Tens of thousands mourn Russian pilot killed in Syria

  • Tens of thousands mourn Russian pilot killed in Syria

Tens of thousands mourn Russian pilot killed in Syria

It's a rare strike against forces that support Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime.

Veale, the US military spokesman, said the hostilities erupted after several hundred infantry forces backed by tanks and artillery began advancing on an SDF position in the town of Khasham, about five miles east of the deconfliction line.

In Beirut, an official with Hezbollah said the group has no presence in the area hit by the coalition, adding that those who came under fire were pro-Assad forces known as the Popular Committees, as well as the Syrian National Defence Forces.

Nebenzia also said that while the humanitarian situation in Syria is "deplorable", it is "in no way much more different than it used to be a month ago — but now we are being presented with it as if something dramatic has happened".

Tillerson made clear that the USA thinks the UN-led process aimed at ending the Syrian civil war will remove Assad from power.

"As a result of the shelling, 25 Syrian militias were injured", the statement said.

But while ISIS has lost over 98% of its territory in Syria numerous other objectives outlined by Tillerson are still fraught with difficulty.

The military spokesperson said the coalition believes that pro-regime forces were attempting to seize territory, including lucrative oil fields east of the Euphrates River, that the SDF had liberated from ISIS in September. The media cited reports of dozens killed and wounded.

According to the Associated Press, the Russian military said the USA -led airstrike "again showed that the U.S.is maintaining its illegal presence in Syria not to fight the Islamic State group, but to seize and hold Syrian economic assets".

"We appreciate the Russian Federation's professionalism and regular communication [with its military units deployed to Syria] via the de-confliction line", he noted.

According to the coalition statement, an estimated 500 regime troops carried out the initial attack using Russian-made tanks "in what appears to be a coordinated attack on Syrian Democratic Forces", a USA military official told CNN.

Still, the incident underscored growing tensions in Syria amid reports of Syrian chemical weapons use elsewhere in the country.

"Regime forces struck SDF positions in several villages and an oil field with artillery fire", Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the Britain-based monitoring group, said.

The prospect that US troops will remain in Syria while shoring up Kurdish efforts to secure self-rule has provoked a convergence among countries opposed to any form of Kurdish autonomy, uniting Turkey, Russia, Iran and the Syrian government in a de facto alliance against the USA presence.

Nauert says the U.S.is supporting a United Nations call for a monthlong "cessation of violence".

Some 2,000 US forces remain on the ground in Syria, allied to the Kurdish-led SDF alliance, which holds the largest swathe of territory still outside the control of the government.

There are roughly 2,000 US troops operating in Syria, mostly with SDF forces fighting ISIS. "We will ask our American counterparts how they see all that".

The main Kurdish component of the SDF, known as the YPG, or People's Protection Units, is the target of a military operation in northern Syria by United States ally Turkey, which considers the YPG a "terrorist" group. Its troops have already entered the Kurdish enclave of Afrin, though the USA has no military presence in that particular area.

The commander of the US-led coalition, Lt. Gen. Paul Funk, told reporters during a visit to Manbij Wednesday that the U.S. had no plans to withdraw and would continue working with local forces that are opposed by Turkey.