Russia Stresses US Syria Presence Illegal after Deadly Deir Ezzor Strike

Russia Stresses US Syria Presence Illegal after Deadly Deir Ezzor Strike

Syrian state television reported the coalition had caused "dozens of dead and wounded" by bombing pro-government forces, although a commander in the military alliance supporting Assad said seven members of pro-government forces were killed and 27 wounded. A number of USA military advisers were present alongside local allied forces, and the Americans led a punishing response that other officials said killed about 100 of the assailants.

According to the US Central Command (CENTCOM), coalition advisers were present in the area that was attacked by pro-government forces in Deir Ezzor province late on Wednesday.

Tillerson made clear that the U.S. thinks the UN-led process aimed at ending the Syrian civil war will remove Assad from power."The United States believes that free and transparent elections, to include the participation of the Syrian diaspora who have been displaced - all those who were forced to flee the conflict - will result in the permanent departure of Assad and his family from power", Tillerson said.But while ISIS has lost over 98% of its territory in Syria numerous other objectives outlined by Tillerson are still fraught with difficulty.

No US or US-backed forces died but the US official estimated more than 100 pro-Syrian government forces were killed in the counter-attack.

The Russians, he said, "have an endgame, and we do not".




Separately, the US -led air and artillery strikes began overnight Wednesday in Deir al-Zour province. One of the fighters from the Syrian democratic force which is comprised of mostly Arab and Kurd fighters allegedly sustained wounds in the attack. New details are emerging about the incident, suggesting both that the Syrian attack was far overstated, and the United States retaliation was overwhelmingly excessive. 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. At least 25 of the popular forces were injured in the attack, the Russian MoD noted. Russian Federation said it did not have personnel in the area, and its defense ministry said it only confirmed 25 Syrian militia were wounded, and no deaths.

Regime and SDF fighters were involved in several skirmishes in the area a year ago, as they each conducted parallel operations against some of the Islamic State jihadist group's last bastions.

Of course, the "rightful owners" are the coalition of Arab and Kurdish fighters who have already shed their blood for that territory against ISIS - a point apparently lost on a once-trusted US ally now hardly worthy of that name.

"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 ISIS", a statement said.

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