Wednesday, 23 October, 2019

Iraq force accuses United States of killing 22 of its fighters in Syria

Patty Aguilar | 18 June, 2018, 23:10

A spokesman for US Centcom is denying any US coalition involvement in reported airstrikes against a Syrian military site along the Iraqi border.

Syrian President Bashar Assad has blasted the USA presence in Syria, referring to it as an occupation.

According to the Syrian military officials, Imam Ali Brigades and Righteous Brigades members were killed in the military action, which took place south of Al-Bukamal, about 150 kilometers east of Deir Ezzor.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitoring group, said it had documented the deaths of 38 non-Syrian militia fighters, but that it did not know whether they were Iraqi or Lebanese nationals.

"There have been no strikes by U.S. or Coalition forces in that area", the coalition's press office said.

Syrian state media, citing a military source, reported on Monday that USA -led coalition aircraft had bombed "one of our military positions" in eastern Syria, leading to deaths and injuries, but the US military denied carrying out strikes in the area. Still, the U.S. is denying involvement, at least for now.

The U.S. -led coalition uses air power and special forces to back an alliance of Syrian Arab and Kurdish militia fighting Islamic State northeast of Albu Kamal.

The report, quoting an unnamed military official, gave no breakdown of the casualties other than saying there "were several martyrs and others were wounded".

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But a coalition spokesman said it had not carried out any strikes in the area.

Throughout Syria's seven-year war, Israel has carried out scores of strikes within the neighboring country against what it describes as Hezbollah or Iranian targets.

Later on Monday, a military source in Syria's Deir Ezzor province where the targeted area lies told AFP that coalition warplanes hit "joint Iraqi-Syrian positions in Al-Hari".

Al-Hari lies on the western side, close to the river and the de-confliction line.

The US-led coalition has struck in the past pro-government forces when they tried to cross to the Euphrates' east bank but it was not immediately clear if they did this time.

Last month a dozen pro-regime fighters were killed in an air strike on Syrian government positions that the Observatory and state media blamed on the coalition.

President Donald Trump in March said that the U.S.

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