentagon-backed rebel group called the Maghawir al Thwra told Reuters.
“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 At-Tanf,” an unnamed official told AFP.
On Monday, Al-Masdr News reported that Syrian Arab Army soldiers along and militias affiliated with the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units are preparing to recapture the nearby Tanf Border crossing from Daesh.
Media reports suggested that Syrian rebels have voiced concerns over the Syrian army getting “too close” to the US Special Forces’ base in At Tanf.
In April, Daesh terrorists attempted to take the US base near At Tanf in which three US-backed Syrian rebels were killed.
This was not the first time the US-led coalition intentionally or accidentally struck the Syrian army fighting against Daesh.