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In Syria Military condemns attack by US-led coalition
20 May 2017, 09:25 | Terri Saunders
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Syria and its ally Russian Federation have condemned air strikes by the US-led coalition on pro-Syrian government forces near the Jordan border.
Syrian has said an aerial "aggression" by the US-led coalition on a government military position near the border with Jordan killed several soldiers and caused material damage.
The Syrian-allied forces were threatening USA troops and allied rebel forces operating near the town of Al-Tanf on Syria's border with Jordan, and were hit with air strikes after Russian intervention and warning shots failed to deter them, the Pentagon said on May 18.
USA military officials have not yet determined if Syrian army forces were targeted in the strike or if they were militias aligned with the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
"The Syrian Arab Army is fighting terrorism on its territory, and no party has the right to determine the course of its operations", a source told AFP.
Reuters reported Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov as saying the USA strike had violated Syria's sovereignty and would not help efforts to find a political solution to the conflict.
A US defence official told the AFP news agency that the strike did not signal a strategic shift for the coalition, which has focused on battling IS and has tried to avoid intervening in Syria's civil war.
The US-backed forces in that area are fighting against Daesh militants.
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Coalition officials said Russian forces had apparently unsuccessfully tried to dissuade the pro-regime movement south.
Thirteen of the vehicles breached the "de-confliction zone" around the base that is the area that the coalition has communicated to the Russians and their regime alliesto stay away from.
The US-led coalition has carried out a number of air strikes in recent months that have killed civilians in areas held by Isis. He was asked if the airstrike represented an increase in the US role in the Syrian war.
The forces came within a 34-mile defensive zone around the at-Tanf base in southern Syria, according to the command.
The government-controlled Syrian Central Military Media said there is an agreement between Syria, Russia and Iran about pushing ahead in the fight against IS in the desert toward the Iraqi border.
The Thursday strike comes in the context of growing tension over which forces will take on the Islamic State group in Syria's east.
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.
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