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U.S. bombs Syrian Army in east Syria

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The U.S. Coalition bombed the Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) positions in eastern Al-Sweida, today, the Pentagon claimed this evening, reported Al Masdar News (Syria).

A U.S. Coalition jet allegedly attacked the Syrian Army’s positions near the Rasi’i Well after the latter advanced more than 35km into rebel-held territory near the Jordanian border.

According to a military source in Damascus, the US Coalition carried out a “warning” strike, which was meant to deter the Syrian government forces from advancing further into rebel-held territory; however, this has not been confirmed by the Syrian Army’s High Command.

The same source alleges that the Coalition jet was actually Jordanian, not a U.S. warplane.
If this report proves true, this attack by the U.S. would mark the second time this year that the Trump administration has targeted the Syrian military.

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The U.S. sent aircraft to strike Syrian regime vehicles on Thursday that violated a deconfliction zone set up around al-Tanf, an army base where special forces are training Syrian militias, CBS News national security correspondent David Martin reports, reported CBS News (US).

The Syrian regime has violated the zone two times in the past few days, Martin reports.

In one incident, 27 regime vehicles drove within 18 miles of al-Tanf, which breached the 34 mile radius of the army convoy. U.S. aircraft attempted to buzz the regime, but when the convoy didn't turn around, they conducted a strike against some of the vehicles.

In the second incident, an unarmed Syrian SU-22 fighter-bomber entered the deconfliction zone and was intercepted by a pair of F-22 fighter aircraft.

It remains unclear as to why the Syrians violated the zone. Martin reports that Syrian forces are pushing eastward towards the Euphrates River Valley, which hints to the idea that the regime may have been doing reconnaissance on their flank.

The base was attacked by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in April. Last summer, Syrian fighters trained by the U.S. who operated out of al-Tanf were bombed by Russian jets.

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US warplanes have struck Syrian pro-regime forces in a mission to protect British and American troops in the country's southeast, reported Sky News (UK).

The airstrikes, which killed Syrian government forces and Iranian-backed militia, occurred close to the border with Iraq.

In a statement on Twitter, the global coalition said: "Coalition struck Syrian pro-regime forces advancing in a de-confliction zone near al Tanf posing a threat to US partner forces.

"This was despite Russian attempts to dissuade pro-regime movement towards al Tanf, coalition aircraft show of force and warning shots.

"Coalition forces have operated in the al Tanf area for many months training and advising vetted partner forces that are fighting ISIS."
Several regime tanks and trucks were reportedly destroyed.

The news that Russia was warned and was still unable to stop the convoy will call into question how much influence their commanders have over Assad and Iranian forces in parts of Syria.

US and UK special forces have been training Syrian rebels at a heavily fortified base in al Tanf.
Islamic State attacked the base last month and recently regime forces have been pushing forward nearby, raising fears of a collision with coalition forces.

A 34-mile defensive zone exists around the base, and it is believed these forces strayed inside that.
Iranian troops are said to be commanding the pro-Assad forces and a number of Lebanese Hezbollah fighters.

Exact casualties figures have not been provided, although some reports estimate 50 were killed.
A US official describe this action as defensive and said it will not change US strategy in Syria.

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Reporter: Denes Osvalt
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Category: Politics
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