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US-led coalition strikes pro-Assad forces in Syria

US airstrike in Syria [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 7 June, 2017

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A statement says the pro-Assad forces ignored several coalition warnings.

The Pentagon says the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group has struck what it calls pro-government forces in Syria.

It says Tuesday’s attack occurred after forces supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad entered an area near a coalition base in southern Syria with a tank, artillery, anti-aircraft weapons, other vehicles and more than 60 soldiers.

A statement says the pro-Assad forces ignored several coalition warnings.

The Pentagon statement didn’t further identify the targeted forces.

But in recent weeks, officials have complained about various militants refusing to leave an area near Tanf - Syria.

The coalition struck similarly described forces in the area last month.

The Syrian conflict began when the Baath regime, in power since 1963 and led by President Bashar al-Assad, responded with military force to peaceful protests demanding democratic reforms during the Arab Spring wave of uprisings, triggering an armed rebellion fuelled by mass defections from the Syrian army.

According to independent monitors, hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed in the war, mostly by the regime and its powerful allies, and millions have been displaced both inside and outside of Syria.

The brutal tactics pursued mainly by the regime, which have included the use of chemical weapons, sieges, mass executions and torture against civilians have led to war crimes investigations.

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