U.S. military says coalition strikes pro-gov't forces in Syria

Huang Panyue

WASHINGTON, June 6 (Xinhua) -- The U.S.-led coalition forces on Tuesday conducted a strike against pro-government forces in Syria that advanced inside the de-confliction zone in the southern part of the country, according to U.S. military.

"Despite previous warnings, pro-regime forces entered the agreed-upon de-confliction zone with a tank, artillery, anti-aircraft weapons, armed technical vehicles and more than 60 soldiers posing a threat to Coalition and partner forces based at the At Tanf Garrison," U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

The coalition issued several warnings via the de-confliction line prior to destroying two artillery pieces, an anti-aircraft weapon, and damaging a tank, the statement added.

Earlier Tuesday, the Syrian army confirmed that the U.S.-led airstrike struck Syrian military unit near the Iraqi borders.

The Syrian army said the warplanes of the U.S.-led coalition struck a Syrian military position near Tanf border crossing with Iraq, leaving a number of "martyrs" and other losses.

"This aggression comes once again to stress the supportive role of terrorism by the forces which claim otherwise, and at the time when the Syrian army is making progress against the terrorist group of the Islamic State organization," the army said.

The coalition forces emphasized that they do not seek to fight pro-government forces in Syria but remain "ready to defend themselves if pro-regime forces refuse to vacate the de-confliction zone," U.S. Central Command said.

"The Coalition calls on all parties in southern Syria to focus their efforts on the defeat of ISIS, which is our common enemy and the greatest threat to regional and worldwide peace and security," said the U.S. military statement.


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