Syria airstrike: USA military bombs pro-Assad forces
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. “And that is a coalition element made up of more than just USA troops, and so we will defend ourselves [if] people take aggressive steps against us”, Mattis said when asked about the strike.
“It was an offensive movement, which, as we think, ruled by the Iranians, although I don’t know whether the Iranians are on the ground”, – said the head of the Pentagon Friday press conference.
AFP quoted unnamed USA military officials as saying that the American jets struck a convoy of 27 tanks heading towards a garrison in al-Tanf near the Jordanian border.
The April strikes were ordered in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack that Washington blamed on Damascus, and were described as a one-off measure to deter any future chemical weapons use.
But the attack on forces does not reflect an escalation, the official said.
They are gathering intelligence, including the location of British foreign fighters for the RAF to kill, as well as training moderate Syrian rebels.
“This brazen attack by the so-called worldwide coalition exposes the falseness of its claims to be fighting terrorism”, “a military source told state media”.
Syria’s main opposition High Negotiations Committee leader Nasr al-Hariri and UN Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria Staffan de Mistura during a meeting in Switzerland.
The US-backed Maghaweer al-Thawra rebel faction said that the convoy had been about 27km (17 miles) away and contained four tanks. Pro-regime forces had crossed a pre-agreed deconfliction zone and continued to advance despite warning strikes, he added.
“There is no change in policy”, the official said. “They had every opportunity to leave the area”.
Syrian and Iranian-backed militiamen were reportedly moving towards the Tanf base, which is used by rebel fighters and Western special forces personnel. Reuters cited a United States official as saying that the strikes occurred after “warning shots by USA aircraft meant to disuade the [Syrian army’s] fighters”. But we will defend our troops’. MPs have not given approval for the RAF to strike any targets in the country except those belonging to IS.