According to several sources, the recent air and artillery attack by the International Coalition forces in Deir Ezzor against the pro-government popular militias killedmore than 100 people.
When Syrian pro-regime forces attacked Syrian Democratic Forces yesterday, they moved in a battalion-sized unit formation supported by artillery, tanks, multiple-launch rocket systems and mortars, chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. Whitetold reporters today.
US-led coalition has killed more than 100 troops allied with the Syrian regime in an overnight operation carried out in retaliation for an attack on Kurdish forces.
Hundreds of pro-Assad fighters backed by artillery, tanks and other heavy weaponry, tried to take ground captured by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces from the Islamic State, the BBC reports.
American forces engaged Pro-Assad troops with artillery, rockets and air strikes on Tuesday following what CENTCOM has characterized as an "unprovoked attack" against USA backed forces in Syria.
Talking about the USA support for fighters in the region, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a speech to his party, "They tell us, 'Don't come to Manbij.' We will come to Manbij to hand over these territories to their rightful owners". The US had chosen this town to train local Syrian forces to fight IS.
This is not the first time the USA -led coalition clashed with pro-regime forces in Syria. The U.S.is looking into whether Russian contractors operating in the vicinity were also involved, according to another U.S. official who spoke to CNN, saying there is no direct evidence yet that the Russians had fired on the SDF facility.
"The recent incident once again shows that the United States' illegal military presence in Syria is actually aimed at taking control of the country's economic assets and not at fighting against the ISIS global terror group", said a statement issued by the Russian Defense Ministry.
The second official said given the believed relationship between the contractors and the Russian government, it is hard to imagine that Russian military forces in Syria were not aware of the contractors' activities and involvement in the attack.
In June a USA warplane shoots down a Syrian jet for the first time after it bombs SDF fighters.
The Wagner Group is a paramilitary contract force similar to the former U.S. Blackwater company that became infamous in the Iraq War. "The Syrian army is supported by Iranian-backed militias and Russian forces", notes Reuters.
According to Igor Girkin, an ex-commander of Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine, two tactical units of the Wagner private military group had been hit by the USA strikes on February 7. A year later, Russian Federation joined the fighting in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government.
A US official told CNN that the attackers crossed the Euphrates armed with artillery and other weapons.
Syrian state news outlet SANA said those killed were primarily battling the Islamic State, although it admitted an attack against the SDF took place.
In June previous year, a U.S. Navy jet shot down a Syrian plane after it attacked U.S. -backed fighters on the ground.