US Planes Strike Pro-Assad Convoy in Southern Syria

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A US official confirmed that an airstrike in southern Syria occurred on Thursday, though it was unclear if Syrian government troops were there.

"On Thursday at 4.30pm, the so-called worldwide coalition attacked one of the Syrian Arab Army's positions on the Al-Tanf road in the Syrian Badia region, producing a number of martyrs and causing material damage", a military source told Syrian state media.

American fighter jets on Thursday struck a convoy of forces loyal to the Syrian regime that approached a base where USA and British forces are training Syrian rebels to fight the Islamic State, VOA News reported.

One official says the pro-regime forces had entered a so-called "de-confliction" zone without authorization and were perceived as a threat to US -allied troops there.

At the time of the strike, pro-Assad forces "were advancing well inside" the de-escalation zone, the coalition said in a Thursday statement.

"Coalition forces have been operating in the At Tanf area for many months training and advising vetted partner forces engaged in the fight against ISIS", the statement said.

The strike showed American commanders are willing to use force to maintain de facto safe zones in the country's east, where USA forces are training local militias to battle the Islamic State and provide security in liberated regions.

"After that, we couldn't do much else", U.S. Central Command spokesman Major Josh Jacques told VOA.

The U.S. military also contacted Russian Federation through a hotline established to facilitate communications and urged it to prevail upon Syria to leave.

Buzzfeed senior national security correspondent Nancy Youssef confirmed with a U.S. defense official that the strike was launched by the U.S., Giglio said.

Syrian opposition activists say a suspected coalition airstrike has hit a convoy of pro-government forces in the desert near the border with Jordan.

Syria's main opposition High Negotiations Committee leader Nasr al-Hariri and UN Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria Staffan de Mistura during a meeting in Switzerland.


According to David Martin, CBS News national security correspondent, the us attacked regime vehicles that had violated a deconfliction zone twice in three days.

- The Islamic State group attacked several government-held villages in central Syria on Thursday, capturing at least one of them in violence that left dozens of people dead, including three members of the same family.

"While President Donald Trump urges to fight terrorism in Syria, and not Assad, supporters of the previous administration continue fighting for the deposition of Assad's government at any cost", Slutsky said.

"Any military actions that lead to a deterioration in the situation in Syria obviously impact the political process", he said.

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitor, reported eight killed, "most of them non-Syrian".

Thursday's attack comes as government forces are on the offensive against the extremists in other parts of Syria.

Syria on Friday (May 19) condemned a US-led coalition strike on pro-government forces as a "brazen attack" and said it would "not be intimidated" after the surprise assault.

State TV said two people were wounded in IS shelling in Salamiyeh.