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US air strike hit 'military point'

19 May 2017

USA officials said an American airstrike has hit pro-Syrian government forces in southern Syria as they were setting up fighting positions in a protected area.

A Syrian government's military source said the United States strike hit "one of our military points" late Thursday, killing several people and causing material damage.

Earlier on Thursday the US-led coalition announced it had bombed "pro-Syrian regime forces" near Tanf, a remote base in southern Syria near the Syria-Jordan-Iraq border.

NY [U.S.], May 19: The U.S.forces in Syria have bombed pro-Bashar al-Assad convoy at Tanf base that were advancing well inside an "established de-confliction zone".

"The Syrian army is fighting terrorist groups on its ground, and no force has the right to determine the fronts on which the army fight the terrorist groups", the statement said.

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Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov also said the strikes had targeted "the Syrian armed forces". The U.S. -led coalition is also supporting the force with airstrikes.

Asked about the Tanf episode Thursday, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said the strike would not draw the United States further into the war.

"We are not increasing our role in the Syrian civil war, but we will defend our troops", Mr Mattis said.

Separately, Syria's military supported by Russian Federation and Iranian-backed militias are fighting against the jihadist group, and against more moderate rebel factions in the south.

Syrian government forces secure a road for a military convoy in the desert area near the border with Jordan and Iraq, May 10, 2017.

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"We are still confirming the details but according to some reports several dozen civilians died as a result of this strike", he was reported as saying by Russian media.

"We notified the coalition that we were being attacked by the Syrian army and Iranians in this point and the coalition came and destroyed the advancing convoy", the Pentagon-backed rebel group called the Maghawir al Thwra told Reuters.

This was not the first time the US-led coalition intentionally or accidentally struck the Syrian army fighting against Daesh.

Later, Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis stressed that USA is not getting more involved in Syria's civil war.

Syria has condemned the strike as a "brazen attack" that undermined claims the alliance is fighting extremists.

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