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Led Coalition airstrikes kill 100 Assad-backed forces in Syria

Led Coalition airstrikes kill 100 Assad-backed forces in Syria

It also accused the US of carrying out a brutal massacre and committing war crimes.

The coalition said it suspected pro-government forces tried to seize lucrative oil fields, which the SDF had earlier liberated from Islamic State (IS) terrorists.

The Syrian military airstrikes began in eastern Ghouta, outside of Damascus, on Monday. The Kremlin has used contractors, or mercenaries, extensively to provide plausible deniability that Russian forces are involved in overseas conflicts when they in fact are.

Over 500 pro-government fighter armed with tanks, mortars, artillery and multiple-launch rocket systems carried out the attack, according to an unnamed United States military personnel.

"We demand [that the worldwide community] condemn this massacre and hold the coalition responsible for it", Syria's foreign ministry said in a letter sent to the United Nations on Thursday, according to Reuters. The SDF is confronting them east of the Euphrates, while pro-government forces hold areas around Deir al-Zour city on the western bank. It said the dead includes a medic and at least three children and eight women.

The bombardments are also being investigated by the United Nations and chemical weapons experts over alleged use of chlorine gas.

The U.S. -led coalition has observed a "slow buildup" of pro-Syrian forces in the region during the past week, and coalition officials had alerted the Russians that the Syrian Democratic Forces were in Khusham well ahead of the attack.

Separately, the US -led air and artillery strikes began overnight Wednesday in Deir al-Zour province.

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Kurdish and Arab fighters from the force have led the campaign to defeat IS in Syria, capturing the group's stronghold of Raqqa in October.

The U.S. -led coalition in Syria has killed an estimated 100 pro-Assad fighters in air and artillery raids this week, including military contractors from Russian Federation, reports say.

SANA called it an "aggression". The media cited reports of dozens killed and wounded.

"Coalition officials were in regular communication with Russian counterparts before, during and after the thwarted [enemy] attack", proclaimed the official.

It was not immediately clear when the Istanbul meeting would take place.

The Turkish officials said two leaders also agreed that efforts to create "observation posts" in Syria's Idlib province as part of a "de-escalation" agreement between Turkey, Russia and Iran should gain momentum.

Another military official, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity, said not all the attacking forces were wearing uniforms, making it more hard to identify them.


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