World

Coalition: 100 killed in major clash with pro-regime forces

Coalition: 100 killed in major clash with pro-regime forces

The air assault was launched after up to 500 pro-regime fighters backed by artillery, tanks, multiple-launch rocket systems and mortars targeted the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) headquarters in Deir al-Zor province in an "unprovoked attack".

"We estimate more than 100 Syrian pro-regime forces were killed while engaging SDF and coalition forces", while one SDF member was wounded, a United States military official said on condition of anonymity.

Syrian state media said the US -led coalition bombing had left dozens killed and wounded.

The heavy death toll underscored the large size of the attack, which the US official said included about 500 opposing forces, backed by artillery, tanks, multiple-launch rocket systems and mortars. Last year, USA aircraft shot down a Syrian jet after pro-government forces attacked US allied units in northern Syria.

The initial attack happened eight kilometers, or roughly five miles, east of the de-confliction line on the Euphrates River.

A USA military official told CNN that the area where the us coalition and SDF compound is located contains lucrative oilfields and the Syrian government forces "were likely seeking to seize oilfields in Khusham that had been a major source of revenue for [Islamic State] from 2014 to 2017".

"The coalition conducted strikes against attacking forces to repeal the act of aggression", it said.

More than 100 fighters aligned with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad were killed in the attack last night and in the early hours of this morning, a USA official said. USA troops were there at the time, but none of them were hurt.

"Daesh" is the Arabic acronym for Islamic State. A coalition official told Reuters that the attacking forces were "likely seeking to seize oil fields in Khsham that had been a major source of revenue for Daesh [ISIS] from 2014-2017". The YPG is one of many groups that makes up the SDF.


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