Syrian regime soldier killed in US airstrike targeting IS: monitor

Syrian regime soldier killed in US airstrike targeting IS: monitor
A US-led coalition airstrike targeting the Islamic State reportedly killed at least one Syrian regime soldier on Thursday.
2 min read
22 June, 2018
Wreckage after an airstrike in eastern Syria [Getty]

At least one Syrian regime soldier died and seven others wounded in a US-led coalition airstrike targeting the Islamic State group on Thursday, a war monitor reported. 

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported "explosions" 30 miles from Palmyra, a landmark ancient city IS overran twice during the war. 

"The position targeted is only 20 kilometres from the region of al-Tanaf," said the group's director Rami Abdel Rahman, adding the toll could rise as many of the wounded were in a "serious condition".

The Pentagon denied any strike had occurred and that while there was a brief clash, there had been no casualties.

Pentagon spokesman Major Adrian Rankine-Galloway told AFP that fighters from the US-backed Syrian rebel group Maghawir al-Thawra and coalition advisers "within the de-confliction zone near al-Tanaf were engaged by an unidentified hostile force located just outside the de-confliction zone".

The US-backed rebels and coalition advisers "returned fire in self-defence, at which time the hostile force disengaged", he added.

The coalition has agreed with Russia to a 35-mile de-confliction zone near Al-Tanaf, where US forces train fighters opposed to IS.

The strike came after a deadly attack last week hit the border town of Al-Hari in eastern Syria near the frontier with Iraq. Fifty-five fighters including Syrians and Iraqis were killed. A US official speaking anonymously in Washington blamed Israel.

The raid was particularly deadly for the Iraqi fighters working alongside the Syrian regime, namely Hizballah Brigades. Iraq's umbrella Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary force said 22 of its members were among those killed.

On 24 May, 12 pro-regime fighters died in an air raid against Syrian army positions south of Abu Kamal, a town a few miles from the Iraq border.

On 7 February, the coalition admitted to killing at least 100 pro-regime fighters in the eastern Deir az-Zour province.

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