Russia says 62 Syrian forces have been killed in airstrikes by US-led coalition jets on army positions near Dayr al-Zawr military airport.
“Warplanes from the international anti-terrorist coalition carried out four airstrikes today against Syrian forces surrounded by the Daesh group in the Dayr al-Zawr air base,” the Russia army said in a statement. “Sixty-two Syrian soldiers were killed and a hundred others were injured in these strikes.”
Two F-16 and two A-10 jets entered Syrian air space from Iraq to carry out the attacks, according to the statement.
It added, “Straight after the coalition’s strikes, Daesh militants launched an offensive.” “If these strikes were due to an error in the target coordinates, that would be a direct consequence of the US’ refusal to coordinate with Russia its fight against the terrorist groups in Syria.”
The Syrian General Command referred to the incident as a “serious and blatant aggression” against the Syrian army, adding that it was also “conclusive evidence” that the US-led coalition is supporting Daesh militants.
Confirming the reports, the US military says it halted the attack after Russian officials said the targets were Syrian government forces and not Daesh Takfiri militants.
“Coalition forces believed they were striking a Daesh fighting position,” said the statement.
It added that the coalition would never intentionally attack Syrian forces, and that it will review the bombing and circumstances which led to it.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says at least 80 soldiers were killed in the attacks.
Immediately after the US attack, Daesh launched a major offensive in the region and briefly took control of it before Syrian forces managed to retake it