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Syria state media says U.S. bombs Syrian positions; U.S. denies report

Reuters
June 17. 2018 9:36PM
U.S. forces set up a new base in Manbij, Syria, on May 8. (REUTERS/Rodi Said/File Photo)



BEIRUT — Syrian state media, citing a military source, reported on Monday that U.S.-led coalition aircraft had bombed “one of our military positions” in eastern Syria, leading to deaths and injuries, but the U.S. military denied carrying out strikes in the area.

The strike took place in al-Harra, southeast of Albu Kamal, Syrian state media said. There were no immediate details on casualties.

A commander in the military alliance backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad also told Reuters that drones, “probably American,” had bombed positions of Iraqi factions between Albu Kamal and Tanf and Syrian military positions.

“No member of the U.S.-led coalition carried out strikes near Albu Kamal,” Major Josh Jacques, a U.S. Central Command spokesman, told Reuters.

The U.S.-led coalition is supporting an alliance of Syrian Arab and Kurdish militia fighting Islamic State northeast of Albu Kamal.

The Syrian army, alongside allied Iran-backed militias including Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Iraqi groups, drove Islamic State from Albu Kamal and its environs last year, but the jihadists have since staged attacks in the area.

U.S. forces are also based in Tanf, southwest of Albu Kamal in the Syrian desert near the borders of Iraq and Jordan.

Last week, Assad said he regarded the United States as an occupying power in Syria and that the position of his state was to “support any act of resistance, whether against terrorists or against occupying forces, regardless of their nationality.”

(Reporting By Laila Bassam and Angus McDowall, additonal reporting by Idrees Ali in Washington; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Daniel Wallis)


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