US Troops With Syrian Rebels Come Beneath Assault, However No People Injured

US Troops With Syrian Rebels Come Beneath Assault, However No People Injured

The heavy death toll underscored the large size of the attack, which the US official said included about 500 opposing forces, backed by artillery, tanks, multiple-launch rocket systems and mortars.

No U.S. casualties were reported after the confrontation.

One SDF fighter was wounded, the official said.

The Euphrates, which flows through northeastern Syria, functions as a demarcation line separating the American-backed SDF and forces of the Bashar Assad regime backed by Russian Federation and Iran who are active around the city of Deir el-Zour.

In June a year ago, a U.S. Navy jet shot down a Syrian plane after it attacked U.S. -backed fighters on the ground. The official clarified that the action "was taken in self-defense" after about "20 to 30 artillery and tank rounds landed within 500 meters" of the SDF's headquarters.

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USA and Kurdish forces responded to that skirmish with air and artillery strikes, the official said.

"The coalition conducted strikes against attacking forces to repeal the act of aggression", it said. But that's been a challenging line for the U.S.to walk as human rights violations stack up against Assad and as his regime's forces threaten USA troops and their allies. Officials declined to say whether the airstrikes were conducted with manned or unmanned aircraft.

USA officials said it was not immediately clear whether the attacking forces were part of the the Syrian military or belonged to foreign militias or other units who fight in support of the government.

The U.S. maintains about 2,000 troops in the country.

With the defeat of Islamic State in most of Syria the coalition and the Syrian regime share a long "de-confliction" line mostly along the Euphrates river. The YPG is one of many groups that makes up the SDF. A coalition official told Reuters that the attacking forces were "likely seeking to seize oil fields in Khsham that had been a major source of revenue for Daesh [ISIS] from 2014-2017".

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