USA airstrike in Syria kills 100 pro-government troops

US military strikes pro-regime forces in Syria after coming under attack

The U.S. -led coalition had alerted Russian officials about the presence of SDF forces in the area far in advance of the thwarted attack, the U.S. official said.

One Syrian rebel soldier was wounded but no US forces were killed or wounded, according to NPR's Tom Bowman, who is reporting from elsewhere in Syria.

No U.S. casualties were reported after the confrontation. The US official said that US forces in the region counterattacked using artillery and aircraft.

A USA official told CNN that the attackers crossed the Euphrates armed with artillery and other weapons.

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The coalition said the attack occurred around 8 kilometres (5 miles) "east of the Euphrates River de-confliction line in Khusham", a town southeast of the provincial capital Deir al-Zor city.

"In defense of coalition and partner forces, the coalition conducted strikes against attacking forces to repel the act of aggression against partners engaged" in the fight against Islamic State (IS) extremists, the statement said.

The official said about 100 pro-government forces were killed in the counterattack.

The official added that it was unclear exactly who the pro-regime forces were but the USA is looking into whether Russian contractors operating in the vicinity might have been involved but added that there is no direct evidence yet that the Russians fired on the Syrian Democratic Forces facility where the United States advisers were located. Officials declined to say whether the airstrikes were conducted with manned or unmanned aircraft.

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And coalition planes have hit regime forces posing a threat to a base in Syria that hosts US and coalition advisers.

Officials said no US troops were injured or killed.

The officials decline to identify details of the attacking forces, which are suspected to be Syrian or from one of a number of allied militia units, including from Iraq and Lebanon, that are backing President Bashar Al Assad in the country's seven-year civil war. The YPG is one of many groups that makes up the SDF. "It's not always readily apparent" what sort of forces they are maneuvering on the ground in Syria's crowded battlespace, he said.

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